Born 2 November 1974.

US rapper

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Nelly - 1Xtra Live 2013

Highlights of Nelly's set at 1Xtra Live 2013

Featured in BBC Music Clips


Cornell Iral Haynes, Jr. (born November 2, 1974), better known by his stage name, Nelly, is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, entrepreneur, investor and occasional actor from St. Louis, Missouri. Nelly embarked on his music career with Southern hip hop group St. Lunatics, in 1993 and signed to Universal Records in 1999. Under Universal, Nelly began his solo career in the year 2000, with his debut album Country Grammar, of which the title-track was a top ten hit. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 and went on to peak at number one. Country Grammar is Nelly's best-selling album to date, selling over 8.4 million copies in the United States. His following album Nellyville, produced the number-one hits "Hot in Herre" and "Dilemma" (featuring Kelly Rowland). Other singles included "Work It" (featuring Justin Timberlake), "Air Force Ones" (featuring Murphy Lee and St. Lunatics), "Pimp Juice" and "#1".

With the same-day dual release of Sweat, Suit (2004) and the compilation Sweatsuit (2006), Nelly continued to generate many chart-topping hits. Sweat debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 342,000 copies in its first week. On the same week of release, Suit debuted at number one, selling around 396,000 copies in its first week on the same chart. Nelly's fifth studio album, Brass Knuckles, was released on September 16, 2008, after several delays. It produced the singles "Party People" (featuring Fergie), "Stepped on My J'z" (featuring Jermaine Dupri and Ciara) and "Body on Me" (featuring Akon and Ashanti). In 2010, Nelly released the album 5.0. The lead single, "Just a Dream", was certified triple platinum in the United States. It also included the singles "Move That Body" (featuring T-Pain and Akon) and "Gone" (a sequel to the 2002 single "Dilemma" in collaboration with Kelly Rowland).

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  • Founded Derrty Ent.

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Brass Knuckles

    Brass Knuckles 2008

    Reviewed by Louis Pattison
    Nelly has straddled the spheres of US hip-hop and mainstream pop
  2. Review of Suit/Sweat

    Suit/Sweat 2004

    Reviewed by Jack Smith
    ...Nelly is hardly the worlds greatest rapper but, given the right set of beats, he...
  3. Review of Da Derrty Versions: The Reinvention

    Da Derrty Versions: The Reinvention 2003

    Reviewed by Katharina Lobeck
    Reinvention is for him little more than a glamorous term for 'remix', and a handy way...
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