Birthday: November 2, 1974
Birthplace: Austin, Texas
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio
Nelly's Early Years
Nelly spent his early years in Spain and moved to St. Louis, Missouri for elementary school. Nelly's parents divorced when he was eight years old. Nelly admitted he used to get into a lot of fights but by the time he started high school he was into baseball instead. Nelly's passion for baseball helped keep him out of trouble. In 1993 Nelly left his gritty St. Louis neighborhood and settled in the suburban area of University City. Nelly continued to work on his baseball skills and formed a rap group called the St. Lunatics with school pals Kyjuan Ali, Murphy Lee and his little brother City Spud. Two years later Nelly and crew released a 12-inch single called Gimme What Ya Got, which sold almost 10,000 copies. Nelly continued with the Lunatics while playing shortstop in the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Association. At the time, it looked as though Nelly would be a professional baseball player.
Nelly's Big Break
The St. Lunatics managed to put out another song called Who's The Boss, which became a local hit. The song helped their reputation locally but didn't grab the interest of record companies. The frustrated St. Lunatics decided to try their luck in Atlanta and teamed up with Kula who was managing Mase at that time. Eventually they realized Nelly would have a better chance of scoring a record deal on his own. So with Kula, 19 year-old Nelly attracted Universal Records exec Kevin Law in 1999. Nelly's career was off like a rocket with the release of his song Country Grammar, which borrows the hook from the children's song Down, Down, Baby. On June 6, 2000, Nelly released his first full-length album - also called Country Grammar. The album managed to sneak past Eminem and Britney to the number one spot on the Billboard charts on August 26, 2000.
Nelly Keeps The Hits Coming
With the release of the song Ride Wit Me Nelly the rapper has secured his spot as a popular rap artist who's known as much for his signature low-riding pants as he is for his music. Nelly's second album Nellyville was a huge hit and his third album, Da Derrty Versions: The Reinvention, which is out in November of 2003, is bound to be as huge. Tell your 'rents not to worry - there's a clean version of Da Derrty Versions available too.
Nelly - Did U Know
- Nelly's real name is Cornell Hayes Jr.
- Nelly has his own clothing line called Vokal.
- Nelly had a million dollars worth of stuff stolen from his room at the Aladdin Hotel, Las Vegas in 2003.
"I'm a product of hip-hop. That's all I listen to what I grew up on, besides what my parents had going on in the house. It's definitely hip-hop first and everything else is just distant."