Back in the 2000s, American rapper, Nelly was making serious waves in the hip-hop industry. His career skyrocketed with his debut album, Country Grammar, which sold over 8 million copies in the U.S. alone and earned him multiple Grammy Award nominations.
Since then, Nelly has released six more albums and become a household name across the globe. He’s earned numerous accolades for his music, including four Grammys and numerous MTV Video Music Awards. His success has also translated into big money.
Nelly net worth is estimated to be around $8 million. He has made most of his fortune from album sales, touring, endorsements, real estate investments, and other business ventures.
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Cornell Iral Haynes Jr. was welcomed into the world on November 2, 1974, in Austin, Texas. His dad Cornell Haynes Sr. served in the military and his parents divorced when he was only seven years old. He then moved with his mother Rhonda Mack to St. Louis, Missouri.
It is there he eventually met his future music partners in the Midwest hip-hop group St. Lunatics hip-hop collective with members Murphy Lee, Ali, Slo’Down, and Kyjuan. In 1997 their single “Gimme What Ya Got” was released and quickly gained local attention, prompting Nelly to pursue solo success as a rapper and singer.
In 1999 Nelly made a groundbreaking agreement with Universal Music Group. He received a $1 million advance, allowing him to record an album and receive royalties from the sales.
In 2000, Nelly released the single “Country Grammar (Hot Sh**)”. The track was an instant hit and topped the Billboard charts for seven weeks. It quickly gained massive amounts of airplay on radio stations across the country and eventually sold over 8 million copies in the U.S., earning him a Grammy nomination.
The success of “Country Grammar” led to Nelly’s debut album and best-selling album Country Grammar which was released in 2001. The album also produced two hit massive hits, “Ride wit Me” and “E.I.”, both of which reached the Billboard Top 10. His follow-up album, Nellyville (2002), also produced several hit singles and earned him two Grammys.
Nelly continued to dominate the charts in the early 2000s with his subsequent albums, his third studio album Sweat (2004), his fourth studio album Suit (2004), his fifth studio album Brass Knuckles (2008), and his sixth studio album 5.0 (2010) he had the lead single “Just a Dream”. He also collaborated with various artists including Justin Timberlake, Kelly Rowland, and Ciara. He also appeared in several films and television shows.
In 2013, Nelly released his seventh studio album M.O. The record featured the hit singles “Hey Porsche” and “Get Like Me.” In 2017 he dropped part two of M.O., which included collaborations with TLC, Florida Georgia Line, and Jeremih.
His most recent album is the 2021’s “Heartland” which included the hit single “Lil Bit” which did not do as well as his previous albums. However, it still managed to reach number forty-five on the Billboard 200 chart.
Nelly has won several Grammy Awards for his music, including Best Male Rap Artist and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. He has also been nominated for several MTV Video Music Awards and an Academy Award for his song “Grillz”.
Additionally, he was featured in a supporting role in the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard starring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock.
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In addition to his music career, Nelly has also dabbled in business. In 2006 he founded the Apple Bottoms fashion line which has since expanded into a full lifestyle brand. He also has another clothing line with his Lunatics group partners called Vokal. He also owns Pimp Juice energy drink which sold millions of cans in its first quarter of operation.
Nelly is also into fitness and it is evident in the release of his fit-friendly workout program Celebrity Sweat.
He also runs Ex’treme Institute By Nelly in collaboration with Vatterott College The school provides music production, audio engineering, and business skills to aspiring performers.
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Nelly is also into real estate and has made several investments in properties around the country. In 2006, he paid $1 million for a condo in Hidden Valley Country Club in Eureka St. Louis, Missouri. He also owns a 5-bedroom home in suburban Atlanta which he bought for $1.5 million in 2010.
In 2018, Nelly purchased a 4,000-square-foot mansion in the affluent town of Wildwood, Missouri. The home is located on five acres of land and features six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, four fireplaces, a pool area with an outdoor kitchen, and a hot tub. The home became a crumbling mess and he sold it at a loss in 2022 at close to $600,000.
Legal And Financial Trouble
In 2015, Nelly was arrested on felony drug and weapons charges after a police search of his tour bus. The charges were eventually dropped but it still had an impact on his career financially as sponsorships were canceled or suspended due to the incident.
In 2017, he was sued by two women who claimed they were sexually assaulted by him. Nelly denied the charges and countersued both women. The cases were eventually settled out of court in 2018.
In 2019, it was discovered that Nelly owed the IRS more than $2 million in unpaid taxes. To make matters worse, he had to declare bankruptcy later that year due to owing creditors over $4 million dollars.
Nelly was able to pay off his debts and reinstate his financial standing by 2020. He is now focused on continuing to make music, expanding his business empire, and growing as a person.
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Nelly is the father of two children: Chanelle Haynes, and Cornell Haynes III from previous relationships. In 2005, following his half-sister Jacqueline “Jackie” Donahue’s passing at the age of 31 after a fight with leukemia, Nelly humbly undertook the role of guardian to her two children: Shawn Thomas Jr. and Sidney Thomas.
Nelly has been dating Shantel Jackson since 2014.
When he’s not in the studio, Nelly enjoys golfing, fishing, boxing, and playing basketball. He also takes time to give back to his community; for instance, he was heavily involved in relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina. He also donates to many charities and is on the board of directors for a non-profit organization that assists mothers in need.
Nelly has had an extremely successful career in both the music and business industries. Despite some rough patches over the years, he has managed to stay focused and come out on top. He continues to inspire people with his music and his commitment to giving back.
Currently, Nelly’s net worth is estimated at around $8 million dollars.
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