Nelly

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Nelly : biography

November 2, 1974 –

Nelly has played the Main Event at the 2007 World Series of Poker. He has also played The PokerStars European Poker Tour and PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. In August, 2010, Nelly started a temporary stint as the afternoon host on WHHL HOT 104.1 in St. Louis. He is taking the place of regular PM drive personality, Stacy Static, who is on pregnancy leave.

According to STLtoday, the initial ratings for the show are very high. This gig garnered national attention in the Huffington Post and other websites. On September 28, 2010, Nelly is releasing a fitness DVD entitled Celebrity Sweat, walking viewers through various exercises and weight training techniques.

Life and career

1974–00: Early life and career beginnings

Nelly was born in Austin, Texas, where his father was serving in the military. When he was seven, his parents divorced. Nelly moved with his mother from inner city St. Louis to suburban University City, Missouri as a teenager. While still in high school, Nelly formed the St. Lunatics, who enjoyed local popularity with their single "Gimme What Ya Got". When a major record deal failed to appear, Nelly decided to go solo. He was signed to Universal Music Group by A&R Kevin Law. Law told HitQuarters that very few people at the record company liked Nelly when he was first signed, with the feedback he received from his colleagues on the rapper’s music being "extraordinarily negative". Nelly was unusual for being a rapper from the Midwest at a time when the hip-hop scenes were centered around the East Coast, West Coast and the South. The label used this to their advantage by branding Nelly as a star of the Midwest, hoping to inspire pride in the people of St Louis and the surrounding region. Nelly was signed together with St. Lunatics. Kevin Law and Country from Fo’Reel Entertainment decided to do a solo record with Nelly first and then return to St. Lunatics the following year.

2000–03: Breakthrough with Country Grammar and Nellyville

The label released his major label debut Country Grammar in 2000. The success of its title track as a single (#7 on the Hot 100 and #1 Hot Rap Tracks) led to the album debuting at number three in the Billboard 200 in the U.S. Other singles from the album included "E.I."; "Ride wit Me", featuring his brother City Spud; and "Batter Up", featuring the St. Lunatics. The album was certified 9× platinum by the RIAA on April 27, 2004.

In 2002, Nelly’s second album Nellyville was released, debuting at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200 Music Albums; its lead single "Hot in Herre" was a number-one hit. Other singles included "Dilemma" featuring Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child, "Work It" featuring Justin Timberlake, "Air Force Ones" featuring Murphy Lee and the St. Lunatics, "Pimp Juice", and "#1". This album was highly successful and was certified 6x multi-platinum on June 27, 2003. "Hot in Herre" won the Grammy Award for Best Male Rap Solo Performance in 2003. In 2003 Nelly released Da Derrty Versions: The Reinvention. It featured the hit single "Iz U" from the soundtrack to Walt Disney’s The Haunted Mansion. The music video of a Tip Drill Remix became a source of controversy due to perceptions of misogynistic depictions of women. The controversy forced Nelly to cancel an appearance at a bone marrow drive at Spelman College, an historically black college in Atlanta, Georgia. Similar claims of misogyny also surrounded Nelly’s single "Pimp Juice". RIAA have certified the album Platinum. For the Bad Boys II soundtrack album, Nelly contributed the single "Shake Ya Tailfeather" featuring Diddy and Murphy Lee. Another number-one hit, "Shake Ya Tailfeather" won the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.

2004–08: Continued success, Sweat, Suit and Brass Knuckles

Nelly and [[Allen Iverson in 2007]] On September 14, 2004, Nelly released two albums, Sweat and Suit. Suit, an R&B-oriented album, debuted at number one on the Billboard albums chart, and Sweat, a rap-oriented album, debuted at number two. From Suit, the slow ballad "Over and Over", an unlikely duet with country music star Tim McGraw, became a crossover hit. On the 2004 NBC television concert special Tim McGraw: Here and Now, McGraw and Nelly performed the song. A feud with another St. Louis-based rapper, Chingy, came up near the end of the year. Tsunami Aid: A Concert for Hope, a 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake benefit concert special produced by NBC, featured Nelly. In the winter of 2005 came Sweatsuit, a compilation of tracks from Sweat and Suit with three new tracks. "Grillz", produced by Jermaine Dupri, was a number-one hit. To date both albums have sold over 5 million units in the United States.