Nelly – Net worth, Money and More

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Net worth – $ 60 million

The American rapper. The singer. The songwriter. The entrepreneur. Nelly began his career as a solo rapper in 2000 with his album Country Grammar selling over 8.4 million copies in the United States, and is one of his best-selling albums till date. He is ranked 17 among the richest 20 rappers of the world. Also, Billboard’s chart ranked him the Third top Artist in December, 2009. The 39 year old Artist’s business interests are not limited to music only. He is also an occasional actor and an investor. He has been titled by Shapiro as “one of the biggest stars of the new millennium”.



Nelly’s real name is Cornell Iral Haynes, Junior. He was born in Austin, Texas where his father served in military.  His parents divorced, when he was seven. He moved with his mother to University City, Missouri. As a teenager his interests moved from baseball to rap. At high school, Nelly formed a musical group St. Lunatics with his high school friends, which became locally much popular but it failed to grab attention of record companies. The St. Lunatics self-produced single “Gimme What You Got” became an overnight sensation locally. But, after failure to bag any major deal, Nelly and St. Lunatics decided to make Nelly go solo. He was signed by universal music group, as he was from Midwest. They branded him as the star of the Midwest, hoping to incorporate pride in people of Midwest.

The Established Rapper


Kevin Law and Country from Fo’Reel Entertainment decided to do a solo record with Nelly and thus his first solo album Country Grammar was released in 2000. This album debuted as number Three in Billboard top 200. In 2002, Nelly’s second album was released which became highly successful and was awarded at Grammy’s as “the best male solo rap” in 2003. Nelly’s another single “shake ya tail feather” brought him another Grammy in 2004. Nelly released two albums Sweat and Suit in September 2004, these were ranked first and second respectively on Billboard’s list. Nelly also performed for Tsunami Aid: A Concert for Hope to help the Tsunami affected areas.

Shapiro has described Nelly rapping style as the one using “unforgettable hooks based on schoolyard songs, double-dutch chants, and nonsense rhymes”. Nelly’s describes his style of rap as a Jazz form of hip hop.


The American rapper has done seven studio albums, two compilation albums, two extended plays and more than 40 singles and 50 music videos. The most famous in Nelly’s career are:

·         Country Grammar (2000), which made the rapper an overnight sensation.

·         Free City (2001) with St. Lunatics.

·         Nelly Ville (2002) which made to number 1 at Billboard’s top 200.

·         Sweat (2004)

·         Suit (2004)

·         Who’s the Boss (2006) with St. Lunatics

·         Brass Knuckles (2008) which reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

·         5.0 (2010) featuring the hits “Just a Dream” (No. 3), “Move That Body” and “Gone”

·         M.O. (2013)


nelly-in middle

For his music skill, Nelly got numerous awards- the first award being of “Best new artist” at BET awards of 2001. The following year he also got awards titled “The Favorite Male Artist” and “The Favorite Rap/Hip-hop Artist”. He has won two Grammy and has also been nominated for many awards under different banners.



·         Nelly signed a one year deal with Nike for a limited-edition sneaker in 2003.

·         Nelly also advertised for Reebok, Got Milk and Ford Motor Company.

·         His energy drink Pimp Juice sold 1 million cans but it was highly criticized for its name by Black Consumer activists.

·         Nelly owns Apple Bottoms a female clothing venture, and also Vokal which is exclusively for men.

·         He also released a fitness DVD entitled Celebrity Sweat which contains various exercises and weight training techniques.

·         Nelly also appeared in the Main Event at 2007 World Series of Poker.

·         Nelly runs the non-profit organization 4Sho4Kids Foundation which raises funds for needy children.

·         Nelly has authored a book titled “How To Rap”  in which he described how he first writes lyrics in freestyle mode and then makes them a little tighter



Nelly debuted as an actor in 2001 film “Snipes” in which he played role of famous rapper, Prolific. He also acted in a 2005 remake of “The Longest Yard”. During an interview in 2008, nelly said that he did not want to carry his acting career further, saying that he does not want to “take away from the culture of acting”. Later he appeared in CBS crime drama CSI: NY and a 2013 film Reach Me. He also appeared in a reality television show “The Next: Fame Is at Your Doorstep”.


Nelly has fathered one daughter born in 1994 and one son born in 1999. He was also suspected of being in relationship with the star friend Ashanti ,in 2013 –although none of them confirmed their relationship.


Nelly, is extremely wealthy, he  just doesn’t flaunt his wealth. Nelly has various holdings, including a small stake in NASCAR and he purchased an expensive home for the mother of his two kids with cash. Nelly owns Apple Bottoms, a female clothing line, and Vokal, which caters to men. He was one of the owners of the Charlotte Bobcats, along with Robert L. Johnson and Michael Jordan until Jordan became the new owner in March 2010. In 2011, Nelly made headlines when his former manager told media that Nelly has lost much of his fortune in gambling. However, Nelly insisted that all these stories are wrong.


Nelly and his sister Jackie Donahue started Jess Us 4 Jackie campaign in 2003 when his sister was diagnosed with leukaemia. The campaign was started to educate African Americans and other minorities about the bone marrow transplants and for the need of donors. In 2010, Nelly endorsed Do Something’s Hunger fighting campaign.

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