Nelly – American rapper and actor
Nelly’s real name is Cornell Iral Haynes Jr. He was born on November 2, 1974, in Texas. Cornell’s father served in the military and divorced his mother when the boy was just seven years old. Together with his mom, Haynes had to move to Missouri. While in school, the young man showed impressive artistic talent and even formed his own hip-hop band. The group’s best work was "Gimme What Ya Got". However, the success never came, and Cornell started thinking about a solo career. It took him a while to find a label. In the late 1990’s, Haynes signed a contract with Fo'Reel Entertainment.
In 2000, Nelly released his first studio LP, Country Grammar. The popularity came to the album from the songs, "E.I.", "Ride wit Me", and "Batter Up". The LP climbed to the third spot of Billboard 200, which was a big success for a young singer. The lead single "Country Grammar (Hot Shit)" made it to the 7th spot of Billboard Hot 100 and topped Hot Rap Tracks. The LP sold 10 million copies in the USA.
In 2002, the rapper released his second album, Nellyville, which reached the top spot of Billboard 200. Critics gave positive reviews to such songs as "Hot in Herre", "Dilemma", "Work It", "Air Force Ones", and "Pimp Juice". After the music videos for several songs appeared, some listeners accused the singer of being hateful toward women. While the critics were changing their preferences, the artist earned his first Grammy Award for the single “Hot in Herre”. After that, many organizers tried to book Nelly for their events, but not many managed to get lucky.