Today in Hip Hop History: November 2, 1974
Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., aka Nelly, was born in Austin, Texas in 1974. Nelly is a rapper, singer, producer, entrepreneur, actor and much more. The Grammy Award winning songwriter began his musical career in 1993 with the Midwest hip hop group St. Lunatics.
He garnered enough attention to ink a record deal with Universal Records in 1999 and debuted his solo career in 2000 with Country Grammar. The album has sold over 8 million copies in the United States and peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 Albums Chart.
In 2002 Nelly released his sophomore effort Nellyville to debut on the Billboards Chart, including several hits. The album sparked Nelly’s first Grammy Award in 2003 for his single “Hot in Herre.” Since then, Nelly has released 5 albums to commercial success and critical acclaim.
In addition to his indubitably successful music career, Nelly has also acted in 4 films and several television shows. He has his own limited edition Nike sneaker, “Air Derrty,”which came out in 2003. He owned part of the Charlotte Bobcats, created Pimp Juice Energy Drink and even participated in the 2007 World Series of Poker. He has also participated in several philanthropic endeavors, including his 4Sho4Kids Foundation and Jes Us 4 Jackie Campaign.
Nelly has used his platform as an artist to pursue several outside activities in his life. Regardless, he pioneered a “Midwest Twang” sound in his music that came at a time of prevalent West/East Coast hip hop music. He has been referred to as “one of the biggest stars of the new millennium.” The RIAA ranks Nelly as the 4th best-selling hip hop artists of of all time with over 21 million albums sold. From True Too to Nelly, Happy Birthday!