American rapper and actor Nelly has built a net worth of $60 million. He started his career while still in high school and quickly gained popularity. At just 44 years old, Nelly is an entrepreneur with his own clothing brand, a celebrity product endorser, and a philanthropist. Here’s how Nelly achieved a net worth of $60 million.
Who is Nelly
Cornell Iral Haynes Jr. was born in Austin, Texas on November 2, 1974. His dad was in the military so his family moved around a lot while he was young. When he was just 7 years old, his parents divorced and he moved to a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri with his mom. While still in high school, Cornell (known by his nickname Nelly) joined his step brother and four friends to start a rap band, St. Lunatics. The group was popular locally during the late 1990’s with songs including “Gimme What Ya Got”. Nelly started a solo career in 1999 when he was signed with Universal Music Group.
His career as a rapper
Despite being a little known rapper from the Midwest, Nelly’s first single, 2000’s “Country Grammar” was a hit. The song was on Billboard’s Top 10 list. Nelly’s first album reached number 3 on Billboard’s Top 200 and was certified multi platinum in 2003. The single “Hot in Herre” won Best Male Rap Vocal Performance the same year. The song helped Nelly gain mainstream success. He began recording with other artists including Diddy and even country music star Tim McGraw. Nelly has released seven studio albums, recorded for several movie soundtracks and recorded with several artists.
His career as an actor
Nelly began an acting career in 2001 playing a rapper in “Snipes”, an independent film. He joined Adam Sandler and Chris Rock in the 2005 remake of “The Longest Yard”, and he’s featured on the film’s soundtrack. Nelly has made several cameos on TV shows and starred in an episode of CBS’ “CSI: NY”. Nelly has starred in several realty shows about his life including “The Next: Fame is at Your Doorstep”, the spoof “Real Husbands of Hollywood”, “Nellyville”, and currently stars in “The Platinum Life”.
As his success grew during the first part of the 2000’s, Nelly began to sign deals and start ventures. He released a sneaker called the “Air Derrty”. This was a limited edition remake of Charles Barkley’s famous sneaker. The rap star also signed a deal with Reebok. Nelly would later sell Pimp Juice, an energy drink. He also owns “Mike and Ikes” candy. He also endorsed Cheetos, VapoRub, Ford Motor Company and the “Got Milk” advertisement campaign. Nelly started two clothing lines, “Apple Bottoms” for women and “Vokal” for men. Nelly joined a partnership with Michael Jordan and Robert L. Johnson to purchase the Charlotte Bobcats. Nelly played in the 2007 World Series of Poker. He temporarily worked for a St. Louis radio station. He has a fitness DVD, “Celebrity Sweat” and founded a music production school in St. Louis.
In addition to his many acting, rapping and entrepreneurial roles, Nelly gives back to the community and has contributed to several philanthropic causes. He runs 4Sho4Kids Foundation, a non-profit organization. When Nelly’s sister, Jackie Donahue, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2003,she and Nelly started The Jes Us 4 Jackie organization to help register donors and help minorities understand the bone marrow transplant need. Sadly, Nelly’s sister died in March 2005. Nelly helps raise money for scholarships by hosting St. Louis’ “White and Black Ball” beginning in 2006. The scholarship fund is named for Michael Brown who was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri. Every year the scholarship sends two students to college. Nelly also started the Do Something to Tackle Hunger campaign which encourages people to collect one million pounds of food to donate during the holiday season.
What’s Nelly up to now?
In addition to his entrepreneurial and philanthropic ventures, Nelly continues touring as a rapper and acting in reality television. He has recently had some trouble with the law including a tax lien and a rape charge which is still being investigated. Nelly has four children and is currently in a relationship with Shantel Jackson. He owns three Ford Mustangs and lives in a million dollar home in Eureka, Missouri home near St. Louis.