Nelly's first music venture was in his hometown of St. Louis with a group named St. Lunatics. While they managed to create a local hit, they never were able to land a record deal and decided to pursue solo acts. It wasn't long before Nelly signed a deal with Universal Records. His debut album, "Country Grammar" was released in 2000 and began his rise to stardom.
"Country Grammar" quickly shot to #1 on the charts, and has since been certified a whopping 9x platinum! It included the hit singles "E.I.," "Ride wit Me" and "Batter Up." In 2002, he released his follow-up, "Nellyville," which debuted at #1 and sold 714,000 copies in just the first week. His first single, "Hot in Herre," went to #1 as well, and was soon followed with several more singles. The success continued with the next two albums, "Sweat" and "Suit," in which Nelly collaborated with a variety of artists, including Tim McGraw and Christina Aguilera.
Nelly isn't just a musician -- he's a businessman as well. In addition to running his own record label, he owns the Apple Bottom clothing line and co-owns the Charlotte Bobcats NBA expansion team. He also founded two non-profit organizations, 4Sho4Kids and Jes Us 4 Jackie.