One of the few Midwest rappers, Nelly's countrified style put home town St. Louis on the map as he achieved huge international fame. Forming the collective St. Lunatics in 1993, regional hits 'Gimme What U Got' and 'Thug Love for the Homiez' failed to gain the national attention that he craved, so he decided to go solo in 1999. Wearing a sticky plaster on his face as a tribute to his jailed brother, a mix of bad boy, gangsta swagger and smooth pop melodies sent his first two albums 'Country Grammar' (2000) and 'Nellyville' (2002) sailing to number one in the US. As chart-topping singles 'Hot in Herre', 'Dilemma' featuring Kelly Rowland and 'Shake Ya Tailfeather' rained in, Nelly quickly became a savvy entrepreneur, releasing his own clothing lines, energy drink and trainers while buying a stake in the NBA basketball team Charlotte Bobcats. Dabbling with acting in 'CSI: NY' and Hollywood movie 'The Longest Yard' (2005), his fourth album 'Suit' (2004) provided the UK number one singles 'My Place' and 'Over and Over'. His fifth studio album, 'Brass Knuckles', was released in 2008. This was followed by '5.0' in 2010, the mixtape 'O.E.MO' in 2011 and 'M.O.' in 2013. He starred in his own reality TV series in 2014, 'Nellyville', which documented his life and career from behind the scenes.

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