Rapper/Actor/Entrepreneur Nelly (Cornell Haynes, Jr.) came out of nowhere in 2000 with Country Grammar, which reached the top of the Billboard albums chart, sold over 9 million copies in the U.S., and put St. Louis hip hop on the map. Nelly's sing-songy style of rap has dominated the early 21st century and inspired a new generation of artists. With hits such as "Hot In Herre" and "Dilemma" featuring Kelly Rowland, the Grammy-winning superstar—and his St. Lunatics crew—brought a unique sound to hip hop. Nelly went on to appear in the 2005 film The Longest Yard along with Chris Rock and Adam Sandler. The owner of the popular Apple Bottoms clothing line, Nelly also has a sneaker deal with Reebok and a nonprofit foundation, 4Sho4Kids.

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