Cornell Haynes Jr. (born November 2, 1974), better known by his stage name Nelly, is an American rapper, singer and actor. He has performed with the rap group St. Lunatics since 1996 and was signed to Universal Records in 2000. Under Universal, Nelly has four solo studio albums released in his name and several number-one hits. Highly successful, Nelly has sold over 20 million records in the United States. He also won Grammy Awards in 2003 and 2004. He also starred in the 2005 remake film The Longest Yard alongside Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. In addition, Nelly played in the Main Event at the 2007 World Series of Poker. He is also one of the owners of the Charlotte Bobcats, along with Robert L. Johnson and NBA legend Michael Jordan.
After moving to suburban University City, Nelly formed the group St. Lunatics with his friends in the surrounding area. The group had a local hit in 1996 with the self-produced single "Gimme What You Got". After much frustration and failed attempts to be signed to a record deal, the members of St. Lunatics felt that Nelly would have a better shot at success as a solo act, to gain recognition first as a soloist and then bring in the rest of his group, the St. Lunatics in the time to come.