Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., better known by his stage name Nelly, is an American rapper, singer, and entrepreneur. He embarked on his music career with Midwest hip hop group St. Lunatics in 1993 and signed to Universal Records in 1999. Under Universal, Nelly began his solo career in the year 2000, with his debut album Country Grammar, of which the featured title track and the single "Ride wit Me" were top ten hits. The album peaked at number one the Billboard 200, and became Nelly's best-selling album to date, selling over 8.4 million copies in the United States.
His following album, Nellyville, produced the number-one hits "Hot in Herre" and "Dilemma" (featuring Kelly Rowland), along with the top five single "Air Force Ones" (featuring Murphy Lee and St. Lunatics).