Nelly is one of America’s most popular rappers. He has won multiple Grammys, acted in TV shows and movies, and invested in businesses. Thanks to these income streams, Nelly’s net worth is in the millions. Let’s talk about Nelly’s net worth and how he earned it.

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What is Nelly’s Net Worth?

Nelly’s net worth is an estimated $8 million. He made most of his wealth through his career as a rapper, actor, and entrepreneur.

Nelly’s Net Worth$8 million
Date of BirthNovember 2, 1974
Age48 Years
Gender Male
Height1.73m (5’ 8’’)
Place of BirthAustin, Texas, United States
ProfessionRapper, Actor, Entrepreneur

Nelly’s life was a little more complicated than most millionaires.

The rapper has never been married but has two children with Chanetta Valentine.

The lack of a family wasn’t Nelly’s only challenge. Nelly has been arrested multiple times on charges of sexual assault and illegal drug possession.

Nelly’s parents divorced when he was seven, and he often got into trouble at school.

But how did he rise above these challenges and become a millionaire?

Let’s trace Nelly’s journey from childhood to becoming a top American rapper.

Who is Nelly?

Nelly, Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., was born in Austin, Texas, on November 2, 1974 to Cornell Haynes and Rhonda Mack.

Nelly’s father served in the Air Force when Nelly was a child. By the time he turned seven, Nelly’s parents were divorced.

Rhonda and Nelly moved from St. Louis to University City.

During high school, Nelly and his friends Ali, Kyjuan, Murphy Lee, Slo Down, and City Spud (Nelly’s half-brother) formed St. Lunatics, a music group.

The group had a few local successes, including the group’s 1997 single “Gimme What Ya Got.” But Nelly decided to go solo after the group couldn’t get a record deal.

Nelly started his solo music career in 1999 with a record contract with Universal Music.

We dive deeper into Nelly’s rapping career in the next section.

What are the Sources of Nelly’s Income?

Nelly has multiple sources of income, as explained below.

Music Sales

Nelly’s rapping career is his primary source of income.

Nelly signed his first major contract in 1999 with Universal Music. In 2000, Nelly released Country Grammar, his debut, and second-best-selling album.

Over ten million units of Country Grammar were sold by 2016, and it became the eighth hip-hop album in history to achieve a diamond certification. The album’s supporting singles “Ride Wit Me” and “Country Grammar” were among the Top 10 hits.

Nelly’s second album Nellyville released in June 2002. The album’s most popular songs were “Dilemma” and “Hot in Here.” About 11,000,000 units of the album have been sold so far.

On November 25, 2003, Nelly released Da Derrty Versions: The Reinvention, a remix album with sales of over 1,173,294 units.

Over the next few years, Nelly continued releasing albums like Sweat (about 1,242,500 units sold), Suit (about 3,406,388 units sold), Sweatsuit (about 662,595 units sold), and Brass Knuckles (about 500,000 units sold).

Nelly won Grammy Awards in 2003 and 2004. Here are some of his most hit songs:


Nelly has endorsed various brands throughout his career. For example, Nelly has teamed up with Billy Ballew Motorsports, Pimp Juice, Ford Motor Company, Got Milk, and Reebok in the past.

Thanks to Nelly’s recent surge in popularity after appearing on Dancing with the Stars, he has earned sponsorship and endorsement deals with Doritos and Burger King.

The rapper also endorsed Do Something’s “Tackle for Hunger” campaign, but of course, it was for a noble cause. Not for profit.

Film and Television

Nelly’s first film appearance was as Earl Megget in The Longest Yard in 2005, playing alongside Adam Sandler and Chris Rock.

The movie was a box office hit — and this was the same year he released his album Brass Knuckles, earning him a ton of attention that year.

Later, he made multiple cameo appearances in TV shows like T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle and 90210.

During 2008 and 2009, Nelly appeared in four episodes of CSI: NY and 39 episodes of Real Husbands of Hollywood between 2013 and 2016.

In 2012, Nelly played himself on the reality TV show The Next: Fame is at Your Doorstep.

Nelly also appeared in Dance with the Stars in 2020.

Business Ventures

While Nelly was at the peak of his music career, he was smart enough to diversify his investments by investing in various business ventures.

For example, Nelly founded Apple Bottoms Jeans, a female clothing brand, in 2010.

While the brand hasn’t been active for a while, Nelly shared in an Instagram post that he plans to revive the brand soon.

In 2003, Nelly launched an energy drink called Pimp Juice. Nelly also owned part of the Charlotte Bobcats until Michael Jordan bought the team.

Personal Appearances

Nelly also makes money through personal appearances. You can book Nelly for a private show or corporate event, for which he charges thousands. He’s also currently touring the U.S., according to Songkick.

Charity Work

Nelly has used his frequently donated money to bring positive change in society.

Nelly has created a non-profit called 4Sho4Kids that aims to help children born with developmental disabilities, Down syndrome, and drug addiction.

Nelly also donates outside 4Sho4Kids. For example, he created a scholarship in Michael Brown’s name after the shooting.

Most recently, Nelly partnered with The Teen Project, a non-profit that helps victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) and saves young women from homelessness or incarceration.

The rapper raised $50,000 for the charity using the attention he receives as part of Dancing with the Stars.


How much is Nelly’s Net Worth?

Nelly’s net worth is an estimated $8 million.

How did Nelly achieve his success in the rap industry?

In addition to being a great rapper, Nelly was brave enough to experiment. He tried to play around with unusual time signatures and mixed styles from genres like hip-hop, pop, and country. His music skills and commitment to creating top-notch music are the primary reasons for his success in the rap industry.

What was the name of Nelly's debut album?

Country Grammar was Nelly’s debut album.

What was the name of the hip-hop group Nelly was in?

Nelly’s hip-hop group’s name was St. Lunatics.

What have been some of the legal issues Nelly has encountered?

Nelly has been a frequent visitor to prison.

He was first arrested in 2015 for possessing illegal drugs. In April 2015, the Tennessee Highway Patrol pulled over Nelly’s tour bus. Upon searching the bus, they found marijuana and what they believed to be methamphetamine. He was released on bail.

In 2016, Nelly caught the IRS' attention. Nelly received a tax lien from the IRS for $2,412,283 in unpaid taxes.

In October 2017, Nelly was arrested on charges of second-degree rape of Monique Greene, a 22-year college student.


Nelly didn’t inherit a lot of wealth or have a fancy degree. All he had was an undying determination to become America’s top rapper. He started from scratch and climbed up the ladder one step at a time — today, he’s one of the most successful rappers with millions in his bank.

If you want to become a successful rapper, we can’t really help you much - though we’ll cheer you on! 

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