Last Updated: December 5, 2023
Richest CelebritiesRappers
Net Worth:
$70 Million
Nov 2, 1974 (49 years old)
5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Actor, Entrepreneur, Record producer, Singer-songwriter, Rapper, Investor, Music artist, Composer, Singer
United States of America
💰 Compare Nelly's Net Worth

What is Nelly's net worth?

Nelly is an American rapper, actor, and entrepreneur who has a net worth of $70 million. Nelly burst onto the scene with the album "Country Grammar" in 2000 which eventually sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and is his best-selling album to date. That album was a smash-hit thanks to singles like "Country Grammar (Hot Shit)", "E.I.", "Batter Up" and "Ride Wit Me".

His sophomore album, "Nellyville" (2002), cemented his status as a hip-hop superstar. It included the number one hits "Hot in Herre" and "Dilemma" featuring Kelly Rowland, which won a Grammy Award in 2003. As of this writing, Nelly has released 8 studio albums, selling over 21 million records in the United States and 40 million records globally, making him one of the best-selling rap artists.

Nelly has embarked on several other ventures outside of music, including acting roles in films like "The Longest Yard" (2005) and "Reach Me" (2014). He is the founder of the alcohol brand MoShine. He also founded a non-profit organization, Jes Us 4 Jackie, to raise awareness about the need for bone marrow donors in the African American community.

Catalog Sale

In July 2023 Nelly sold a 50% ownership stake in his music catalog to a company called HarbourView Equity Partners for $50 million. The deal valued his catalog as a whole at $100 million.

Tax Problems

In August 2016 Nelly with a federal tax lien that claimed he owned $2,412,283 in back taxes and penalties to the IRS. He also owed around $150,000 in state taxes. The debt was large enough that the government had the option to seize assets. The debts were ultimately resolved,

(Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

Early Life

Nelly was born Cornell Iral Haynes Jr, on November 2, 1974, in Austin, Texas. When Nelly was born, his dad was in the Air Force. His parents divorced when he was seven and he moved to St. Louis, Missouri. When Nelly was a teenager, he formed his first band, the St. Lunatics with friends Ali, Murphy Lee, Kyjuan, and Slo'Down and his half brother City Spud. The teens had local success in 1997 with the single "Gimme What Ya Got." Nelly decided it was time to launch his solo career after the St. Lunatics didn't score a record deal.


In 1999, Nelly signed a record contract with Universal Music. The following year, he released his debut album "Country Grammar." This album remains Nelly's best-selling album to date. Singles released in support of the album including "Ride Wit Me" and "Country Grammar," both of which were Top 10 hits. His second album, "Nellyville," was released in June 2002. This album included the number one hits "Dilemma" and "Hot in Here." Nelly released the album "Sweat and Suit" in 2004 and Sweatsuit in 2005. Nelly's fifth studio album, "Brass Knuckles," was released in September 2008.  In 2010, Nelly released the album "5.0." He followed that up with 2013's "M.O." and 2021's "Heartland." "Heartland" is a country-influenced album in which he teamed up with Florida Georgia Line to release the single "Lil Bit." Nelly also collaborated with country artists Kane Brown and Brett Kissel on remixes of their songs, "Cool Again" and "She Drives Me Crazy," respectively.

Nelly won Grammy Awards in 2003 and 2004 and had a supporting role in the 2005 remake film "The Longest Yard" with Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. In 2008-2009, Nelly appeared in four episodes of "CSI: NY." From 2013 to 2016, Nelly appeared in 39 episodes of the reality television parody show "Real Husbands of Hollywood" on BET.

Nelly released "Celebrity Sweat" a fitness DVD, in the fall of 2010.

Nelly was scheduled to perform his debut album Country Grammar in full at the 2020 Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee, but the festival was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He has two clothing lines, Vokal and Apple Bottoms.

In July 2020, Nelly joined Brad Paisley and other performers to put on a Covid-19 friendly drive-in concert at the Hollywood Park Amphitheater in his hometown of St. Louis. People with concert tickets drive into the parking lot of the amphitheaters with a maximum of four people per car and spacing between other cars for safe designated individual tailgating zones.

In 2021, Nelly collaborated with Burger King to promote the fast food chain's "Keep It Real Meals" with the "Cornell Haynes, Jr. Meal." This was in recognition of the company's move to cut out 120 artificial ingredients from its menu items. His meal included a Whopper, small fries, and small Sprite.

Nelly Net Worth

Greg Doherty/Getty Images

In April 2015, Nelly's tour bus was pulled over by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. One of the officers said he smelled marijuana onboard the bus. The bus was searched and the officers found marijuana, drug paraphernalia, several handguns, and what they believed to be meth. Nelly was arrested and booked into the county jail. He was released on bail. He was charged with felony drug possession and other minor charges. The felony charge was dropped after it was determined that the substance officers found on Nelly's tour bus was not meth. Nelly pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in December 2015.

The IRS placed a $2.4 million tax lien against Nelly for unpaid taxes in 2016.

Nelly was arrested in Washington, near Seattle, in the fall of 2017 on suspicion of rape after a woman reported that he invited her onto his tour bus earlier that day and raped her. Nelly was arrested and booked into jail. He was released from custody and the charges were dropped.


Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

Personal Life

Nelly started dating actress, model, and Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s ex Shantel Jackson in 2014. In 2021, it was revealed that the couple ended their relationship on mutual terms. Rumors of a rekindled romance between Nelly and Long Island R&B singer Ashanti, whom he dated before Jackson, emerged in February of 2023 when the couple was seen together wearing the same Cuban link chain. In November 2023 Ashanti and Nelly revealed they were expecting a baby together.


Nelly is also a philanthropist who runs the nonprofit 4Sho4Kids Foundation. In March 2003, he started a campaign to educate African Americans and other minorities about the need for bone marrow transplants. He also tried to get more people to register as bone marrow donors after his sister Jackie was diagnosed with leukemia. His sister died in March 2005.

Since 2006, Nelly has hosted St. Louis' White and Black Ball to raise money for scholarships. These scholarships have enabled Nelly to send to kids to college every year since.

Nelly established a scholarship named after Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014.

In 2010, Nelly filmed a public service announcement for the Tackle Hunger campaign sponsored by the nonprofit Do Something. In the PSA, Nelly challenged teens to fight hunger by collecting one million pounds of food for the holiday season for needy families.

In 2011, Nelly and Vatterott College worked together to found the Ex'treme Institute By Nelly, which is a music production school in the heart of St. Louis.

Real Estate

In 2002 Nelly paid $1.925 million for a partially-completed 11,000 square-foot palatial mansion in a gated community near the Hidden Valley Country Club in the St. Louis suburb of Eureka, Missouri. The 12-acre property features a large sports court, basketball court, pool, hot tub and more. Nelly struggled to sell this home for a number of years. He finally accepted a steep loss when he sold the home in October 2021 for $599,000. Here's a video of the home as it looked in mid-2021 when it was abandoned and somewhat falling apart:

In 2002 he also purchased a 2,679 square foot ranch style lake house that was featured on MTV Cribs in 2002. He sold this home in June 2010 for $740,158. Here's the "Cribs" episode:

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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