American rapper and singer. He grew up in St. Louis and embarked on his musical career with the Southern hip hop group St. Lunatics in 1993. He signed to Universal Records in 1999. Nelly began his solo career in 2000, with his commercial debut album Country Grammar, of which the featured title track and the single "Ride wit Me" were top 10 hits. The album peaked at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, 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", along with the top-five single "Air Force Ones".