What Is Nelly’s Net Worth and How Does The Rapper Make Money?

American rapper, Nelly, may not be one of the biggest names in the music industry anymore but back in the 2000s, he basically ruled the game. Thanks to his “singy-songy” brand of rap which also included elements of pop, Nelly dominated the charts with monster hits such as Hot in Herre, Work It, Pimp Juice, and Dilemma. He also picked up numerous accolades, including two Grammy awards; sold millions of records; and performed at two Super Bowl halftime shows.

As these things usually happen, Nelly’s career suffered a decline in the decade after 2010. His situation was further complicated by several legal issues including allegations of drug possession, unpaid taxes as well as sexual assault/rape. Despite all these, the rapper continues to soldier on with his music career; touring and collaborating with other artists. He has also tried his hands at several successful ventures and all these have helped him to build up a net worth of $60 million.

How Nelly Accrued His $60 Million Net Worth

He Has Sold about 30 Million Records to Date and is the Fourth Bestselling Rap Artist in the U.S.

Being a musician, the primary source of Nelly’s net worth is album sales. The St. Louis native initially commenced his career in his mid-20s with a hip hop group that he founded known as St. Lunatics. He managed to release some hit singles with them and by 1999, landed himself a solo record deal. He then released his first solo single, Country Grammar, that same year. The song was an instantaneous success, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and lasting for 7 weeks on the chart.

Nelly did not allow this early success to distract him but dropped his first album in the year 2000. The album, Country Grammar, spurned several hit singles and made it to No.3 on the Billboard 200. It also went on to sell about 10 million copies in the U.S alone; obtaining a 9x platinum certification from the RIAA in the process. To date, Nelly has dropped a total of seven studio albums, two compilation albums, and one remix album. These bodies of work have sold at least 30 million copies thus fetching him much revenue.

The Rapper has performed at Numerous Concerts and Tours including the Super Bowl Half-Time Shows of 2001 and 2004.

Throughout the course of his career, Nelly has regularly toured various parts of the U.S. as well as the world at large. Some of these tours have been solo while others have been in collaboration with other artists. For instance, in 2017, the rapper joined country artists, Florida Georgia Line, on their Smooth Tour. The tour featured 47 shows across the U.S. and attracted more than 500,000 attendees. It grossed a total of $28, 594,357; a portion of which would have gone to Nelly.

Asides from touring, Nelly has also performed at several public events. They include the Super Bowl Half-Time shows of 2001 and 2004 as well as the pay-per-view welterweight bout between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito in November 2010. The latter would have paid him in the seven-figures while the former famously pays nothing. Artists however stand to gain much from the exposure offered by the half-time show and thus it has contributed to Nelly’s overall net worth.

Nelly performing with Florida Georgia Line Image Source

He featured in the 2005 sports comedy blockbuster, The Longest Yard

Nelly’s net worth has also benefitted from his decent acting skills. The rapper has featured in a few movies and TV series including 90210, Snipes, and CSI: NY. His biggest acting appearance however came in the 2005 sports comedy, The Longest Yard. A remake of a 1974 movie of the same name, The Longest Yard features a bunch of prisoners squaring off against their guards in a football game. The movie paraded A-listers such as Adam Sandler and Chris Rock while Nelly portrayed a prisoner who plays running back on the team. It was quite successful and grossed $190.3 million on a budget of $80 million. There is no detail on what Nelly may have earned on set but it should be substantial given that his character was one of the major supporting cast members.

The Rapper has appeared in several reality TV shows including his own series, Nellyville.

Provided that you can stand the intrusion into your privacy, reality TV can be a handsome revenue earner. Many people have thus joined the fray and Nelly is not left out. The rapper debuted his own show, Nellyville, on BET, in 2014. The show ran for two seasons and followed his personal, family, and professional life.

Another show that Nelly has featured in is The Real Husbands of Hollywood. The show parodied other reality TV series, especially those in the real housewives franchise, and the rapper featured in it for about four years (2013-2016). Nelly has ceased to appear on the Real Husbands but in 2020, he joined the cast of the ABC dancing reality competition show, Dancing With The Stars. His partner was a professional American dancer, Daniella Karagach, and they went quite far in the competition.

Nelly’s earnings from Nellyville as well as Real Husbands are not available but reality TV stars earn about $70k+ per annum on average. When it comes to Dancing With The Stars, contestants get a base salary of $125K in addition to what they can win on the show.

The rapper on Dancing with the Stars Image Source

He Has an Apparel Line for Men (Vokal) and Women (Apple Bottoms)

Nelly will be the first to let you know that musicians don’t make so much from album sales alone. He, therefore, has no choice but to take advantage of the business opportunities that come his way. One such opportunity is in the fashion industry. The rapper is the owner of two clothing lines, Vokal and Apple Bottoms, dedicated to men and women respectively.
Apple Bottoms was launched in 2003 and was initially a denim brand. It later expanded to include fragrances, handbags, footwear, lingerie, jewelry, scrubs, sunglasses, and infant apparel. The brand was popular from 2003 till the early 2010s when it fizzled out. Nelly has however hinted at a 2020 relaunch on Instagram.

Vokal, on the other hand, is still in existence. It was launched in 1997 and carries T-shirts and jerseys which goes for as high as $100 each. The brand sold about 50,000 shirts in just its first three years of existence.

His Controversial Energy Drink, Pimp Juice, Sold One Million Cans in its First Three Months of Existence

Away from the fashion world, Nelly also launched an energy drink known as Pimp Juice in August 2003. The drink is named after his hit 2003 song of the same name and is the first celebrity energy drink to hit the market. The non-carbonated drink is manufactured in the rapper’s hometown of St. Louis and it caused a small storm when it was released.

Many critics bashed it for re-enforcing negative stereotypes about African-American women and called for it to be boycotted. The whole controversy however fuelled the drink’s popularity and it sold about one million cans in its first three months of existence. The product remains in circulation to date and other follow-up drinks have been released such as PJ Tight and PJ Purple Label.

The Rapper Signed A Sneaker and Apparel Deal With Reebok Back In 2005.

Nelly’s net worth has also benefitted from the endorsement work he has done for several companies. The rapper has featured in ads for companies such as Got Milk? and Ford Motor Company. He also signed a one year deal with Nike to produce a limited edition of retro sneakers, known as Air Derrty, in 2003. Additionally, in 2005, Nelly signed a sneaker and apparel deal with Reebok. The collection involved a line of athletic footwear, apparel, and accessories and he also featured in the company’s global advertising campaign known as I am what I am. The exact worth of Nelly’s deal with Reebok was not made known but it should be at least a million dollars.

Summary of the Sources of Nelly’s Net Worth

  • Album sales – 30 million records sold
  • Tours and Concerts – N/A
  • Movies and TV shows – N/A
  • Reality TV series – $500+
  • Apparel line – $5 million est.
  • Energy Drink – $1 million est.
  • Endorsement deals – $1.5 million est.

How Nelly’s Net Worth Grew Over the Past Two Decades

Nelly now has a net worth of $60 million but it wasn’t easy getting to that status. As a teenager growing up in St Louis Missouri, he had a relatively-comfortable life but was by no means wealthy. He, therefore, decided to utilize his music talents and make something of himself. For quite a few years, the young man toiled with St Lunatics, a hip hop group comprising of him as well as five other pals. The group released some songs that enjoyed popularity locally but this success did not translate into money.

Nelly’s breakthrough would come when he landed a solo recording deal in 1999 and went on to mesmerize the world with several hit singles and albums. With millions of records sold in the 2000s, the rapper made his first millions and then tens of millions of dollars. His net worth was further enhanced by the several endorsement deals he scored with companies such as Reebok.

Today, Nelly is worth $60 million but this does not mean that his money troubles are over. Back in 2016, the IRS made it known that he was owing over $2 million in federal taxes and over $100k in state taxes. This revelation was quite embarrassing for the rapper and he revealed that he was working out an arrangement with the authorities.

Some of Nelly’s Bestselling Songs and Albums


  • Country Grammar
    Year of release – 2000
    Chart – No.1 Billboard 200
    Sales – 10 million
  • Nellyville
    Year of release – 2002
    Chart – No.1 Billboard 200
    Sales – 6.4 million
  • Sweat
    Year of release – 2004
    Chart – No.2 Billboard 200
    Sales – 1 million
  • Suit
    Year of release – 2004
    Chart – No. 1 Billboard 200
    Sales – 3 million


  • Country Grammar
    Year of release – 2000
    Chart – No. 7 Billboard Hot 100
    Sale – 500k
  • Hot in Herre
    Year of release – 2002
    Chart – No. 1 Billboard Hot 100
    Sales – 2 million
  • Dilemma
    Year of release – 2002
    Chart – No. 1 Billboard Hot 100
    Sales – 7.6 million
  • Shake Ya Tailfeather (feat P.Diddy)
    Year of release – 2003
    Chart – No.1 Billboard Hot 100
    Sales – 500k
  • Grillz
    Year of release – 2005
    Chart – No1 Billboard Hot 100
    Sales – 1 million


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