Today BET announces DOUBLE DIAMOND SELLING SUPERSTAR rapper and entrepreneur Nelly as the “BET Hip Hop Awards” recipient of the 2021 “I Am Hip Hop” Award. From chart-topping hits that include “Hot in Herre,” “Dilemma” (feat. Kelly Rowland), “Country Grammar,” “Ride Wit Me,” and “Cruise” (with Florida Georgia Line), to his popular fashion line Apple Bottoms, to starring in the hit series Real Husbands of Hollywood, and his own reality show Nellyville, the charismatic, multi-platinum music icon will be celebrated for his massive contributions to music and the culture at large. The “BET Hip Hop Awards” premieres Tuesday, October 5, 2021, at 9:00 PM ET/PT.
“I am honored to receive this award and humbled to be in such great company of past artists who have received this award,” said Nelly, this year’s I Am Hip Hop Award recipient. “I have been blessed to work with some incredible people in my career, making 22 years go by in the blink of an eye. This award isn’t just about Nelly; it is about my fans, BET, and the people that continue to support me and allow me to do what I love to do.” Previously announced nominees include Cardi B, Lil Durk, and Megan Thee Stallion, leading the pack with nine nominations each, followed by Drake with an impressive eight nods. Tyler, The Creator and Metro Boomin tie for third-most nominations securing four nods each. Other notable nominees include 21 Savage, DJ Khaled, J. Cole, and Pooh Shiesty, who received three each. Bia, Chris Brown, Doja Cat, Jay Z, Lil Nas X, Migos, Nicki Minaj, Roddy Ricch, Saweetie, Young Thug, and Yung Bleu received two nominations. For the full list of nominees, selected by a voting academy of esteemed music industry insiders, click HERE.
ABOUT NELLYMulti-platinum selling GRAMMY® award-winning rap superstar, entrepreneur, philanthropist and actor, Nelly has continually raised the bar for the entertainment industry since stepping on the scene in 2000 with his distinctive vocals and larger-than-life personality. Over the past 20 years, he has released hit singles including “Hot in Herre,” “Dilemma” (feat. Kelly Rowland), “Country Grammar,” “Ride Wit Me,” “Just a Dream,” “Cruise” (with Florida Georgia Line), “The Fix,” “Millionaire” and more. RIAA ranks Nelly as the fourth best-selling rap artist in American music history, with 21 million albums sold in the United States. On December 11, 2009, Billboard ranked Nelly the number three Top Artist of the Decade. The music mogul has also left his mark in other aspects of the industry, introducing his hugely successful women’s clothing line, Apple Bottoms and as part-owner of the Charlotte Bobcats with Michael Jordan. Nelly also added sports commentator to his list of accomplishments with Fox Sports, making him one of few actors with three television shows airing simultaneously at the time with Fox Sports, Nellyville and Real Husbands of Hollywood.
In 2005, he made his big screen debut in the Adam Sandler and Chris Rock hit remake The Longest Yard and Reach Me with Sylvester Stallone in 2014. Currently, he supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and is the only music artist to own a college, EI University, which provides education surrounding the music industry while Nelly himself provides scholarships. In addition to touring shows and promoting his latest single “High Horse” from the upcoming “Heartland” album, Nelly is also filming the new season of BET smash hit series Real Husbands of Hollywood, streaming exclusively on BET+ in 2022.
Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy will oversee the annual show, with Jamal Noisette, VP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy serving as Co-Executive Producer for BET. Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment, to serve as Executive Producer of the 2021 “BET HIP HOP AWARDS” along with Jesse Collins Entertainment’s Jeannae Rouzan–Clay and Dionne Harmon.