If Nelly’s moves are catching your eye on Dancing With the Stars, you might be wondering if he’s married or just curious about his personal life. The rapper isn’t married, but he’s taken. He’s been dating Shantel Jackson since 2014. He also has two adult children, a son and a daughter.
Nelly, whose real name is Cornell Iral Haynes, Jr., has won three Grammy Awards and nine Billboard Music Awards. He’s best known for hits like “Hot in Herre,” “Ride Wit Me” and “Just a Dream,” released in the first decade of the 2000s.
This season of DWTS airs Monday, September 14, 2020, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Here’s what you need to know:
Nelly & Shantel Jackson Met on his Reality Show ‘Nellyville’ in 2014
Shantel Jackson spoke to Hip Hollywood in 2014 about her blossoming relationship with Nelly, who she met on his 2014 reality show “Nellyville,” a docuseries about his life. At the time, she said the relationship was new and they were taking things slow, getting to know each other and developing a friendship. She also talked about movies and TV shows in the works during her video interview.
“Sometimes life takes you, to the beach, in a gown with a bottle of champagne,” she wrote on Instagram. “So celebrate.”
Jackson and Nelly also had a personal conversation over FaceTime in a clip of The Platinum Life, which aired in 2017. She said she was thinking about freezing her eggs.
“I just want it as an option, that’s all. Being that I am over 30, mine are a little old,” she said in the clip.
“Your age ain’t old,” he responded with a laugh.
Jackson, who is 36 now, described the process to him.
“I’m a natural guy. If it happens, it happens. But it’s your decision. I’m here to be supportive,” he said. “Either way, I love you. It’s all good.”
Nelly Is the Father of Two Adult Children & Raised His Late Sister’s Two Kids
Nelly’s fans got to know the rapper through his reality show, “Nellyville,” which gave an intimate look into his love life and introduced the public to his son, daughter, niece and nephew. His son, Cornell III goes by Tre, and his daughter, Chanelle goes by Nana. Cornell Haynes III is 21 and Chanelle Haynes is 26.
Nelly wrote a sweet post for his daughter on her birthday on Instagram.
“You being so special to me.. sometimes I forget that u have to be you… to protect you and to try and fix any problem you have is like a natural instinct .. even tho you are a strong beautiful young women all I see is a snaggletooth five-year-old that can make me laugh on any dark day..!! You are truly my sunshine my firstborn daddy’s girl ..!!! I love Nana happy BDAY..!!!! #Girlsdad,” he wrote.
The moms of his kids are from two of Nelly’s previous relationships, but the women’s identities have been kept private, according to Amo Mama.
Nelly also raised his niece, Sydney, also known as Shank, and his nephew Shawn, also known as Lil’ Shawn or Tab. Their mom and Nelly’s sister, Jackie Donahue, died after a battle with leukemia in March 2005.
Donahue and Nelly were close growing up, according to her obituary. She worked as his stylist until her illness forced her to focus on treatment. She was diagnosed with leukemia on March 29, 2001. The cancer went into remission for almost two years, but then she suffered a relapse. Nelly arranged bone marrow drives for his sister, but a match was never found.
Nelly talked about being a single dad on The Real in 2015.
“I think that there are single fathers. Not baby daddies, like, single fathers. I think it’s very important,” he said on the talk show.
He went on to talk about the generational difference – or lack thereof – between himself and his son.
“Me and my son, we could literally be buddies. Like, we wear the same shoes,” he said.
He continued, saying, “you have to let the youth be the youth,” and let them make mistakes but still be their guide.