Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., better known by his rap moniker Nelly, is an American hip hop icon. He broke through in the early 2000s with smash hits like “Ride Wit Me,” “Dilemma,” and “Hot in Herre.” While he’s shared much of his career with the public, Nelly generally keeps his personal life private. So how many kids does the rap star have?
Nelly has two children – a daughter named Chanel and a son named Jacob. Though details are sparse, the musician has shared glimpses into his life as a dad over the years. Read on to learn more about Nelly’s family.
Brief Overview of Nelly’s Music Career
Before covering Nelly’s kids, here’s some background on his prolific 30+ year career:
- Born in Austin, Texas in 1974 and later relocated to St. Louis, Missouri as a teen where his career began.
- Released debut album Country Grammar in 2000 which topped the Billboard charts. Followed with multi-platinum albums Nellyville, Sweatsuit and more.
- Hit #1 singles include “Hot in Herre,” “Dilemma” with Kelly Rowland, and “Grillz” featuring Paul Wall. Also co-owns the Charlotte Bobcats.
- Named Billboard’s Top Pop, Rap, and R&B/Hip Hop Artist of the 2000s decade thanks to his mainstream success.
Now on to Nelly’s two children and their mothers.
Daughter Chanel Haynes
Nelly’s first child is his daughter Chanel Haynes, who was born on June 1, 1994. Her mother is Nelly’s ex-girlfriend Tonya Mitchell.
Now 28 years old, not much is known about Chanel as she has avoided the spotlight. Nelly has rarely spoken about his eldest child publicly either, keeping their relationship private.
Son Jacob Haynes
On February 11, 1999, Nelly welcomed his son Jacob with another former girlfriend, Misa Hylton Brim.
Jacob is now 23 years old. Like his older half-sister, he stays out of the public eye despite his dad’s fame. Nelly seems to respect Jacob’s privacy.
Nelly does not seem to have custody of either Chanel or Jacob. He likely pays child support and sees them when his schedule allows.
The rapper once hinted he chose not to discuss his kids publicly so they could have normal lives: “I’m not necessarily private, I just think school is school, home is home.”
While not the most conventional father, Nelly appears involved in both his children’s lives in his own way.
Balancing Rap Fame and Fatherhood
Nelly has admitted that the temptations of music fame didn’t always align with responsible fatherhood in his younger days.
But as he has matured, the rapper seems more committed to being present and providing guidance to Chanel and Jacob. He emphasizes making time for his kids between his touring and other ventures.
While not pictured with his children often, Nelly has stated how fatherhood changed him for the better. He puts family before fame.
Is Nelly Married or Dating Anyone?
Nelly does not appear to be in a relationship currently. He split from longtime girlfriend Shantel Jackson in 2022 after a decade of dating.
The rapper was also previously engaged to R&B singer Ashanti in the early 2000s, though the relationship ended before marriage. For now, Nelly seems focused on being a dad above all.
Frequently Asked Questions About Nelly’s Kids
Here are some common questions fans have about Nelly’s family situation:
How many kids does Nelly have?
Nelly has two children – a daughter named Chanel and a son named Jacob.
How old are Nelly’s kids now?
His daughter Chanel is around 28 years old currently. His son Jacob is approximately 23 years old now.
Who are the mothers of Nelly’s children?
Chanel’s mother is Tonya Mitchell and Jacob’s mother is Misa Hylton Brim – both former girlfriends of Nelly’s.
Does Nelly have full custody of his kids?
No, it appears Nelly shares custody with Chanel and Jacob’s mothers, who have primary physical custody.
Where does Nelly live with his family?
Nelly resides in St. Louis, Missouri but his children likely live with their mothers in different locations.
In summary, iconic rapper Nelly has two kids – Chanel and Jacob – with two different former partners. Though private about his personal life, Nelly has shared glimpses into his journey through fatherhood over the years.