WILMINGTON, N.C. — The North Carolina Azalea Festival will bring a rap powerhouse to the Port City this year. The Festival has had a diverse range of musical talent grace its stages in the past. From Frank Sinatra, Al Green, Patti LaBelle to the Avett Brothers — almost every genre has been represented except for one.
Now, it’s time the music came full circle to include a Grammy-winning rapper with some of the catchiest hits of this generation. Joining the 2015 Azalea Festival concert lineup of megastardom, will be Nelly—a superstar rapper, singer, songwriter, designer and actor.
His latest album, M.O., includes guest appearances by Nicki Minaj, Pharrell, Future, T.I., 2 Chainz, Florida Georgia Line, Daley and more. He’s still hot in herre!
According to imdb.com, “Hot in Herre” was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 7 weeks, followed immediately by “Dilemma” (featuring Kelly Rowland), which was #1 for 10 weeks. “Dilemma” was the first ever rap song to stay at #1 for 10 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Nelly is tied with Elton John for the most consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 by a male solo artist.
This summer, Nelly is touring with New Kids on the Block and TLC, so catch him beforehand at the North Carolina Azalea Festival Miller Lite Main Stage, where you are likely to get a much better view of the show than the mega-stadiums he’s set to play this summer. Tickets are $43.28 (that includes a new mandatory NC sales tax on admission). A special pre-sale begins tonight at 6:30 pm on the Azalea Festival website, offering a discount of $2.50 per ticket. The sale continues online Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only. Beginning Monday morning at 9 am, tickets will be sold at the Festival office for full price.
The concert is scheduled for 7 pm Friday, April 10, at the Miller Lite Main Stage at Cape Fear Community College, on Front Street, adjacent to the Schwartz Center. It is an outdoor venue, standing room only. Food and drink will be available for cash purchase only. Proper ID is required for alcohol purchases. Chairs, backpacks, umbrellas, any and all weapons/knives, etc., coolers, and alcohol will not be permitted to be brought inside the venue. This is a non-smoking venue. No flash photography or video is allowed.
Gates will open at 6 pm. Upon entry, all handbags will be inspected. There will be no re-entry allowed.
For more information on the upcoming 68th Annual North Carolina Azalea Festival, visit www.ncazaleafestival.org or contact Executive Director Alison Baringer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (910) 216-9400.
Since its inception in 1948, the North Carolina Azalea Festival has blossomed into an extended weekend celebration that attracts more than 300,000 people and generates more than $51 million for the local economy. The festival showcases our community’s rich array of artwork, gardens, history and culture through recreational, educational and family-oriented events.
Multi-platinum, 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. In 2013, the St. Louis native released his seventh full-length album, “M.O.” [Republic Records] featuring guest appearances by Nicki Minaj, Pharrell, Future, T.I., and 2 Chainz and teaming up with production powerhouses, Rico Love (Beyonce, Usher), Detail (Lil Wayne, T-Pain) and Pharrell (Jay Z, Daft Punk, and Justin Timberlake).
Nelly entered into the spotlight with the release of “Country Grammar” in 2000, spending seven weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and spawning the massive hits “Ride Wit Me”, “Country Grammar”, and “E.I.”. The album landed Nelly four Grammy Award nominations and sold more than nine million copies worldwide. Nelly kept the momentum going with the 2002 release of “Nellyville”. The album debuted at #1 on top of scoring Nelly his first two Grammy Awards for “Hot in Herre” – Best Male Rap Solo Performance – and “Dilemma” [feat. Kelly Rowland] – Best Rap Song Collaboration. He has since gone on to win multiple American Music Awards, a Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award, Soul Train Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and was crowned “Top Pop, Rap, and R&B/Hip-Hop Artist Of The Year” by Billboard.
The music mogul has also left his mark in other aspects of the industry, introducing his women’s clothing line, Apple Bottoms, and men’s clothing line, Vokal. Additionally, he has partnered with Nike on the “Air Derrty” limited edition sneaker; he is also the CEO of his own label, Derrty Ent.; and co-owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. In 2005, he made his big screen debut in the Adam Sandler and Chris Rock hit remake, The Longest Yard. Nelly took on a recurring role on the hit show CSI:NY in 2009 and most recently joined the cast of the #1-rated BET sitcom The Real Husbands of Hollywood.
Nelly also has strong philanthropic ties. In 2003, he and his late sister Jackie Donahue launched the Jes Us 4 Jackie Foundation. Upon Jackie’s diagnosis with leukemia, they aimed to educate and spread awareness about the need for bone marrow and stem cell transplant donations as well as attract more donors. His greatest philanthropic achievement is that he hosted the largest African-American bone marrow drive to date. Sadly Donahue passed away in 2005, but Nelly continues to use his influence to raise awareness.