As reported by Variety, Nelly will be joining Colin Hanks and Diane Guerrero in the Buddy Holly-inspired biopic Clear Lake. He will be portraying music pioneer Chuck Berry, whom Nelly once shared a stage with at a St. Louis concert in 2010. Berry passed away in 2017.
Clear Lake will tell the story of how “Holly and other famous musicians of the late 1950s gave birth to rock ‘n’ roll while changing the trajectory of civil rights in America,” as Variety characterizes the project. On Feb. 3, 1959, Holly died in a plane crash outside Clear Lake, Iowa, along with Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, which is famously known as “The Day the Music Died.”
Berry and Holly are inextricably linked as pioneers of what was a fresh music genre in the 1950s. They have both been designated the “father of rock and roll,” and both were inducted into the inaugural class of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
Even though his list of credits is brief, this won’t be the first time Nelly has been featured on-screen in an acting capacity. In 2005, he co-starred in “The Longest Yard,” and he also appeared in four episodes of “CSI: New York” in 2008 and 2009.
For his part, Nelly is trying to make a little music history of his own, as he will perform a medley of his greatest hits on Sunday’s American Music Awards. According to the official press release, the performance is to celebrate “20 years since the release of his debut diamond-certified studio album, ‘Country Grammar,’ with a blazing performance of his anthems ‘Country Grammar,’ ‘E.I.’ and ‘Ride Wit Me.’”
Nelly is a three-time American Music Award winner, winning his first award in 2002 for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist, getting the Fan’s Choice Award in 2003, and lastly landing Single of the Year with Florida Georgia Line for their hit “Cruise” in 2013.
Nelly is also riding high off of his first perfect score with partner Daniella Karagach on the Nov. 16 episode of “Dancing With the Stars” for their performance of the jive.