In mid-September, Grammy award-winning rapper Nelly (Cornell Iral Haynes Jr.) got hit with an IRS tax lien totaling more than $2.4 million. This was preceded by a lien from the Missouri Department of Revenue, although that was for almost $150,000.
Sources say the St. Louis-based rapper is currently trying to work out both is Federal and state tax debts. His fans, however, are providing some unexpected help. A Spin Magazine article encouraged Nelly fans to stream his songs to help pay off his tax debt. Fans accepted the challenge, starting a campaign to #Save Nelly by streaming “Hot in Herre” on Spotify.
To pay off his IRS debt, Spin’s article states, fans will have to stream the song at least 287,176,547 times. The Washington Post reports that the campaign resulted in play of Nelly’s songs tripling during peak hours, compared to previous weeks.
Whether the campaign helps to get Nelly out of hot water or not, the tax debt he faces is among the highest accumulated by a celebrity. And it is surprising since Nelly’s album Country Grammar just received diamond certification, which means 10 million physical units or digital equivalents were sold.
It is a wise move on Nelly’s part to immediately begin working with the IRS to resolve this debt, particularly if he is doing so with legal advice and counsel. Tax liens of any amount are serious and should be dealt with as soon as possible by either paying the tax, including accrued interest and penalties, or posting a bond guaranteeing payment.