Nelly has scored his first entry on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart with his new album, Heartland, the St. Louis native’s debut record in the genre. Released on Aug. 26, Heartland debuted at No. 7 on the chart (dated Sept. 11) with over 13,000 equivalent album units earned in its first week.
According to Nelly, the album serves as a thank you to the country music community for all of their support over the years, dating back to his classic 2000 single, “(Hot Sh*t) Country Grammar,” which spurred his love affair with the genre. That love has endured, as Nelly looks to expand his creative boundaries while collaborating with the top African-American country music artists on Heartland, including Darius Rucker, Kane Brown, Jimmie Allen, Blanco Brown, and Breland.
Running nine songs in length, Heartland also includes guest appearances from Nelly’s brother City Spud, Tyler Hubbard, George Birge, and Chris Bandi, as well as country duo Florida Georgia Line, who co-star on the album’s lead single, “Lil Bit,” which climbed to No. 3 on the Hot Country Songs this past July.
Heartland isn’t Nelly’s first time experiencing success in the realm of country music. In 2004, “Over and Over,” his collaboration with Tim McGraw, peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, while his appearance on Florida Georgia Line’s breakout single, “Cruise,” helped propel it to No. 4 on the chart in 2013.