The Genius Way People Are Paying Nelly's $2.6M Tax Bill
By streaming 'Hot in Herre' and other Nelly hits about 287.2M times
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2016 7:59 AM CDT
Updated Sep 14, 2016 10:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – Cornell Iral Haynes Jr. is in trouble with the taxman, but you may be able to help. You also might be more inclined to lend a hand if you recognize Mr. Haynes by his stage name, Nelly, and realize that it would take just a few minutes on Spotify to help dig the rapper out of his IRS mess. TMZ reported Sunday that Nelly was slammed with a $2,412,283 federal tax lien last month, added on to a Missouri state tax bill from earlier this year of nearly $150,000 (he originally owed just $113,000 and change, but the interest racked up). Spin magazine calls his financial conundrum "tragic" and says the singer "deserves better"—and it suggests a way everyone can help. The magazine's grand plan: Get as many people as possible to stream his hit song "Hot in Herre"—or "Ride Wit Me" or any other tunes from the Nelly discography—to generate funds for the artist.

Based on Spotify's estimation that the average "per stream" payout to the owner of a song's rights is between $0.006 and $0.0084, Spin calculates Nelly would need, at minimum, 287,176,547 streams to help him pay down the federal tax bill, with an additional 17.8 million streams to appease Missouri—and that's if we assume he's on the $0.0084 end of things and that his labels and publishers, who would also get a cut, will be generous. Still, hope springs eternal: People are responding in a generally positive manner to the #HotInHerreStreamingParty and #SaveNelly hashtags. "I couldn't save Harambe but god----it I'm saving you @Nelly_Mo," writes one fan. (Last year wasn't a good year for Nelly on the legal front.)