For Immediate Release!
St. Louis, Mo. – Nov 16, 2023 – The Black and White Ball, St. Louis’ premier celebrity gala, is returning for 2023. For a decade (from 2006 to 2016), Grammy Award-winning rapper, actor and entrepreneur Nelly annually hosted the black-tie party with a purpose – a highlight of St. Louis’ social calendar – as a way to celebrate and give back to his hometown. After a brief hiatus, the ball is back, scheduled for Sunday, December 3 at the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis.
Nelly will be joined by a diverse group of invited friends from the entertainment, sports and business communities. At the event, Nelly will also recognize beloved St. Louis Cardinal, 15-time MLB All-Star and Baseball Hall-of-Famer Ozzie Smith.
The 11th Black and White Ball will raise funds for Make-A-Wish Missouri, an organization dedicated to granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Money raised from the event will go to grant wishes for local St. Louis children, continuing the gala’s legacy of supporting locally-focused charities. The Black and White Ball will also fund scholarships for local St. Louis students to attend Harris-Stowe State University, a historically black college and university (HBCU) committed to providing affordable, quality higher education to underserved populations in a friendly, inspiring environment.
“The Black and White Ball has always been a chance for our city to be up front for something positive. A nice time, with nice music, while making a difference,” said Nelly. “There are people out here who do care. That’s never changed. Now we’re bringing it back for an 11th time. It’s gonna be a vibe and a great way to give back this holiday season.”
Previous attendees and performers of the Black and White Ball have included Janet Jackson, Allen Iverson, Nick Cannon, T-Pain, Jermaine Dupri, Evander Holyfield, Boyz II Men Ashanti, Marshall Faulk, D.L. Hughley, Johnny Gill, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, En Vogue, Bill Bellamy, DMC from Run-DMC, Jim Edmonds, Orlando Pace and Torry Holt.
A luminary in the music industry, Nelly’s enduring success spans over two decades, marked by diamond-selling, multi-platinum achievements and multiple Grammys. Nelly has shaped the entertainment landscape for over two decades with his distinct vocals and dynamic personality selling over 21 million albums with Country Grammar being one of the only hip-hop albums to have gone 10x platinum. He emerged in 2000 captivating hearts and headlines in music, television and film. In more recent years, he achieved Double Diamond status with country crossover singles, “Cruise “ and “Lil Bit” and released his highly anticipated country-inspired album “HEARTLAND.” In 2021, Nelly marked the 20th anniversary of “Nellyville” and reached 1 billion views for “Dilemma” on YouTube. Beyond music, he graced BET’s “Real Husbands of Hollywood” and collaborated with brands including Burger King and Budweiser. In 2020, Nelly celebrated the 20th anniversary of “Country Grammar,” claimed third place on “Dancing with the Stars,” and secured roles in “Clear Lake” and a Lays Potato Chips commercial. Nelly’s diverse talents extended to sports commentary on Fox Sports. His impact transcends music with successful ventures like Apple Bottoms clothing line and his newest project, his signature moonshine – MoShine.
Nelly’s philanthropy has included supporting Make-A-Wish and establishing grants for college students, in addition to inspiring the largest African American attended bone marrow drive. Today he still stands in the top 20 most successful rappers of all time. In 2023, Nelly sold a percentage of his music catalog in an unprecedented deal, while he continues selling out tour dates and festivals worldwide. HEARTLAND 2 is anticipated to release in 2024.