Hip Hop

Nelly Tributes Late Sister With Powerful “Dancing With The Stars” Performance


Nelly’s latest performance on Dancing with the Stars meant more personal than others.

The rapper received a score of 21 on Tuesday night as he and his partner, Daniella Karagach, performed a Rumba. The trio of 7 given by the panel of judges is a perfectly good score, but considering the advanced stages of the contest, the pair were the lowest-ranked couple on the night. Nevertheless, the routine held a special meaning for the Grammy Award winner as it was a tribute to his late sister, Jackie Donahue. Jackie was only 31-years-old when she passed away from leukaemia in 2005, and Nelly specifically chose the song “Nobody Knows” by the Tony Rich Project for the dance as it had been his sibling’s favorite. “She would definitely have a chuckle about me dancing,” he said. “Dancing to one of Jackie’s favorite songs is dope. I miss Jackie an awful lot, I miss Jackie every day.”

In a clip which played prior to Nelly and Daniella taking to the floor, the “Hot In Here” rapper described his older sister as “a real tough cookie, such a loving and caring person… the captain of the ship up until she was no longer able to be.” Following Jackie’s diagnosis, Nelly’s family established the foundation, Jes Us 4 Jackie, to try find a match for a bone marrow transplant. While her own search was unsuccessful, resulting in her death, the foundation was able to help seven other people find theirs.


Based on the score which he got from the judges, Nelly is fortunate that this was not an elimination week. On the morning of the show, it was announced that Jeannie Mai had withdrawn from the competition with immediate effect due to a condition known as epiglottitis, which required urgent surgery.