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Event: Nelly’s Meet & Greet at Cricket Wireless in Chicago

Last week before I left to head to BlogHer in New York, I got word that one of my favorite rappers Nelly was having a Meet and Greet at Cricket Wireless in the Brickyard. So, you know I automatically changed my schedule and headed over to see my husband in my head, Nelly!

When my photographer and I arrived a Cricket, fans were already standing in line for a chance to meet Nelly!

B96 played all of Nelly’s hits as the crowd began to get pumped for his arrival!

Then My Husband Nelly arrived…

Ya’ll know I had to get my autograph first… He smells so good, geez I love that man!

Then, I got a chance to chat it up with him about his involvement on The Next, CW Television Network’s hot new reality show from executive producers Dave Broome (“The Biggest Loser”), hip-hop icon Queen Latifah, and Shakim Compere.

Nelly explained that he is one of the mentors on the The Next, for those of you who aren’t familiar  check out the synopsis below.

 As for Cricket Wireless  involvement, Cricket Wireless in partnership with The Next will provide interactive and wireless promotional support for the show!  Cricket mobile phones will be featured prominently in the hot new reality series, and video of contestant performances will be available online at Cricket social media channels and at Winning contestants of the first six episodes will be rewarded with an in-studio recording of their winning song that will be distributed on Muve Music and other digital music services. Fans of the contestants can text to vote from their mobile phone. Voting opens after each show and will include texting a short code and contestant number. In addition, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of each show will be available on Cricket’s social media channels and online at The Next Music at

The Next debuts on CW August 16th, check  your local listings for showtimes.

In each episode of THE NEXT, four music industry superstars — Gloria Estefan, John Rich, Nelly, and Joe Jonas — will drop in on the lives of four up-and-coming local musicians. The show will move from city to city: Orlando, Baltimore, New York, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. In each town the contestants will be local musical heroes with a huge regional following of devoted fans, as well as a formidable social media presence on Twitter and Facebook. Some have weekly residencies at the hottest clubs; others have performed in the opening slot at stadium-sized concerts. These aspiring stars are not plucked from obscurity; they are proven artists on the brink of success. They just need a little help making the leap from opening act to headliner. Over the course of 72 hours, each superstar will groom one contestant — while taking over their lives. It’s one thing to work with a musical icon in the studio, it’s another thing to have him or her tagging along to your day job, eating every meal with you, and hanging with you at your local karaoke dive bar. When that 72-hour mentoring session is up, the four newly groomed artists will go head-to-head at a well-known local venue. The audience will be filled with friends and family, as well as hundreds of local music fans. Since they’ve already established themselves on the local music scene, each contestant will have their own throng of local groupies and cheerleaders. One winner will be chosen and that contestant will move on to represent their city in the semi-finals. Then it’s on to the next city and four more contestants. As an extra twist to the competition, even the contestants who don’t win in their home cities will still have a chance to compete in the finals – viewers across the country will be able to vote for their favorite among the performers who didn’t make the first cut, and the contestant with the most votes will go on to the finals. After six episodes in six different cities, each of the local winners and the fan favorite will battle it out on stage over the course of the final episodes until only one contestant remains — the vocalist left standing at the end will be rewarded a recording contract with Atlantic Records.

About the author

Raijean Stroud

Fashion, beauty & lifestyle blogger based in Chicago and founder of, Swa-Rai Media Group and Bleeding Heart Project. Launched in 2010, Swa-Rai discusses a range of topics including: fashion, beauty and lifestyle experiences which includes travel, tech, family, dining and so much more! When not in Chicago, Raijean can be found traveling around the country covering some of the hottest events! She can be spotted in places such as New York for covering events such as Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week, Las Vegas for CES (Consumer Electronics Show), LA for Lucky FABB and more! When she's not traveling she's in Chicago, interviewing celebrities and covering exclusive events.

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