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Frank Zappa Documentary
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Nelly Cast As Chuck Berry In Upcoming Buddy Holly Biopic

‘Clear Lake’ tells the story of how Buddy Holly and his contemporaries birthed the sound of rock’n’roll, while changing the course of civil rights in America.

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Nelly Chuck Berry
Photo: Gary Miller/Getty Images

After warming up the dancefloor on Dancing With The Stars, Nelly will be working on his duck walk when he plays rock’n’roll icon Chuck Berry in the forthcoming Buddy Holly biopic, Clear Lake.

The film will also star Colin Hanks and Diane Guerrero, as well as Ruairi O’Connor taking on the role of Buddy Holly, Variety reports.

Directed by Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Double Jeopardy), Clear Lake tells the story of how Holly and his contemporaries birthed the sound of rock’n’roll, while changing the course of civil rights in America.

Hanks will star as Holly’s manager Norman Petty, while Guerrero (Orange Is the New Black) will portray Holly’s wife, Maria Elena Holly.

Like Berry, singer and rapper Nelly is also a St. Louis native and has been an influential force in bringing the sound of the city to the global stage.

Clear Lake is not the first film to tackle the Buddy Holly story. In the 1978 film The Buddy Holly Story, Gary Busey played the rock’n’roll pioneer who tragically died in a plane crash outside Clear Lake, Iowa in 1959 at the age of 22. The crash also killed Big Bopper and singer Richie Valens, which was also depicted in the 1987 film La Bamba, starring Lou Diamond Phillips.

While best known for his string of multiplatinum albums and putting Midwest rap on the map, Nelly has been acting since he made his film debut in 2001 in the independent film Snipes and later appeared in the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard starring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. He also appeared in the CBS crime drama CSI: NY and in 2014-2015, he starred in his own reality TV show, Nellyville, about balancing his career and family.

Along with his current role on Dancing With The Stars, Nelly is set to perform a medley of his hits “Country Grammar,” “E.I.” and “Ride Wit Me,” at the 2020 American Music Awards,
which broadcasts live Sunday, November 22nd at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

The show comes on the heels of the 20th anniversary of his diamond-selling debut LP, Country Grammar, which was reissued on vinyl with exclusive bonus tracks.

The 20th Anniversary edition of Country Grammar can be bought here.

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