Nelly is set to become the first hip-hop star to play in the STAR OF TEXAS RODEO.

Organisers of the 68-year-old two-week festival say they're "excited to present the first rap artist", and that their goal is to keep the festival diverse.

Last year's (04) survey revealed that almost 7 per cent of the 325,000 attendees were African-Americans.

Nelly, who performs at the event on 25 March (05), joins such artists as MAROON 5, .38 SPECIAL, CHARLIE DANIELS BAND, Terri Clark.

Last year (04), Nelly, real name CORNELL HAYNES, became an unlikely hit among country fans when his OVER + OVER, his duet with Tim Mcgraw enjoyed a huge amount of radio airplay.

07/02/2005 21:23