's friends surprised the rap star on his birthday Wednesday with an entire day of baseball-themed activities. The celebration, held in Nelly's hometown of St. Louis, was led off by a private batting practice session with Hall Of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith
, Nelly's favorite baseball player while he was growing up. Later, family and friends gathered at FOX Sports broadcaster Joe Buck's restaurant where sexy "stadium vendors" greeted the All-Star guest list -- including celebrities such as Jermaine Dupri
and Murphy Lee
-- with beer and ballpark-style roasted peanuts prior to a sit-down "clubhouse meal." The night then kicked into high gear with an exclusive invite-only party at Nectar, one of the Midwest's hottest nightspots. Guests enjoyed Cracker Jack apple martinis while dancing to an eclectic mix of current and old-school hip-hop tunes. Ashanti joined DJ Charlie Chan in leading the guests in a rendition of "Happy Birthday." Nelly capped off the night by thanking guests for attending the party and leading an hour-long impromptu all-star MC session along with the other VIP guests.
In other Nelly news, as previously annnounced
, the hip-hop icon will be re-releasing his multi-platinum, record-breaking dual release Sweat
as one album on November 22, titled SWEATSUIT. The special release will feature #1 hits culled from the two discs along with three brand new tracks including the first new single, "Grillz," featuring Paul Wall
, Ali, and Big Gipp. Nelly will also be the recipient of Russell Simmons
& the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network "Action Award" for his outstanding contributions to the 4Sho4Kids Foundation and leukemia awareness. The ceremony takes place in New York on November 16.
Nelly To Release 'Sweatsuit'
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