Nelly had always been public about his sister’s health issues , from fighting for bone-marrow donors in an effort to save her life to speaking about how her death affected him. But the rapper has yet to discuss the details surrounding the day she died in 2005 after a two-year battle with leukemia.
In the March 7 episode of VH1’s “Behind the Music,” however, the St. Louis star finally opens up about the last conversation he had with his big sis, Jacqueline Donahue. He was on the road and was unaware of the severity of her declining health, he said.
“Jackie gets on the phone and I’m like, ’Hey, sis,’ ” Nelly said, recalling the ordeal. “She’s so medicated. The pain got so severe, and there was nothing they could do. They drugged her up just to subdue the pain. I talked to her for about 20, 25 minutes. And she gets off the phone and she lays down, and she’s gone. They said the only thing that kept her alive was that she wanted to talk to me before she left.”
The news of his sister’s death immediately took a toll on him. “I was enraged,” Nelly explained. “We had this door in the back where my room was; I split the door straight down the middle, just punched it.”
Nelly then punched a TV screen, shattering the monitor. “I just destroyed everything that was back there and I just broke down,” he said.
The rapper eventually took time off from his career before rebounding last year with 5.0 after 2008’s commercial disappointment Brass Knuckles.