20 years ago this month, Kelly Rowland tried to text Nelly via an Excel spreadsheet, and one of the greatest moments in music video history was born. 

Nelly and Kelly dropped ‘Dilemma’, an all-time R&B ballad in 2002. The call and response anthem detailed a man’s fawning infatuation with a woman already in a relationship, and immediately gets any millennial of a certain age crooning and dancing.

‘Dilemma’ won the Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Performance that year, but its true legacy lies in THAT music video.

After being pursued by the doting Nelly, Kelly infamously attempted to text him back on an Excel spreadsheet using her Nokia 9210 Communicator; showing the scene to a Gen Z person now, it’s like showing them something from an alternative universe.

But for millennials, it’s remained an iconic moment to treasure. On YouTube, the ‘Dilemma’ music video has been viewed over one billion times.

YouTube VideoPlay

Thanks to one clever cookie on TikTok, the mystery of just why Kelly used an Excel spreadsheet to text Nelly may finally have been solved. Dan Strong (@xlninjadan) has expertly broken down the way in which Kelly could genuinely have used the spreadsheet to text her potential beau.

“Twenty years ago, Kelly Rowland tried to message her boo using Microsoft Excel, but was she justified in doing that? Let’s take a look,” Dan begins.

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In the music video, Kelly can be seen typing “WHERE YOU AT HOLLA WHEN YOU GET THIS”. As Dan explains, she could then have used the hyperlink function to “send more than just a link” and used the “mail to” scheme to send the message via email.

Dan shows that Kelly could have typed out the following formula underneath her original message: “=HYPERLINK(“mailto:[email protected]aol.com?subject=hey&body=”&A1,”Send.

After the hyperlinked “Send Email” button was created, Kelly could have clicked on it to open up where an email with the message she typed out was ready to send to Nelly and all she had to do was simply hit send. “Probably that part of the video was cut off for time purposes,” Dan ponders.

The TikTok’s comments section was immediately inundated with people ecstatic that the decades-old misery had finally been resolved. “More people need to know about this I screamed when I first saw it,” someone wrote. “That’s exactly what I thought too. Poor Kelly,” added someone else. The official Microsoft 365 TikTok account even got involved, commenting “This wasn’t obvious?”

So we all owe Kelly Rowland a huge apology. You were in the right all along!


Kelly Rowland in Dilemma by Nelly is finally justified for using Excel on her Nokia flip phone! #exceltips #xlninjadan #nelly #nellyiloveyou #kellyrowland #excel Nelly Furtado Dilemma music video Excel funny

♬ original sound – Dan Strong

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