Nelly Furtado

2015 Nelly Furtado

Singer and songwriter Nelly Furtado was introduced to the world through her debut Whoa, Nelly!, released in the fall of 2000. Singles 'I'm Like a Bird' and 'Turn Off the Light' received more serious acclaim after Furtado performed at Moby's Area summer tour. A year later, Furtado's hard work paid off when she secured four Grammy nominations, which included Song of the Year for 'I'm like a Bird'. Her next album, Folklore, was released in late 2003, featuring the hit 'Fresh Off the Boat'.

Nelly Furtado believes that her fortunate career and creativity is attributed to her ethnic background and childhood. Born in Victoria, British Columbia and raised by her working-class parents of Portuguese decent, Nelly was instilled with a vast cultural experience. Nelly spent numerous summers working with her housekeeping mother, reinforcing a very strong sense of work ethic.

She turned to music for fun and leisure and learned to play the guitar and ukulele, while listening to artists like Mariah Carey, TLC, Salt-N-Pepa, and Bell Biv Devoe. Her older brother also passed on his listening interests to her through Radiohead, Oasis, and U2. Furtado incorporated a wide variety of music genres especially Brazilian music, and material by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Amalia Rodriguez. Hip-Hop also became a huge influence in Nelly Furtado's career when after high school she joined a duo named Nelstar and hence became comfortable with her writing and freestyle ability.

Furtado began her career essentially over-night when Brian West and Gerald Eaton from the Canadian funk-pop band, The Philosopher Kings, were instantly impressed and offered to produce her demo. The demo landed her with a deal from Dreamworks Records, and her debut album Whoa, Nelly! was released soon after in the fall of 2000. She picked up a Grammy award for 'Best Female Pop Vocal Performance' for 'I'm Like a Bird' in 2002, as well as 'Best New Solo Artist', 'Best Single', and 'Best Songwriter' from the Canadian Juno Awards in 2001. Nearly two months after Furtado gave birth to her first child, a girl named Nevis, she finished her second album, Folklore, in November of 2003.

Nelly embraces immeasurable talent from her vocals to her vast instrument-playing abilities: she's proficient on the guitar, ukulele and trombone. Her unique song-writing ability is enhanced by her fluency in English, Portuguese, and Hindi. And despite her extensive travels, she demostrates that she has not forgotten her roots by dedicating tours throughout Canada, as well as the U.S. and England.

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