Among Nelly Furtado's most successful songs are her debut single "I'm Like a Bird", for which she won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2002, "Turn off the Light", which reached #1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, and "Força", the official anthem of the 2004 European Football Championship.
Nelly Furtado was born one of three children to Portuguese-Azorean parents in
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. At the age of nine started to learn playing
trombone and ukulele, followed-up by the keyboard at eleven. When she was
thirteen, Nelly also began composing her own songs.
After finishing high school, (Mt. Doug Secondary), Nelly Furtado moved to Toronto where she formed the trip hop duo Nelstar* in 1997 with local musician Tallisman with whom she had already worked the previously summer, contributing vocals to the song "Waitin' 4 the Streets" on Join the Ranks, the 1996 album of his band Plains of Fascination. "Like", one of the songs Nelstar* recorded, received a VideoFACT grant to cover for the production of a music video, but Furtado felt the musical style of the Nelstar* recordings did not represent her personality and vocal talent, and the clip was never released.
Performing one night at Toronto nightclub Lee's Palace, Nelly Furtado met The Philosopher Kings singer Gerald Eaton (aka Jarvis Church) who became an important collaborator, co-producing Furtado's debut album, Whoa, Nelly!, when she signed with Dreamworks Records in 1999. Eventually released in 2000 the CD saw major success all over the globe, supported by its three successful hit singles "I'm Like a Bird", "Turn off the Light" and "On the Radio (Remember the Days)". Furthermore Furtado was critically acclaimed for her innovative mixture of pop, trip hop, bossa nova, soul, R&B, hip-hop, and folk music, which was a result of her urge to move beyond the kinds of music that have always emotionally moved her.
On September 20, 2003, Nelly Furtado gave birth to her first child, daughter Nevis (the father is her then boyfriend Jasper Gahunia alias Lil' Jaz, Furtado's live DJ). Afterwards she released her second album, Folklore, in November 2003. The album includes the single "Força", which was written as the official anthem of the 2004 European Football Championship held in Portugal, and Furtado also performed it at the championship's final in Estádio da Luz, Lisbon on 4 July 2004.
Nelly Furtado also was a guest presenter at the 2005 European Music Awards held in Lisbon, Portugal.
Nelly Furtado made her acting debut in the film Nobody's Hero, to be released sometime in 2006. Furtado will also appear as the musical guest on the Saturday Night Live season finale, on May 20, 2006, with Kevin Spacey as the host.
Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, will be released on June 20, 2006. In the U.S. the Spanish dance track "No Hay Igual" was released as the album's first single on April 11, 2006, followed by "Promiscuous", featuring Timbaland, only two weeks later on April 25, 2006. In Europe, "Maneater" will be the first single off the album. The album, mostly produced by Timbaland and his production partner Danjahandz, will include songs such as "Maneater", as well as "All Good Things", a collaboration with Coldplay's Chris Martin.
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