Nelly Furtado

Whoa, Nelly! The Canadian singer-songwriter who burst onto the music scene in 2000, captivating audiences with her culturally diverse sound. From Grammy acclaim to motherhood.


Of Portuguese extraction and Canadian by birth, Nelly Furtado is right where she wants to be, in terms of the ethnic diversity she strived for with her debut recording, ‘Whoa, Nelly’ and her music embraces enough styles to defy easy categorisation.

Though not much older than Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, Nelly is an artist whose music stands head and shoulders above the manufactured pop that rules the current charts.

Her influences are a crazy quilt of styles, ranging from hip-hop, drum and bass, teen-directed urban pop and world music (mostly Brazilian and Portuguese). As a teenager, she learned to play ukulele, trombone and guitar, while embracing a range of musical genres.

Moving to Toronto in the late 1990s to work, she performed at night as one half of the hip-hop duo ‘Nelstar’, and as a solo freestyler. She recorded a demo with two fans, Gerald Eaton and Brian West, of fellow Canadians 'The Philosopher Kings', which eventually led to a major label contract with DreamWorks Records.

After making her live debut proper, on select dates of the 1999 Lilith Fair tour, Furtado released her debut in October 2000. A worldwide smash followed with hit singles such as ‘I'm Like a Bird’ and ‘Turn Off the Light’.

Nelly went on to pick up four Grammy awards and, shortly after giving birth to her daughter Nevis in 2003, she returned with ‘Folklore’.

In June 2006, Nelly released a new album 'Loose' with single 'Maneater' taken from the album going to No. 1 in the charts. Musically 'Loose' was very different from her previous 'folk' style, offering a contemporary mix of hip-hop, R&B, pop and Spanish rock.

Following the success of Loose she released her first live DVD under the name 'Loose the Concert' which included her greatest hits of 2007 and 2006 as a live videos such as "Promiscuous", "Maneater", "Say It Right" and "All Good Things (Come to an End)".

She has released two further albums: 'Mi Plan' (2009) and 'The Spirit Indestructible' (2012).