About Nelly Furtado
Nelly Furtado’s 2000 debut single, “I’m Like a Bird,” positioned her as the next post-Lilith Fair star. But the Canadian singer/songwriter had a much different flight path in mind: In under a decade, she would transform into a pop powerhouse, slipping elements of folk, dance, R&B, hip-hop, Latin pop, and worldbeat into the charts. Born in Victoria, Canada, in 1978 to Portuguese immigrants, Furtado grew up singing, first in her parents’ native language. She eventually learned trombone, guitar, and keyboards, and began soaking up ‘90s hip-hop, trip-hop, and R&B. All those influences fused together on her 2000 debut album, Whoa, Nelly!, a playful pastiche of acoustic riffs, brash raps, woozy beats, and even a little fado. While she embraced more of her heritage on 2003’s Folklore with banjo-powered anthems “Forca” and “Powerless (Say What You Want),” she found full liberation on 2006’s Loose. Producer Timbaland brought out Furtado’s provocateur potential, as proven on the slinky hip-pop hit “Promiscuous” and Hall & Oates-nodding “Maneater.” A chart-topping superstar at this point, she’d only keep pushing her boundaries, releasing the Spanish-language album Mi Plan in 2009, followed by the dark electronic and hip-hop experimentations of 2012’s The Spirit Indestructive and the carnivalesque indie-pop of 2017’s The Ride. If anything, Furtado’s greatest allure remains her fascinating unpredictability.
HOMETOWNVictoria, British Columbia, Canad
BORNDecember 2, 1978