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Nelly Furtado picture, image, poster
Nelly Furtado

Date of birth : 1978-12-02
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Nationality : Canadian
Category : Famous Figures
Last modified : 2010-12-02

Nelly Kim Furtado was born on December 2, 1978 in Victoria, British Columbia. In a sense, Furtado’s future musical success seemed assured: her family, of Portuguese descent, was very musical. Her mother, Maria Manuela, was a church choir singer and her father, António José was a big fan of the Portuguese music called “fado.” In another sense, the fame and fortune Furtado has achieved must have seemed impossible when, as a child, she accompanied her mother on her job as a housekeeper. Furtado’s musical promise surfaced early, and she played various instruments such as the ukulele and trombone as well as dancing and singing. At the age of four, she performed a duet with her mother at church in celebration of Portugal Day. She was part of a jazz band, a concert band, and a marching band in addition to appearing in school plays and musicals. When Furtado was eight, she received a tape recorder and microphone as a gift. This gift and her fascination with hip-hop groups such as TLC, Bel Biv Devoe, Ice-T, and Mariah Carey led her to experiment with the sampling techniques used by those acts. When she was 18, Furtado entered a talent show for young female urban performers held in Toronto, the Honey Jam. Her performance caught the eye of the manager of the Philosopher Kings, a funk/pop group. Furtado recorded a track with the help of Gerald Eaton and Brian West (of the Philosopher Kings). Impressed with what they heard, Eaton and West persuaded Furtado to return to Toronto to cut more tracks. Their work paid off when Furtado landed a record contract with DreamWorks Records and eventually recorded her debut album, Whoa Nelly! Furtado toured in support of that album and also played the Lilith Fair, an all-female musical showcase. Subsequent albums have received critical acclaim and further demonstrated Furtado’s aim of exploring the world through music. Headquartered in Toronto, which she calls the most multi-culturally diverse city in the world, Furtado continues to experiment with musical styles and genres.

Whoa, Nelly!, her first album, appeared in late 2000 and DreamWorks built the album gradually, capitalizing on strong reviews and a supporting slot for Moby, with the record truly taking off when “I’m Like a Bird” turned into a hit on a road that led to a Grammy for Song of the Year. This was one of four Grammy nominations and several hits including “Turn Off the Light,” which displayed her rhythmic roots in a way “I’m Like a Bird” did not. Furtado had a daughter as she was working on her second album, and her new role as a mother was evident on Folklore. Released in November 2003, Folklore was an ambitious album that garnered some good reviews along with some negative notices, and it failed to generate a hit.

Perhaps the under-performance of Folklore pushed Furtado toward the musical makeover of Loose, the 2006 album produced largely by hip-hop superstar Timbaland. Heavy on grooves and overtly sexual, Loose had a pair of smash singles: “Promiscuous,” which was a chart-topper in the U.S., and “Maneater,” which performed the same feat in the U.K. Both singles set the soundtrack for 2006 around the world, helping the album shift seven million copies internationally. Her star status fortified, Furtado took her time delivering a follow-up, releasing her first Spanish-language album, Mi Plan, in September 2009.

Discography:

* Whoa, Nelly! (2000)
* Folklore (2003)
* Loose (2006)
* Mi Plan (2009)

Filmography:

2001 Roswell
2006 Floribella
2007 One Life to Live
2007 CSI: NY
2007 Punk'd
2008 Max Payne
2010 Big Brother Brasil
2010 Score: A Hockey Musical


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