Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado rose to prominence with her debut studio album, Whoa, Nelly in 2000. Of Portuguese descent, she began singing at the tender age of four. By the time she was nine, she had taken up multiple musical instruments including the ukulele and trombone. Having spent most of her time around music, she embraced many genres including hip hop, trip hop, drum and bass, and alternative hip hop. Taking her musical interests to a new level, Furtado started to pen her own songs at the age of twelve. Following her high school graduation, she moved to Toronto where she eventually formed the trip hop duo with Tallis Newkirk, with whom she performed with for a while. After producing a demo tape, with the help of Gerald Eaton and Brian West, she eventually secured a record deal with DreamWorks Records in 1999. The following fall, Furtado released her debut album entitled, Whoah, Nelly! through the label.
Responsible for her breakthrough success, the album quickly climbed up the ranks on various record charts worldwide. To date, it has sold over nine million copies across the globe, making it one of her best-selling works. Since her debut, Furtado has come out with five additional studio albums including Folklore (2003), Loose (2006), Mi Plan (2009), The Spirit Indestructible (2012), and The Ride (2017). As well, the artist has released over two dozen singles, most of which hit the US music charts. So far, Promiscuous, a collab with Timbaland, remains to be her most popular song, having gone platinum three times in the United States. Recognized for her efforts, Furtado has received several accolades and recognition throughout her career including ten Juno Awards, three Teen Choice Awards, three Much Music Video Awards, a Latin Grammy Award, a Grammy Award, and a BRIT Award, among numerous others; in total, she has been nominated well over a hundred times.
Since her debut in 2000, the Canadian-Portuguese artist has embarked on a number of tours in support of her musical releases, the latest having been that of her 2013 The Spirit Indestructible Tour. Outside of music, Furtado has also appeared in several television shows over the past years. In 2007, she made her acting debut in an episode of the popular crime procedural series, CSI: NY. From there, the singer graced the big screens n the action film, Max Payne the following year. Some of her later projects as an actress include that of Score: A Hockey Musical (2010), In Sixty (2011), 90210 (2012), and A Date with Miss Fortune (2015). Having said that, her main focus is of course, still with music.
What has the critically acclaimed Canadian artist been up to in the recent months? What are some of the latest projects that she’s dropped for fans? Does she have anything else planned for this year? What can we expect to see from her? What happened to Nelly Furtado? Where is she now in 2018?
Nelly Furtado’s Childhood and Early Life
Born on December 2, 1978 in Victoria, British Columbia, Nelly Furtado is the daughter of Maria Manuela Furtado and Antonio Jose Furtado, a pair of Portuguese immigrants who moved to Canada in the 60’s. Growing up with her two siblings, she started to sing Portuguese songs at the age of four. While she was still in grade school, she performed on stage for the first time with her mother at a local church for Portugal Day. Continuing to invest in her musical passions, she later learnt how to play the ukulele and trombone by the time she was nine years old; she would eventually also pick up the keyboards and the guitar. At the age of twelve, Furtado began to write her own songs.
When she was in the eleventh grade, she visited Toronto with her sister; it was then that she met Tallis Newkirk, a member of the music group, Plains of Fascination. In 1996, she provided some vocals for their song, Waitin’ 4 The Streets, which was later included in their studio album, Join the Ranks. After graduating from high school, Furtado eventually moved to Toronto to live with her sister. From there, she created a trip hop duo with Newkirk.
Wanting to go solo however, Furtado eventually left the group after a few months. Following that, she became acquainted with Gerald Eaton and Brian West with whom she started to write songs with; by the end of it, she had successfully produced a demo tape. With the demo in hand, the aspiring artist soon landed a recording deal with Dreamworks Records in 1999; she was just twenty one years old at the time.
Nelly Furtado’s Music Career
On October 24, 2000, Nelly Furtado released her debut studio album, Whoa, Nelly! in North America. Containing elements of R&B, folk, and pop, its production was handled in part by the artist herself, with help from Jon Levine, Brian West, and Gerald Eaten. Recorded in a number of studios in the United States and Canada, it featured twelve songs including the titles Baby Girl, My Love Grows Deeper Part 1, I Will Make U Cry, and Scared of You.
A commercial success, the album peaked at number two in Canada and number twenty four on the US Billboard Top 200. Praised by critics worldwide, it later reached the top ten in Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland. Responsible for propelling her into fame, the project eventually garnered her four Grammy Award nominations at the 44th annual ceremony. Having since gone platinum two times, the album is estimated to have sold over nine million copies internationally to date.
On November 5, 2003, the singer-songwriter dropped her second album, Folklore. Preceded by the single, Powerless (Say What You Want), it contained twelve tracks, all of which were produced by Furtado, Brian West, and Gerald Eaten. Unlike her previous endeavor, the project also included features from Kronos Quartet, Caetano Veloso and Jarvis Church. A dozen new songs for her catalog, some of the titles in album included Childhood Dreams, Fresh Off the Boat, One Trick Poney, Build You Up, Island of Wonder, and Picture Perfect.
Although it didn’t match the same level of success as its predecessor (mostly due to a lack of promotion), it still became a hit in a number of European countries such as Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, and Germany. In the United States, Folklore ended up peaking at number 38 on the Billboard Top 200, with roughly 68,000 sales in the first week. Eventually certified gold in the US, it has since sold more than three million copies across the globe.
On June 2006, Furtado released her most successful album to date, Loose under Interscope Records. Revolving around the theme of female sexuality, it boasted thirteen tracks including Te Busque, All Good Things (Come to an End), In God’s Hands, No Hay Igual, and Say It Right. Heavily promoted, it reached the top of the albums chart in her native Canada, where it sold over 34,000 copies during the initial week- making it the strongest debut by a Canadian artist that year. In the United States, Loose also debuted at the top of the Billboard Top 200, with 219,000 first week sales. Praised by critics, it eventually earned the singer a BRIT Award in 2007. Five times platinum in Canada, the album has since shipped over 12,000,000 units worldwide.
Following her breakthrough success, she came out with her next studio album, Mi Plan on September 11, 2009. Her first Spanish album, it receives many praises, most of which applauded her vocals. Released through Universal Music Latino, it included twelve tracks (one of which was hidden) including Bajo Ortra Luz, Fuetre, Manos al Aire, Mas, Suenos, and Felix Cumpleanos; also noteworthy is the fact that it featured Alex Cuba, Alejandro Fernandez, Julieta Venegas, La Mala Rodriguez, Concha Buika, and Juan Luis Guerra. Supported by her 2010 Mi Plan Tour, Mi Plan later received a Latin Grammy that year for Best Female Pop Vocal Album.
The following November, Furtado released her first and only compilation album to date, The Best of Nelly Furtado. Well over an hour in length, it included all of her biggest hits including I’m Like a Bird, Powerless (Say What You Want), Promiscuous (Feat. Timbland), In God’s Hands, and Broken Strings (Feat. James Morrison). As well, the album boasted three brand new tracks, Girlfriend in the City, Night is Young, and Stars. Well received by fans, it charted in numerous countries including Austria, Greece, the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, and Italy.
On September 14, 2012, the Canadian singer released her fifth album entitled, The Spirit Indestructible. Executively produced by Furtado herself, she had originally recorded forty tracks for the project, after which only twelve made the final cut. Some of the songs featured in the album include Spirit Indestructible, Parking Lot, Big Hoops (Bigger The Better), Waiting for the Night, The Most Beautiful Thing, and Bucket List. Given relatively positive reviews, it entered the Billboard Top 200 at number 79 with 6,000 first weel sales. In her native Canada, The Spirit Indestructible debuted at number 18 on the albums record chart. Although its reception in Europe was mild at best, it did manage to hit the UK albums chart at number 46.
As a guest artist, Furtado has also contributed to a number of hit songs including Give It To Me by Timbaland, Broken Strings by James Morrison, Jump by Flo Rida, and Wavin’ Flag by Young Artists for Haiti. Some of the other artists that she’s worked with over the years include Tiesto, N.E.R.D., K’naan, Dylan Murray, Dave Stewart, Missy Elliott, and Michael Buble, to name a few.
Nelly Furtado on Television and Film
In 2007, the recording artist appeared in a television series for the first time in the crime procedural drama, CSI: NY. From there, she eventually made her feature film debut in John Moore’s Max Payne (2008). After taking a short break, she returned in the musical film, Score: A Hockey Musical in 2010. Since then, Furtado has also appeared in the TV series, In Sixty (2011), and 90210 (2012).
What’s Nelly Furtado Doing Now in 2018 – Recent Updates
This March, the singer dropped her latest album, The Ride through her own music label, Nelstar Music. Her first full length album in five years, it included a dozen new songs, all of which were produced by John Congleton, with the exception of the track, Stick and Stones. Upon its release, it peaked at number 76 in Canada and number 25 on the US Independent Albums chart; as well, it reached the charts of Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and the UK.
In support of the studio album, Furtado has appeared in a handful of TV shows including Late Night with Seth Meyers, Larry King Now, The Chew, Today, Breakfast, and Loose Women.
In other news, it was recently announced this month that she will be collaborating with Tangina Stone, a newcomer from Brooklyn, on her new single, Exposed. According to reports, the song will center around the theme of separation and break up.
As far as upcoming shows go, the artist will be making an appearance this July at the Surrey Fusion Festival in Surrey, Canada, and at the Zalgiris Arena this October in Vilnius, Lithuania.
If you’d like to stay up to date with the singer-songwriter, why not follow her on social media? You can find Nelly Furtado on a number of different platforms including Instagram and Twitter at @NellyFurtado.