Nelly Kim Furtado was born in 1978 in Victoria, British Columbia to Portuguese parents, Maria Manuela and António José Furtado, both emigrants from the Azores.
Furtado came into the public eye in 2000 with the release of her debut album Whoa, Nelly!, which featured her breakthrough Grammy Award-winning single "I'm Like a Bird."
After becoming a mother and the release of Folklore (2003), she returned to prominence in 2006 with the release of Loose and its hit singles "Promiscuous," "Maneater," "All Good Things (Come to an End)" and "Say It Right." In 2009, she released her first full-length Spanish album Mi Plan, which won a Latin Grammy Award in 2010.
Furtado is known for experimenting with different instruments, sounds, genres, vocal styles and languages. This diversity has been influenced by her wide- ranging musical taste and her interest in different cultures.
At age four she began performing and singing in Portuguese. Nelly's first public performance was when she sang a duet with her mother at a church on Portugal Day. She began playing musical instruments at the age of nine, learning the trombone, ukulele and — in later years — the guitar and keyboards. At the age of 12, she began writing songs, and as a teenager, she performed in a Portuguese marching band.
She spent eight summers working as a chambermaid with her mother, along with her brother and sister who was a housekeeper in Victoria. During a visit with her sister Lisa Anne in Toronto the summer after eleventh grade, Furtado met Tallis Newkirk, member of the hip hop group Plains of Fascination. She contributed vocals to their 1996 album, Join the Ranks.
After graduating from Mount Douglas Secondary School in 1996, she moved to Toronto and lived with her sister. The next year, she formed Nelstar, a trip hop duo with Newkirk. Furtado left the group. She felt the trip-hop style of the duo did not represent her personality or allow her to showcase her vocal ability. She and planned to move back home.
HIGHLY Recommended (Links to Amazon):
In 1997, she performed at the Honey Jam talent show. Her performance attracted the attention of The Philosopher Kings singer Gerald Eaton. He and fellow Kings member Brian West helped Furtado produce a demo. She left Toronto, but returned again to record more material with Eaton and West. The material recorded during these sessions led to her 1999 record deal with DreamWorks Records. Furtado's first single, "Party's Just Begun (Again)," was released that year on the Brokedown Palace soundtrack.
Nelly continued to collaborate with Eaton and West, who co-produced her debut album, Whoa, Nelly!, which was released in October 2000. The album was an international success, and produced three international singles: "I'm like a Bird," "Turn off the Light," and ."..On the Radio (Remember the Days)." It received four Grammy nominations in 2002, and her debut single won for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
After a three-year break, she released her first full-length Spanish album, Mi Plan in 2009. On November 11, 2010 Furtado won the Latin Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Album for Mi Plan. She became the first Canadian to win a Latin Grammy award.Furtado is working on a full-length Portuguese album, as a follow-up to the Spanish Mi Plan.
For more about Nelly, visit her Website at -http://www.nellyfurtado.com/splash/