In the autumn of Y2K, Victoria’s Nelly Furtado rocketed to global superstardom with the release of fresh and delightful single “I’m Like a Bird”. Further hit singles helped propel her debut album Whoa, Nelly! to quadruple platinum sales. In 2001, Furtado won four JUNO awards: Best New Solo Artist, Best Producer, Best Songwriter, and “I’m Like a Bird” was named Single of the Year. It was a magnificent start. Rather than follow up with a pop album along similar veins, however, Nelly surprised all by dropping a folk fusion album that paid partial homage to her Portuguese roots.
But it was in 2006, and the magical collaboration with producer Timbaland, that saw Nelly Furtado drop the bomb. The album was Loose, one that sold an estimated 12 million copies worldwide and that spawned several international hit singles. JUNO awards were plentiful: Album of the Year, Pop Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, the JUNO Fan Choice Award, and Single of the Year (“Promiscuous”). Being groupies of the star-spangled republic, an important achievement the Canadian media fails to cite is that Nelly Furtado was the only Canadian artist to win a Brit Award through the noughties decade.
Nelly again startled the public by following up with a Spanish language album. The U.S. media commented that a Canadian artist of Portuguese descent pulling off a credible Spanish language album when many American artists of Spanish descent had no grasp of the language was a justifiable call for sigh-inducing envy on the part of the latter. The album Mi Plan took home a Latin Grammy. While Nelly Furtado’s 2012 album The Spirit Indestructible saw some success (single “Big Hoops” scratched the Top 30 and went gold), it wasn’t the big comeback her fans wanted. More successful was her collaboration with K’Naan on “Is Anybody Out There?”
Nelly Furtado recently announced a new studio album expected out in November 2016. She is releasing a more experimental track “Behind Your Back” that won’t appear on the album. Her vocals also appear, along with her British Columbian sister Carly Rae Jepsen’s, on a track from Dev Hynes’ recent album. Can she pull off a big comeback? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime enjoy the blast from the past below. 218 million views isn’t too shabby, eh.