Nelly Furtado (born December 2nd, 1978) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer, actress and instrumentalist.
Furtado came to fame in 2000 with the release of her debut album Whoa, Nelly!, which featured her breakthrough Grammy Award-winning single "I'm like a Bird".
In 2003, she released the less commercially successful Folklore (2003), but returned to prominence in 2006 with the release of the album Loose .
Childhood and youth: Nelly Furtado was born in the Canadian city of Victoria, British Columbia to Portuguese immigrants.
She began playing instruments at the age of nine, learning the trombone, ukulele and, in later years, the guitar and keyboards. At the age of twelve, she began writing songs, and as a teenager, she performed in a Portuguese marching band.
After graduating from school in 1996, she moved to Toronto. The following year, she formed Nelstar, a trip hop act, but left the group as it didn't represent her personality.
Life and Music career: In 1999, she landed a record deal with DreamWorks Records after recording some successful demos. Furtado's first single, "Party's Just Begun (Again)", was released that year on the Brokedown Palace: Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
2000-2002: Whoa, Nelly! and early commercial success: Furtado released her debut album, Whoa, Nelly! in October 2000.
The album was an international success, supported by three singles: "I'm like a Bird", "Turn off the Light", and "...On the Radio (Remember the Days)". It received four Grammy Award nominations in 2002, and her debut single won for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
2003-2005: Folklore: Furtado's second album, Folklore, was released in November 2003.
The album includes the single "Força" (meaning "strength" or "carry on" in Portuguese), the official anthem of the 2004 European Football Championship.
Furtado performed this song in Lisbon at the championship's final, in which the Portugal national team played.
Other singles included "Powerless (Say What You Want)" and the ballad "Try". The album was not as successful as her debut.
2006-2008: Loose and return to prominence: Furtado's third album, Loose, was released in June 2006.
Primarily produced by Timbaland, it received generally positive reviews from critics, and became the most successful album of her career so far. It reached number one in several countries including the United States and Canada, and included the hit singles "Promiscuous", "Maneater", "Say It Right" and "All Good Things (Come to an End)".
In 2007, Furtado and Justin Timberlake were featured on Timbaland's single "Give It to Me", which became her third number-one single in the U.S. and second in the UK.
Personal life: On September 20th, 2003 in Toronto, Furtado gave birth to a daughter, Nevis, whose father is DJ Jasper Gahunia. Furtado and Gahunia, who had been good friends for several years, remained together for four years until their breakup in 2005.
In July 2007, it was reported that Nelly Furtado had got engaged to Cuban sound engineer, Demacio "Demo" Castellón, who worked with her on Loose.
Acting career: Furtado began acting in school plays in middle school but has since appeared on: an episode of CSI: NY ("Some Buried Bones"), soap opera One Life to Live and on an epidsode of Roswell.
Outside of US television Furtado has also been on in the hit Portuguese soap opera Floribella
Triva: Nelly Furtado was named after Soviet gymnast Nellie Kim.
In November 2006, Furtado revealed that she once turned down $500,000 to pose fully-clothed in Playboy.
Jennifer Lopez clearly made a huge error of judgement, though she's not the first pop star to play for a tyrant.
Jennifer Lopez has apologized for serenading the controversial Turkmenistan leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov at his 56th birthday celebration. A concert put together on behalf of China National Petroleum Corp for entertainment executives working in Turkmenistan, according to a statement from Lopez's representative obtained by E! Online.
Jennifer Lopez Made A Huge Error Of Judgement
The issue here, of course, is that Mr Berdymukhamedov has an atrocious human rights record and has ruled the country with an iron fist for years - living in luxury while the vast majority of Turkemenistan's inhabitants have nothing. According to a statement by the Human Rights Foundation, he is ranked as one of the nine "worst of the worst" dictators on the planet, while Transparcency International ranks the country as a bottom-seven country in their Corruption Perception Index. Reporters Without Borders label Berdymukhamedov as a "predator of press freedom" and ranks Turkmenistan as the world's third-worst place for journalist, sitting uncomfortably between Syria, North Korea and Eritrea. The leader's 97% landslide in the recent election was apparently so fraudulent that the OSCE declined to even send observers to look over it.
Continue reading: Jennifer Lopez Serenades Tyrant - But She Ain't The First