Nelly Furtado is a singing star who rose to worldwide fame in 2000 with the release of her debut album Whoa, Nelly. Furtado was born in December of 1978 in Canada. Her parents are immigrants from Portugal. Furtado has honored her Portuguese heritage by frequently singing in Spanish. The most famous example is her full length Spanish album, Mi Plan. The work's main single, "Manos al Aire," was a huge hit and made Furtado the first North American singer to the top the Billboard Hot Latin Chart with an original Spanish composition.
Furtado's first studio album was released in October of 2000. It went on to sell seven million copies all over the world and produced the hit singles "I'm Like A Bird," "Turn off the Light", and "Shit on the Radio (Remember the Days)." The single "I'm Like A Bird" garnered Furtado both a Juno Award and a Grammy Award.
Her follow up album, Folklore, was somewhat of a failure. It was far less successful than her debut both commercially and critically. Poor sales and negative reviews were due to the album's pretentiousness and from her label's lack of promotion. However, Folklore did produce the single "Força" which was used as the official anthem of the 2004 European Football Championship.
Furtado returned to her pop roots in 2006 with the release of her third studio album, Loose. The opus was produced by Timbaland and featured Furtado experimenting with elements from the genres of hip hop, R&B, and pop. Reviews ranged from "slick" to "sellout." Furtado explained that the album's youthful appeal was due to her being a mother of a two-year daughter. That statement is somewhat peculiar considering Furtado drastically increased her sex appeal at this time. The album produced Furtado's first two number one singles in the United States, "Promiscuous" and "Say It Right." In keeping with her pattern of releasing an album every three years, Furtado released the aforementioned Mi Plan in 2009 and then T.S.I. in 2012.
In 2011, it was revealed that Furtado played for Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and his family. Somewhat embarrassed by the revelation, Furtado donated her paycheck of $1 million to the charity Free the Children. It was not disclosed if she donated the interest earned from her million dollar payday. In 2006, Furtado denied rumors that she was bisexual but did say that she keeps an "open mind." Later that year, the singer revealed that she turned down $500,000 to pose for Playboy. The pictorial would have featured Furtado fully clothed.