With model-quality looks and an angelic voice, Nelly Furtado is the total package. Nelly was born on December 2, 1978 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada to Portuguese immigrant parents. She developed a love of music at a young age and began singing in church with her mother when she was only four. By the age of nine, she was leaning to play the trombone and ukulele and later she picked up guitar and piano. She began trying her hand at songwriting when she was 12. During high school, she got involved with the underground rap and hip-hop scene in Toronto and became acquainted Tallis Newkirk, a member of the hip-hop group Plains of Fascination. Nelly contributed vocals to the song 'Waitin' 4 the Streets' off of their 1996 album, Join the Ranks. In 1997, she and Tallis formed a short-lived trip-hop group called Nelstar. That same year, Nelly performed at the Honey Jam, an urban music showcase featuring all female artists and attracted the attention of Gerald Eaton, lead singer for the R&B-pop group The Philosopher Kings. He and band mate Brian West collaborated on some songs with Nelly and helped her put together a demo that led to her signing with DreamWorks Records in 1999. Her first single, 'Party's Just Begun (Again)' was featured on the soundtrack of the film Brokedown Palace. Nelly's debut album, 2000's Whoa, Nelly! was a worldwide success, thanks to the strength of it's first single, 'I'm Like a Bird,' which won the singer a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The album also generated the hits 'Turn Off the Light' and '...On the Radio (Remember the Days).' Although her follow-up, 2003's Folklore wasn't a huge hit for the singer, Loose, released in June of 2006 was. Produced by Timbaland, the album reached number one on the Billboard charts and gave Nelly her first US number one single with 'Promiscuous.' 'Say it Right' also hit number one and earned her a Grammy nomination in 2007. Her collaboration with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake, 'Give It To Me' was also nominated that year. In addition to her successful music career, Nelly, who was reportedly offered $500,000 to pose fully-clothed for Playboy back in 2006 has also made appearances on the TV shows Roswell, One Life to Live and CSI: NY. With her hits getting bigger and bigger, Nelly Furtado's career has definitely taken off like a bird.
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