Nelly Furtado is a famous Canadian singer and songwriter who hit international fame in ’01 with her debut album, Whoa Nelly!, with the singles, Turn of the Lights and I’m Like a Bird earning several Juno Awards and a Grammy. Here, MusicSnakeMag put together a list of top 10 interesting facts you probably didn’t know about Nelly Furtado.

Number One: She Was Part of a Trip-Hop Duo. In ’97, Nelly started a trip-hop duo with Tallis Newkirk, who she had met a year earlier and collaborated with on a song for Newkirk’s hip-hop group, Plains of Fascination. The duo Nelstar ultimately called it quits when Furtado felt the trip-hop genre did not let her show off her vocal abilities.

Number Two: The Singer is Canadian by Way of Portugal. Her parents are from São Miguel Island and emigrated to Canada in the 60’s. Portuguese is one of her first languages, and Nelly Furtado has been performing in that language since she was 4 years old.

Number Three: Nelly Furtado Recorded a Spanish-Language Album. She released her debut Spanish-Language album on her label, Nelstar, in 2009. Called Mi Plan, the album was a huge success, earning her a Latin Grammy for Female Pop Vocal Album. This honor made her the first Canadian musician to ever win a Latin Grammy.

Number Four: The Singer Got in Trouble for Performing a Concert for Muammar Gaddafi. In ’11, it was reported that she had allegedly performed for the ruler and his family in ’07. Because of the press surrounding the story, she decided to donate the money she received from the show to the youth empowerment charity, Free the Children.

Number Five: She turned down Playboy. Near the height of her career, Furtado was asked by Playboy to pose in the magazine with her clothes on. At 22, she felt like it was too soon to have something with that connotation on her resume.

Number Six: Nelly Worked as a Chambermaid. As a child, she spent many of her summers with her mother, working as a chambermaid. Her sister was also a housekeeper. The experience taught Furtado about hard work, developing in her a strong work ethic.

Number Seven: The Singer Has a Star on the Canadian Walk of Fame. In ’10, she received a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame in Toronto.

Number Eight: Nelly Furtado Plays 4 Instruments. When Nelly was 9 y.o., she started learning to play both the trombone and the ukulele. The musician would later go on to learn the more traditional rock instruments of guitar and keyboards.

Number Nine: Furtado Wrote Anthems for the European Football Championship and the Winter Olympics. In ’04, her song Forҫa, off her second album, Folklore, became the official anthem of the European Football Championship. In ’10, the artist was similarly honored when she was tapped to write a song for the Winter Olympics being held in Vancouver that year. The song, Bang the Drum, was written with Bryan Adams, and the two performed it during the opening ceremony of the event.

Number Ten: Nelly Recorded a Song in Simlish. For the ’09 game The Sims 3 World Adventures, she rerecorded her single, Manos Al Aire, in Simlish. About her involvement, she was quoted as saying “I love languages and it was so fun singing in Simlish.” A video for the re-recorded single was made available as well. Thank you for reading!

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