Nelly Furtado was one of the most successful acts of the 2000s. Known for her versatility and chart-topping collaborations with Timbaland, she continued to reinvent herself musically and was not afraid to take risks. Fans have long wondered what happened to the “Maneater” crooner’s career and why she once went years without releasing any new music.
With worldwide hits like “Promiscuous,” “Give It To Me,” and “Say It Right” under her belt, Furtado was a force to be reckoned with. The Canadian singer and songwriter burst onto the international musical scene in 2001 with the Grammy-winning single “I’m Like a Bird,” but it was her 2006 album Loose that really put Furtado on everyone’s radar.
Loose went on to sell over 12 million copies worldwide and is not only her bestselling album, but one of the bestselling albums of the 2000s. Since her debut single, Furtado has tried her hand at a number of musical genres, from trip hop to Portuguese folk and rap. After the release of the album, however, Furtado took a step back from the spotlight, citing being overwhelmed as the major reason.
On the British talk show Loose Women, she opened up about “taking too much on” as a result of being a new mum and touring the world at the same time.
“So I put out a third album, and it did really well. It was the one with “Maneater” and all those songs. And it was super exciting, but at the same time, I think I took too much on ‘cause I was a mother, on the road, and I was trying to maintain a relationship, and make music… It was all just a lot.”
Did Nelly Furtado stop making music?
Her fourth album, titled Mi Plan, was released in 2009 and sung in Spanish, earning her the Latin Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Album. In 2012, she released her fifth album, The Spirit Indestructible, which saw the artist embracing even more genres and musical styles. While it was her first English language album since 2006’s Loose, the album failed to achieve commercial success, debuting at #79 on the Billboard chart, as opposed to Loose’s debut at the top spot, with first week sales of 219,000.
Speaking about the album with HuffPost Canada in 2012, Furtado seemed unphased about its position on the charts, claiming she was proud of the album regardless.
“I’ve had kind of everything happen to me commercially and at different levels. I’ve had different scenes and I’ve dabbled in a lot of markets, so I see the music world as very global and I’m always looking for new avenues and opportunities, so one chart or anything doesn’t necessarily [mean anything]. I’m so proud of it creatively. I’ve gotten feedback that it’s a very liberating album to listen to and for me it was liberating to create it. Luckily, I have had a lot of ups and downs in my career on a commercial level, so I’m very bulletproof in that way.”
What is Nelly Furtado up to now?
Most recently, Furtado independently released her sixth album, The Ride, under her own record label, Nelstar Music. On stepping aside from a major label, she explained in an interview with Forbes what made her take a huge step career wise.
“I’ve realized what a simple person I am, and how, at my root, I’m just this bohemian artist who wants to create things on a whim. Becoming independent and owning this new record has been very pivotal for me because I’m able to own everything that I sing. I made an album I’m super excited about, and my gut told me that it was special, and I decided that I wanted to try a new business model, so I’m releasing it independently sort of as a joint venture, and it was fun. It was fun working with them, but I think I signed that record deal in 1998.”
Even though it’s been years since Furtado topped the charts, it looks like she is very content with where her life is musically. She remains one of Canada’s most successful and highest-selling artists, with record sales of over 40 million. She also has 10 Juno Awards and a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. Nelly Furtado is undeniably one of the best to do it.
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