BBC News - Nelly Furtado: The stories behind my hits

Nelly Furtado: The stories behind my hits
By Mark Savage
BBC News entertainment reporter

In the decade since Nelly Furtado first came to our attention with I'm Like A Bird, the Canadian songstress has dabbled in pop, folk, hip-hop, electronica, dance and world music.

"I've definitely confused people," the singer laughs, "but I guess that's part of what I do".

"I've always listened to a really broad spectrum of music, from British rock bands to Canadian folk music to Brazilian samba music, it's all stuff that turns me on.

"The one unifying thread is, clearly, I'm a pop singer and pop songwriter and melody and lyrics are central to what I do."

Furtado concedes that the scattershot approach means she has had to "find a new fanbase with every record", but it seems to have worked.

Loose, her collaboration with hip-hop producer Timbaland, went platinum in 32 countries. The follow-up, a Spanish language disc called Mi Plan, may have seemed like career suicide - but it won a Grammy and topped the Latin album charts.

"My goal is to always record albums where pretty much every song sounds just as good with only an acoustic guitar and a vocal," Furtado explains. "That's always the test."

As she releases her first greatest hits compilation, the singer-songwriter told the BBC about the stories behind her biggest songs.

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