Not every singer is requested to sing for royalty. Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado joined that rare club in 2007, when England's Prince William and Prince Harry personally invited the star to appear at the Concert for Diana at London's Wembley Stadium.
"I'll never forget it. I felt like her spirit was there," Furtado told CTV's Canada AM on Tuesday, reflecting on her brush with royalty the same day thousands were celebrating Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee in London.
Growing up in Victoria, B.C. -- a city named after England's Queen Victoria -- Furtado developed a lasting fondness for Canada's royal connections. Indeed, this city has kept its taste for royal traditions alive ever since the British first settled in Victoria in 1841.
"It's nice to grow up with that tradition," said Furtado.
"We respected it. We looked up to Princess Diana and the Queen," she said.
There's no way to tell when Furtado will receive her next invite to perform for any other heirs to the throne, but she's back to making music anyway.
After a six-year break, Furtado will release her fourth English-language studio album "The Spirit Indestructible" on September 18.
According to Furtado, the tunes included on her upcoming album are "young and fresh." That spirit was evident in the album's first single, "Big Hoops (Bigger the Better)," an urban pop song that features staccato percussion and hip hop beats.
The album also marks a turning point in her development as a performer.
"I've really matured as an artist," Furtado said.
The release will likely attract considerable interest, particularly from critics who will be curious to see how Furtado's talents have developed since her self-imposed hiatus that began after the Get Loose Tour.
Launched in supported of her 2006 album, "Loose," the Get Loose Tour took Furtado across Europe and North America from February of 2007 to July of 2008.
It was her first tour on a grand scale, and by the end life on the road had really taken its toll.
"I walked away. I just felt like I needed to be home," said Furtado.
"I'm into the experience of life," she added.
During her break, the 33-year-old Furtado formed her own record label Nelstar Entertainment. With that label, Furtado was able to expand her musical interests and release "Mi Plan," her first Spanish album, in September of 2009.
The album reached the No. 1 spot on the U.S. Latin Billboard Chart. The platinum release also earned Furtado a Latin Grammy in 2010 for Best Female Pop Vocal.
Furtado's timeout also gave her the opportunity to spend quality time with her now eight-year-old daughter.
"Before I had a family I was like a leaf floating down a river. Now I have to be an example for my daughter," said Furtado.
"She's eight, but she will tell you what she thinks," she said.
None of these experiences would have happened, however, if Furtado had not followed her instincts and walked away from the limelight.
"I let life happen and I let the music do the rest," said Furtado.