Top 10 Nelly Furtado Songs

This Canadian pop superstar has been in the music scene for over a decade. During this time she’s honed her skills and developed a style that’s kept her unique. In this countdown we take a look at the Top 10 Songs by Nelly Furtado. We’ve included songs like Powerless (Say What You Want), In God’s Hands, Try, Maneater, All Good Things (Come to an End), I’m Like a Bird, Promiscuous ft. Timbaland and Turn off the Light.

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Top 10 Nelly Furtado Songs

Since the early 21st century, this Canadian artist has re-invented herself time and time again. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Nelly Furtado Songs.

For this list, we’re focusing on official Nelly releases, which means that no live covers or guest spots have been included. With all due respect to Nelly’s Spanish language album “Mi Plan,” we’re focusing only on English-language recordings.

#10: “Powerless (Say What You Want)”
Folklore (2003)

When Nelly hit the music scene in 2000, she earned plenty of buzz for her fresh sound and sultry look. Her debut album “Whoa, Nelly” provided critics and fans a refreshing change from the glittery, bubblegum music of the era. For her sophomore release, though, Nelly celebrated her individuality with a truly uplifting pop anthem. Musically, the up-beat tempo establishes a positive vibe, and the chorus ensures that fans from all demographics can relate. Yeah, it’s a relatively safe production for a lead single, yet the central message transcends some of the more contrived pop hits of the time. And so, Nelly succeeds with “Powerless” by staying true to herself.

#9: “… on the Radio (Remember the Days)”
Whoa, Nelly (2000)

Produced by Gerald Eaton and Brian West of The Philosopher Kings, this early Nelly track mirrors the usual pop sound of the early 2000s. But, Nelly wrote the clever lyrics herself, and her fierce vocals demonstrate what made her so popular back then. Overall, there’s a potent mix of style and substance, and as the second track on the album, it’s a catchy lead-in song to some of the more popular hits recorded for “Whoa, Nelly.” Accompanied by the Hype Williams- directed music video, “On the Radio” became a modest North American hit, cracking the Top 10 in both Portugal and New Zealand.

#8: “In God’s Hands”
Loose (2006)

While Nelly isn’t necessarily known for powerhouse ballads like Adele or Lady Gaga, that doesn’t mean she can’t deliver the goods. For the final single off her third album “Loose,” she reflects on a failed romance with existential references to the man upstairs. From a production standpoint, “In God’s Hands,” is minimal, shying away from the commercial sound that is present elsewhere on the album, but it highlights Nelly’s voice while offering some insight into her personal life. For fans, that can go a long way, and for an artist like Nelly, it was a natural progression given her personal evolution as a woman.

#7: “Try”
Folklore (2003)

Another emotional Nelly track that has tremendous value, but didn’t necessarily make a dent in North American pop culture upon release. Produced by the Track & Field team, “Try” is the type of song that Katy Perry would appreciate. In other words, there’s a strong core message of hope, complemented by a building musical backdrop. Once again, it’s Nelly’s vocal texture and pacing that breathes life into the track, taking it from a relatively normal pop song into something more dynamic. Unsurprisingly, “Try” became a hit in Nelly’s native Canada, and it’s most definitely one of her more underrated releases.

#6: “Maneater”
Loose (2006)

When Nelly recorded her third studio album, she wisely enlisted the acclaimed producer Timbaland for a timely sound. So, when Nelly first dropped “Promiscuous” and followed it up with “Maneater,” well, she effectively transformed her career, just as promotional platforms like YouTube and Facebook emerged. And so, Nelly’s music video for “Maneater” helped re-invent her new pop culture persona. Musically, it’s got some throwback appeal and it ultimately became an international club banger. As a stand-alone single, though, it’s current, it’s raw and it’s sexy.

#5: “All Good Things (Come to an End)”
Loose (2006)

Moody and hypnotic, this Nelly track features the supporting vocals of Coldplay’s Chris Martin. Lyrically, “All Good Things” has a universal vibe, with all its existential longing and references to earthly elements. But for a mid-2000s pop song, the Timbaland production makes it pop, and while the chorus doesn’t necessarily stand out like other Furtado hits, “All Good Things” has a hypnotic and memorable quality of its own. The track barely cracked Billboard’s Top 100, yet the entrancing qualities made it a massive success overseas, further establishing Nelly as an influential artist beyond North America.

#4: “Turn Off the Light”
Whoa, Nelly (2000)

As a mid-album track from Nelly’s acclaimed debut, this song has some major attitude. At its core, “Turn Off the Light” captures feelings of loneliness, and most can relate to that, right? What’s more, Nelly’s staccato phrasing and scratchy tone adds some grit to the song’s playful vibe. Oh, and it’s got a seriously catchy hook too, which undoubtedly boosted its commercial appeal. Nelly released “Turn Off the Light” as her second single, and mainstream listeners reacted positively, as the track topped the US Dance Club charts.

#3: “Say It Right”
Loose (2006)

While some Nelly songs are an acquired taste, here’s one that simply has it goin’ on. Featuring Timbaland’s worldly sound, “Say It Right” is all about the mood; all about the mystical feel. With subtle and somewhat cryptic lyrics, Nelly’s vocals further solidify the vibe, producing an accessible pop song that translates worldwide. Like many great Nelly singles, it feels both retro and modern, which makes sense given that it was partially inspired by Eurythmics “Here Comes the Rain Again”. In other words, Nelly looked to past innovators to create a 21st century classic.

#2: “I’m Like a Bird”
Whoa, Nelly! (2000)

For Nelly’s debut single, she combines graceful production with an uplifting message of empowerment and the result is pure pop magic. She takes her time, delivering metaphorical lyrics, and essentially glides along with ease. Musically, “I’m Like a Bird” feels both indie and hippie, but the original sound and catchy hook equates to a pure commercial feel as well. For any emerging artist, a complementary music video is part of the package, and Nelly’s on-screen charisma sells the song’s message even more. Reaching the number 1 spot on Canadian charts, this song was a standout single that would start Nelly Furtado on her way to being one of the biggest Canadian pop stars of all time.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Big Hoops (Bigger the Better)”
The Spirit Indestructible (2012)

Folklore (2003)

Folklore (2003)

#1: “Promiscuous” feat. Timbaland
Loose (2006)

Nelly Furtado is far from a hip-hop star, but she’s undoubtedly a musically diverse artist. And when she re-emerged in 2006, it was Timbaland that helped Nelly spread her wings. With “Promiscuous,” Nelly slays from beginning to end, embracing her sexuality while dropping some rhymes in the process. Yeah, she sings a bit in the hook, but this track is all about the subtext, as Nelly oozes sensuality from verse to verse. “Promiscuous” is a fun track across the board, and it remains a timely party anthem that will consistently have people flocking to the dance floor.

So, do you agree with our selections? What is your favorite Nelly Furtado song? For more musical Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.

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