Music

Nelly Furtado's best Juno Awards moments

From her 1st acceptance speech to her hilarious high-wire entrance, the newly announced 2024 host has already given us some gems.

From her 1st acceptance speech to her hilarious high-wire entrance, the 2024 host has plenty to offer

Nelly Furtado, with her hair up and wearing a pink-ish dress, holds 5 Juno Awards in her arms.
Nelly Furtado has won 10 Juno Awards in total over her career. (Jim Ross/Getty Images)

Nelly Furtado will host the 2024 Juno Awards to be held in Halifax on March 24, which marks the continuation of a long relationship between the awards and the Victoria-raised artist.

Furtado made her Junos debut to accept her first award in 2001, for single of the year for "I'm Like a Bird." Since then, she has won a total of 10 Junos, performed numerous times and graced the stage for many skits and show duties, including as host for the 2007 award show held in Saskatoon.

Below, we look at Furtado's best Juno moments, from that time she (almost) literally flew like a bird, to when she gave a stirring performance of two of her early hits.


Accepting her 1st Juno Award: 'Obrigado!'

The year 2001 marked Furtado's first Juno appearance and she was up for five awards, including the first one handed out during the gala: best single. Presenters Jesse Cook and Colin James announced the nominees: Treble Chargers' "American Psycho," Jacksoul's "Can't Stop," SoulDecision's "Faded," Barenaked Ladies' "Pinch Me" and Furtado's "I'm Like a Bird." Furtado was backstage, getting ready to perform her song, when it was named the winner, and she rushed to the podium. 

"This is amazing, this is awesome," she beamed, then thanked her co-producers, the engineer, her label and her parents, who were in attendance. She momentarily lost her train of thought, and broke into Portuguese for a heartfelt "obrigado" before hoisting the Juno statuette and flashing a radiant smile. She'd win three other Junos that year: best new solo artist, best songwriter and best producer.


A moving performance of 'Powerless' featuring a powwow drum group

Nelly Furtado continued her Junos streak in 2004 with her sophomore album, Folklore. Entering the night with five nominations, she only walked away with one award (single of the year for "Powerless (Say What You Want)"). But Furtado also delivered an incredible performance of "Try" and "Powerless (Say What You Want)," transitioning from the former to the latter with help from Big River First Nations powwow drum group Whitefish Jrs. After singing the first few lines of the song, Furtado gives the spotlight over to Whitefish Jrs for a minute — one of many great moments of collaboration for the pop star on the Junos stage. As a bonus, she was introduced by the evening's host, Alanis Morissette, who praised Furtado by saying: "She's my hero for being able to bust out the way she does and have time and energy to be a mom." 


Her soaring entrance as host

Furtado put a literal spin on "I'm Like a Bird" when she descended from the air in a poofy, feathered costume to kick off her hosting duties at the 2007 Juno Awards. Reminding viewers that her Juno-winning hit is one for the ages, her entrance set the tone for the evening and proved Furtado could bring charm, humour and charisma to her skits and performances. She would go on to have a trophy-filled night, cleaning up in all five categories for which she was nominated.


An amusing skit with Michael Bublé

Michael Bublé and Furtado first connected musically in 2005 when she joined him on a duet for "Quando, Quando, Quando" on his album It's Time. The pair reunited at the 2007 Junos for a skit, when Furtado hilariously dressed up as her "aunt Tia Maria" in a wig, floral dress and cat-eye glasses for a faux interview with Bublé. Gushing over her "niece," Furtado called Bublé jealous and prodded him into gushing about his crush on the pop star. The skit would be much better without his comment about hoping to "score" with her, but focusing on Furtado's performance: the star of the show proceeds to smack Bublé with a handbag, all before a surprising twist at the very end.


Performing a medley of songs from Loose with rapper Saukrates

On top of hosting the awards in 2007, Furtado gave a powerhouse performance of the standout tracks on her 2006 album, Loose. The medley begins with a mellower track, "All Good Things (Come to an End)," in a throwback to the rootsy Furtado whom people fell in love with (and who racked up many Juno wins for her previous albums). At first, the spotlight is on her: just a woman and her guitar. She has an interactive light show that changes with each song, and with the switch to bright blue lighting, she ditches the guitar, the tempo speeds up and she adopts some sultry moves as she sings "Say it Right," with some help from a beat-boxing Saukrates. He then takes over Timbaland's verse on "Promiscuous" (one of Furtado's most successful singles to-date). The energy gets turned up even more for the final song, "Maneater," with blazing flames and bold and sexy choreo from background dancers who are taking their maneater roles very seriously. It's all a perfect encapsulation of Furtado's musical versatility.


The Nelly Furtado-starring 'Promiscu-mess' video

The video for Furtado's hit song "Promiscuous" was directed by Toronto's Director X, and the shadowy nightclub vibe perfectly matched the singer's turn into pop music after her success with folksier albums Whoa, Nelly! and Folklore. At the 2007 Juno Awards, the song featured prominently, winning single of the year — and near the end of her hosting duties that year, Furtado had a surprise for fans.

"Guys, guys, listen," she said conspiratorially on the broadcast. "When I wrote 'Promiscuous,' I was so excited about it, I ran out and I shot my own video. Actually: I shot it; I directed it; I starred in it; I did the editing; I sewed the costumes; catering; everything. But my record company didn't like it, so they didnt' use it. It's their loss, right? I still think they don't know a true genius when they see it, so I thought I'd share it with you all for the first time tonight."

What ensued was general chaos, featuring a lot of fruit, which you can watch above.


Host Nelly Furtado is bringing the party to the 2024 Juno Awards on Sunday, March 24, at 8 p.m ET. Tune in on CBC-TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music and CBC Listen, and stream globally on cbcmusic.ca/junos.

A designed graphic with turquoise background and the words "Join host Nelly Furtado at the Junos live Sunday, March 24, 8 p.m. ET" with a photo of Nelly holding a Juno.

now