Nelly Furtado with Timbaland
Writer(s): Tim “Attitude” Clayton/Nelly Furtado/Nate Hills/Tim “Timbaland” Mosley (see lyrics here)
Released: April 25, 2006
First Charted: May 5, 2006
Peak: 16 US, 17 RR, 27 A40, 22 RB, 3 UK, 11 CN, 2 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 3.82 US, 0.6 UK, 5.23 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.5 radio, 493.1 video, 626.13 streaming
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About the Song:
Nelly Furtado first charted with the folkie, alternative-rock “I’m Like a Bird” in 2001. That song and its follow-up, “Turn Out the Light,” were top 10 U.S. hits, but her second album failed to land any songs on the Billboard Hot 100. It looked like Furtado had already peaked, but then she teamed with Timbaland, one of the hottest producers around, for her third album. Billboard called them “a surprisingly good match.” WK
On the song “Promiscuous,” the pair lyrically flirt with each other as she initially rejects his advances. She told Blender she saw the song as being about verbal foreplay, saying that she and co-writer Tim Clayton “called it ‘The Blackberry Song’ because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody.” SF
Because of a lyrical reference to basketball star Steve Nash (“Is that the truth or are talkin’ trash/ Is your game MVP like Steve Nash?”), some assumed they were romantically linked. Nash said that he was “flattered that she put me in her song, but I’m completely in love with my wife and two little baby girls.” WK Furtado also denied any tryst, saying that she included him because both were from Victoria, British Columbia. WK
The New Yorker called the song a “playful update” of Janet Jackson’s “Nasty” and All Music Guide’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine compared the song to “vintage Prince,” WK although he also said Furtado doesn’t “generate much carnal heat.” WK
The song won a Billboard Award for Best Pop Single of the Year and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.
First posted 2/7/2021; last updated 4/3/2022.