Turn Off the Light

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"Turn Off the Light"
Nelly Furtado - Turn off the Light.jpg
Single by Nelly Furtado
from the album Whoa, Nelly!
Released14 August 2001 (2001-08-14)
Songwriter(s)Nelly Furtado
Nelly Furtado single singles chronology
"I'm Like a Bird"
"Turn Off the Light"
"Shit on the Radio (Remember the Days)"
Audio sample
Music video
"Turn Off the Light" on YouTube
Alternative cover
Australian cover
Australian cover

"Turn Off the Light" is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado, taken from her debut studio album, Whoa, Nelly! (2000). Written by Furtado, and produced by Gerald Eaton, Brian West, and Furtado, the song was released as the album's second single on August 14, 2001, reaching number one in New Zealand, Portugal, and Romania, as well reaching the top 10 in many countries around the world. Furtado, who cited the song "Turn the Lights On" by the Canadian band Big Sugar as the inspiration for "Turn Off the Light", has described it as "a real song ... Though I may seem so independent and stuff, blah, blah, blah, when I turn out the light at night I can get lonely just like everybody else. Maybe that's why it's such a good song and everyone is responding to it – because it's real. Just a song with a fun, hooky chorus."

Music video[edit]

There were two music videos made for "Turn Off the Light": the underground version, and the normal version.

The normal version was directed by Sophie Muller and was filmed in Beijing, China.[1] The music video for the normal version of "Turn Off the Light" begins in a swamp where Furtado is sitting on the edge of a log and people are swimming in the swamp. She begins to sing the first verse and when the chorus commences the people in the swamp pull her in and they start dancing in the swamp. The second verse starts and Furtado is seen at a temple singing while some dancers jump out and dance with Furtado. During the second part of the chorus, she is surrounded by a group at the temple and they dance around her while she sings. During the bridge she is shown at an old house both singing while sitting on a chair and playing a guitar, with the flag of the Azores both behind her and on her guitar (this scene is interpolated with shots of a DJ playing, also with the Azorean flag behind him, and topless men dancing while using skirts that resemble those used in Sufi whirling). The video ends with Furtado back at the temple eating noodles.

The underground video features Furtado playing the guitar in a wooden shed, wearing a white top and jeans. She is also seen buying flowers. Behind the scenes footage of the photoshoot for the Whoa, Nelly! cover is interwoven through the video.

Chart performance[edit]

The song became Furtado's most successful song at the time of its release. In New Zealand, it became her first number-one single there, stayed in the chart for 27 weeks, and was certified Gold by RMNZ for sales greater than 5,000 copies.[2][3] It became the second-most successful song of New Zealand in 2001, only behind Craig David's "Walking Away".[4] It peaked at number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 on 10 November 2001.[5] A remix featuring rappers Ms. Jade and Timbaland was released, and a dance remix reached number one on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.[6] In Australia, although the song peaked at only number 7, it remained in the top 50 for 21 weeks and was certified Platinum for sales exceeding sales of 70,000 copies.[7][8] It also debuted and peaked at number 4 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming her second top 5 single there, and also reached number 2 on the UK R&B Chart.[9][10]

Track listing[edit]

UK CD single[11]

  1. "Turn Off the Light" (radio edit) – 3:36
  2. "Turn Off the Light" (remix featuring Timbaland & Ms. Jade) – 3:38
  3. "I'm Like a Bird" (acoustic version) – 4:00
  4. "Turn Off the Light" (video)

UK cassette single

  1. "Turn Off the Light" – 3:36
  2. "I'm Like a Bird" (acoustic version) – 4:00

German 2-track single

  1. "Turn Off the Light" – 3:36
  2. "Turn Off the Light" (So Solid Crew Remix) – 5:22

German 4-track single[12][13]

  1. "Turn Off the Light" (radio edit) – 3:36
  2. "Turn Off the Light" (Sunshine Reggae Mix) – 3:59
  3. "I'm Like a Bird" (acoustic version) – 4:00
  4. "Turn Off the Light" (underground video) – 3:38


Credits adapted from the Whoa, Nelly! album liner notes.[14]

  • Nelly Furtado – songwriter, co-producer, lead vocals, background vocals, programming
  • Gerald Eaton – producer, programming, additional background vocals
  • Brian West – producer, guitar, scratches, programming, recording, engineering
  • James McCollum – guitar
  • Brad Haehnel – mixing, recording, engineering
  • John Knupp – second engineering

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
United Kingdom 20 August 2001 12" Polydor
Maxi single
Germany 27 August 2001 Universal

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nelly Furtado Central - Videos". NellyCentral. Archived from the original on 10 August 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Charts.nz – Nelly Furtado – Turn Off the Light". Top 40 Singles.
  3. ^ a b "New Zealand single certifications – Nelly Furtado – Turn Off the Light". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b "End of Year Charts 2001". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  6. ^ a b "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard.
  7. ^ a b "Australian-charts.com – Nelly Furtado – Turn Off the Light". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ a b "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2001 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Nelly Furtado: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  10. ^ a b "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
  11. ^ "Turn Off the Light/I'm Like a Bird - Album Track Listing-MTV".
  12. ^ "Nelly Furtado - Turn Off The Light". Discogs.
  13. ^ "Nelly Furtado - Turn Off The Light". Discogs.
  14. ^ (2000) Album notes for Whoa, Nelly! by Nelly Furtado [liner notes]. DreamWorks Records.
  15. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Nelly Furtado – Turn Off the Light" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  16. ^ "Ultratop.be – Nelly Furtado – Turn Off the Light" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – Nelly Furtado – Turn Off the Light" (in French). Ultratip.
  18. ^ "MuchMusic (Canada) Weekly Single Charts for 2001". Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  19. ^ "Lescharts.com – Nelly Furtado – Turn Off the Light" (in French). Les classement single.
  20. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Nelly Furtado – Turn Off the Light". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  21. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Turn Off the Light". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  22. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Nelly Furtado – Turn Off the Light". Top Digital Download.
  23. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 34, 2001" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  24. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Nelly Furtado – Turn Off the Light" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  25. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Nelly Furtado – Turn Off the Light". VG-lista.
  26. ^ "Nielsen Music Control". Archived from the original on 24 October 2007.
  27. ^ "2001". 9 December 2002. Archived from the original on 9 December 2002.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  28. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  29. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Nelly Furtado – Turn Off the Light". Singles Top 100.
  30. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Nelly Furtado – Turn Off the Light". Swiss Singles Chart.
  31. ^ "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  32. ^ "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  33. ^ "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  34. ^ "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard.
  35. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2001". ARIA. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  36. ^ "Ireland - Top Singles For 2001". Allcharts.org. Archived from the original on 5 May 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  37. ^ "Jaaroverzichten - Single 2001" (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  38. ^ "Årslista Singlar - År 2001" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  39. ^ "Swiss Year-End Charts 2001" (in German). Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  40. ^ "The Official UK Singles Chart 2001" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  41. ^ "Top 100 Songs of 2001 - Billboard Year End Charts". Bobborst. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  42. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  43. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Nelly Furtado; 'Turn Off the Light')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 February 2019.

External links[edit]