Text size
Text Print Share Email
5
Oct 13, 2009

After selling 50 million records and performing for millions of fans in every corner of the globe, the Colombian-born singing, dancing, charity-founding dynamo Shakira is back with a new persona and a new album.

By Drew Stoga

Don’t let the gyrating hips, flat stomach and platinum blonde mane fool you—Shakira knows what is going on.

Unlike many of her blissfully unaware pop-star contemporaries, the Colombian-born Shakira is firmly in touch with reality. She knows how hard everyday people are struggling these days and wants to help—by getting them on the dance floor.

Shakira recently spoke to MTV about She Wolf, her new album, saying “I want people to have fun with it. Forget about the troubles. Forget about the crisis. Forget everything for a minute—at least while they listen to the music.”

She Wolf, released internationally in mid-October and in the United States in November, is the product of nearly a year spent in her studio in the Bahamas. Working with hit-making producers Wyclef Jean and Pharrell Williams (of Neptunes fame), Shakira produced a whole new sound that is very electronic, and dance- and club-oriented. As evidenced by the infectious beats of the retro sounding lead single “She Wolf” and the shifting grooves of the recently released follow-up “Did It Again,” the new record promises to be a hit on dance floors around the world.

While constantly evolving, Shakira’s trademark sound is a unique blend of Latin American pop, Middle Eastern tradition, American rock and pop, along with anything else that catches the singer’s fancy. She has never shied away from an artistic challenge and has always walked—or danced—down her own unique path.

Signed to a record deal by Sony Music when she was only 13, Shakira’s first two albums were released before she finished high school. Both enjoyed modest success in Colombia, but it was not until her third release, 1996’s Pies Descalzos, that Shakira began her march toward regional and then global stardom.  

Pies Descalzos, which sold over 5 million copies, marked the first time that Shakira had creative control over her own album. It was influenced by American and British pop artists like Alanis Morissette and The Pretenders. The result transcended the bubble-gum pop that many of her peers were relying on to sell their records, and marked the emergence of Shakira as a true artist.

Next came, 1998’s ¿Dónde Están Los Ladrones?, which sold seven million copies worldwide, including one and a half million in the United States. That made it one of the best-selling Spanish language albums in American history.

After a successful MTV Unplugged album, Shakira shifted gears. She spent a year honing her English and studying the lyrics of Bob Dylan, and then released her English-language debut, Laundry Service, in 2001. The success of that album, as well as its follow-up, 2006’s Oral Fixation Vol. 2, established Shakira as a global phenomenon.

Indeed, Shakira seems to be redefining what a superstar can be the 21st century. Her popularity stretches from the Americas to the Middle East and beyond.

During the Oral Fixation tour, she performed in 40 countries for more than 2 million fans, incuding crowds of 20,000 in Mumbai and Lagos, and 70,000 in Moscow. The video for “She Wolf” was downloaded almost 7 million times in the two months since its release. Her total global record sales and iTunes downloads are approximately 50 million, a staggering amount in the era of file sharing and plunging album sales.

Shakira is also the rare artist whose music transcends borders. Laundry Service, which sold 12.3 million copies globally, outsold Beyonce’s Dangerously In Love at a rate of nearly 2 to 1.

As Shakira told London’s Sunday Times, “I like to think there’s more to me than image. My first interest is growing as an artist…connecting my music with different parts of the world is good for me. It feels like I’ve just started.”


login or register to post a comment

hi shakira you are looking soo beatifull i am living in pakistan if u come pakistan please meet me 1 time i am your big fan i wqant to talk u only 1 time i dont know whats your number please sms me on this number iwill cal you 0332 3688934

sid _mani
Jul 10, 2010

Hey Shakira if you visit this site often then i hope you know that there is a real fan out here who is remembering that tomorrow is your 33rd birthday and is wishing you all the best. hope you have a wonderful 33rd birthday !!!!!! I love you very much and I wish you all the best!!!!!

andrea gonzalez
Feb 2, 2010

SHE IS SO HOTT AND PERFECT! I LOVE SHAKIRA!!!

jeremy johnson
Nov 11, 2009

i lOvE ShAkIrA OmG I WaSs lIke ShE Is tHe bEsT a rEaLl DIVA

abner romano
Oct 17, 2009

i lOvE ShAkIrA OmG I WaSs lIke ShE Is tHe bEsT a rEaLl DIVA

abner romano
Oct 17, 2009