Shakira live at a Paris concert, December 6, 2010 – Wikimedia Commons / oouinouin
CAIRO – 3 February 2018: Yesterday, February 2 was the birthday of world famous singer and beauty icon, Shakira. Married to Barcelona football star Gerard Pique, she is possibly the only footballer’s wife more famous than their spouse.
Hailing from Colombia, Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born to a Colombian mother and Lebanese father in 1977, and honors this dual-heritage in her music by fusing Latin and Arab visuals and sounds, creating the look that everyone knows as “Shakira”. This has gone some ways in explaining her massive international appeal.
Music was what Shakira was born to do; she wrote her first song when she was only eight years old, by the time she was 13 had already signed her first record deal. Unfortunately, her first two albums didn’t sell too well, prompting Shakira to step in and do things how she wanted; this turned out to be just what she needed, as her next release, 1996’s “Pies Descalzos” (Bare feet) sold over 3 million copies. Shakira was on her way to becoming a world superstar.
Here’s a look at some of her all-time biggest songs:
Hips Don’t Lie ft. Wyclef Jean
Released in 2006, Shakira’s most iconic and recognizable song originally began as part of another song; Wyclef Jean’s 2004 hit “Dance Like This”. Shakira then extended her segments, adding new parts, with the result being an unbelievable world-wide hit that took the charts by storm, becoming the singer’s first #1 track in the UK and U.S.. With its catchy lyrics, fusion of reggae and salsa and Shakira’s hypnotic dance moves, no song defines the singer better than this one.
This was the song that launched Shakira into stardom. Released in 2001 as the first track from her first English language album, “Laundry Service’, the song transformed Shakira into an immediate success, reaching the #2 spot in the UK and U.S. charts. The English speaking world had just fallen in love with Shakira.
Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)
The 2010 FIFA World Cup, hosted by South Africa, saw its official song sung by none other than Shakira, who worked her musical magic to create an unforgettable hit fitting the joyful atmosphere of the time and celebrating an entire continent’s worth of culture. The song proved to be more than just a hit in Africa however, as it became the #1 in Europe. Shakira performed the song live at the World Cup’s opening and closing ceremonies; it remains the most successful World Cup song of all time.
Can’t Remember to Forget You ft. Rihanna
Teaming up with fellow superstar Rihanna, Shakira released this single as the first taste of her 10th studio album in 2014, the self-titled “Shakira”. Mixing rock and reggae, the song became another massive success for Shakira, helped in part by the draw of the two superstars joining forces. The music video drew some criticism for its sexual themes, which Shakira fiercely shot down, affirming that the song was all about empowerment.
The title song from Shakira’s third studio album in 2009, it tapped into the more sexual elements in Shakira’s work to portray a woman’s sexuality as a fierce, powerful, independent beast, able to stand on its own as more than just a pretty object. It reached the #4 spot on the official charts and was her 5th best selling song in the UK.
Beautiful Liar ft. Beyonce
As if Shakira herself wasn’t enough, in 2007 for “Beautiful Liar” she decided to join forces with the Queen B of pop, Beyonce. Together, these two titans of music, who had always been interested in working together, rose to the #1 spot, dominating the top of the charts while being nominated for a Grammy Award and an MTV Video Music Award.