Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll (born February 2, 1977 in Barranquilla, Colombia) is a Colombian singer and dancer who is the highest-selling Colombian artist of all time and the second most successful female Latin singer of all time (after Gloria Estefan), having sold over 50 million albums worldwide. She is of Lebanese, Catalan, Spanish and Italian descent. Known for her belly dancing, her multiculturalism, and her Alanis Morissette-like voice, Shakira is a she-wolf to be reckoned with.
Hailing from Barranquilla, Colombia, her Lebanese father took her to a Middle Eastern restaurant when she was 4. Here, she heard the doumbek, and started dancing to an enthusiastic crowd. Her passion for being a live performer was ignited.
When she was 8, her father went bankrupt. She was sent to relatives in Los Angeles. She got to return to Barranquilla, but she was shocked to find that a lot of her parents belongings had been sold. To show her that things could be worse, her father took her to a local park where orphans were sniffing glue. The images stayed with her and she said to herself, "One day Im going to help these kids when I become a famous artist."
She got to record two albums in her teenage years: Magia (English: Magic) and Peligro (English: Danger). These albums were commercial failures, and soon became victims of Canon Discontinuity.
When it was time to record her third album, Shakira started to produce her own music, perfect her voice and take creative control of her music. Pies Descalzos (English: Bare Feet) was groundbreaking in the Latin pop world. The songs of the album are melodic, musically surprising and gritty, with intellectual lyrics and an electronic/acoustic blend that effectively broke the formulaic mold of Latin pop with an authentic sound that hadnt been heard before. The album sold over 5 million copies.
¿Dónde Están los Ladrones? (English: Where Are the Thieves?), inspired by an incident in an airport in which a suitcase full of her written lyrics was stolen, was a bigger hit than Pies Descalzos. It combined world, rock, pop, and dance perfectly. Its also notable for being a success in the United States, where 1,500,000 copies were sold. Shakiras first live album, MTV Unplugged, was recorded in New York City on August 12, 1999. Highly acclaimed by American critics, it is rated as one of her best-ever live performances.
After the success of these two albums, she began to work on a crossover album to English, Laundry Service. Her English lyrics were unusual, which was because she hadnt quite grasped the language yet. (Yes, this has the song with the lyric "Lucky for my breasts they're small and humble, so you don't confuse them with mountains".) Sure enough, this gained her criticism. Her Latin fans also criticized Shakira, since she apparently sold out to the contemporary American pop market. Laundry Service nevertheless became a big hit, selling over 13 million copies.
Things are looking big for Shakira. "Hips Don't Lie", a collab with Wyclef Jean, is still the world's best-selling single of the 21st Century and is the world's biggest pop song ever as well as being the YouTube video with the highest number of views until 2007 and spawning "Hips Don't Lie (Bamboo)", the 2006 FIFA World Cup anthem. Later songs "She Wolf" and "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)" proved that she is still one of the biggest stars in the world right now; "Waka Waka" is currently the 28th most viewed YouTube music video of all time with 1.4 billion views, and was the 2010 World Cup anthem.
Shakira is also a philanthropist. She founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation. It is a Colombian charity with special schools for poor children all around Colombia. She stayed true to her promise to the glue-sniffing orphans after all. She is also a recurring panelist on The Voice, had a singing role in the Walt Disney Animated Classic Zootopia, and co-headlined the Super Bowl LIV halftime show with fellow Latina artist Jennifer Lopez.
Shakira is currently in a relationship with soccer player Gerard Piqué. The pair have two children together.
See Madonna, her Italian-American counterpart in the Anglosphere.
- Pies descalzos (1995)
- "Pies descalzos, sueños blancos" (1996)
- ¿Dónde están los ladrones? (1998)
- Laundry Service (2001)
- Fijación Oral Vol. 1 (2005)
- Oral Fixation Vol. 2 (2005)
- "Hips Don't Lie" (2006)
- She Wolf (2009)
- Sale el Sol (2010)
- Shakira (2014)
- El Dorado (2017)
Oh, you know I'm on tonight, and my tropes don't lie:
- Acceptable Feminine Goals and Traits: "Pies Descalzos" ("Bare Feet"), which seems to be sung to a teenage girl telling her the expectations of being a woman by equating one with all women of history; however, it may be presented as satire by loading all of these expectations onto teenage girls at their quinceañeras. It starts with mentioning the original sin,More discussion then a verse describes how she (the addressee)/women built lives that were perfectly calculated, but says that she (the singer) is a complete mess by not knowing timings and names and movements, before listing a lot of said "acceptable" female actions dictated by society: politeness, saying and feeling only certain things, working hard, being pure in religion, to not speak at the dinner table, to always wear shoes, to dress well, to get married before 30 and, above all, have good champagne at your quinces and to perform the special waltz well. It's almost certainly satire, likely to say that it's wrong to put all this on a 15-year-old girl, and on women in general, especially since it heavily invokes tradition but also exaggeratedly ancient tradition, as well as addressing it somewhat mockingly, it may also be potentially calling on people to care about real social issues rather than making traditional gender roles a bigger deal. Or it may be genuinely warning poor teenage girls what they've unassumingly gotten themselves into, addressing the issue with sarcasm. It is probably part of the modern discourse on the role of the quinceañera and, notably, Colombia is one Latin country where it's become more common for girls to not have a quinceañera party.
- An Aesop: Her obscure songs "Timor" and "How Do You Do" address serious issues, like the utter hypocrisy in Western treatment of the Third World Countries and the need for intellectual examination of faith respectively.
- All in the Eyes:
- In the music video for "Objection (Tango)", there is a sequence where Shakira is in the car looking for her wayward lover, and her eyes are illuminated by the reflection from her rear-view mirror.
- It's also the main reason for the song "Ojos Así".
- And "En Tus Pupilas".
- Lines in Whenever, Wherever and the Spanish equivalent Suerte say, respectively, "And these two eyes that for no other/The day you leave will cry a river" and "And these two eyes which tell me/That they must mourn when you leave".
- Anatomically Impossible Sex: Discussed in one line from "Long Time":
- Animated Music Video: A portion of the music video for "Objection (Tango)".
- Bare Your Midriff: Does this most of the time (and what a midriff!).
- Belly Dancer: Her traditional-style belly dancing is one of her more famous skills, best seen in the videos for "Ojos Así" and "Hips Don't Lie".
- Bilingual Bonus:
- Her song lyrics, and everything else really, are much more enjoyable if you know Spanish.
- In this interview she purposely mis-translates Daly's message into Spanish, and what she does say is hilarious. There are subtitles, but a lot of the audience was Latino anyway.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: May be lampshaded in "Underneath Your Clothes", Shakira's first attempt at an original English song, with the second line: "don't get me wrong, 'cause this might sound to you a bit odd". Sure, it refers to the idea of the song being about... whatever it's about... but also warns listeners that the English may not be of a high grammar quality. That line is the worst offender in the song, both misusing the idiom "don't get me wrong" and employing technically correct Yoda Speak for the apology.
- "Don't Bother" is likely the result of a mistranslation of "Don't Worry" (or specifically "Don't Bother Yourself"). The song has Shakira bitterly addressing a man who cheated on her, but the phrase "Don't Bother" would imply that he's attempting to come back to her or apologise,whereas the theme of the rest of the chorus is that she is telling him not to let it concern him and letting him move on. Of course,in what is a common theme in Shakira's songs, the song's tone shifts from bitter to peaceful on a regular basis.
- Body Motifs: Shakira seems to have a thing for attributing human attributes or conscious actions to body parts.
- The infamous lyric from "Whenever, Wherever": "Lucky that my breasts are small and humble".
- "Hips Don't Lie", of course - it's right in the title!
- From "Something": "When I look into your eyes they say to me that God still exists".
- From "Long Time": "So let those eloquent hands of yours just keep on going".
- From "Dare (La La La)": "Your blue Spanish eyes are my witness".
- From "Broken Record": "Your hands that have no mercy are also my best friends".
- Bookends: The song No begins and ends with the same one-word line. "No." (Pronounced 'noh'. In Spanish.)
- Break-Up Song: "Don't Bother", and many songs from her Spanish era, such as "Te Espero Sentada" and "Estoy Aquí".
- But Not Too Foreign: 1/2 Lebanese, in fact.
- The infamous lines of "Whenever, Wherever" - "Lucky for my breasts they're small and humble/So you don't confuse them with mountains" - is somewhat revoked in "Costume Makes The Clown"with the very first lines; "Told you I felt lucky with my humble breasts/ Well I don't".
- In "Don't Bother" with "and [I'd] learn about football", referencing "Inevitable" line "I don't understand football". Also, "Don't Bother" repeats the line "I promise you won't ever see me cry" and even though it was released as a single a few weeks before the Oral Fixation Vol. 2 album release, "How Do You Do?" was the title track of this, including the repetitive lines "Do you ever cry?/ I sometimes cry", the latter of which is confessed - just like it was in "Inevitable" ('the truth is I cry once a month') and "Whenever, Wherever" ('the day you leave will cry a river'), which are both earlier songs.
- "Illegal" has the verse "Who would've thought/That you could hurt me/The way you've done it/So deliberate so determined". The song is preceded by "No", the general message of which (you try translate that coherently) is "I can't believe you could hurt me like that, so cruelly". "Illegal" then ends with "I'm starting to believe it should be illegal to deceive a woman's heart." Clearly, she's getting tired of the cheating.
- Shakira likes to dance in the street, we know this, "Hips Don't Lie" even has the lyrics "baile en la calle". The video for "Ciega, Sordomuda" is set up by an event at the beginning, this event being Shakira getting arrested for dancing in the street.
- The lyrics of "Estoy Aquí" ("I'm Here") from Pies Descalzos from talk about wanting to fix a failed relationship. On her next album ¿Dónde Están Los Ladrones?, the song "Si Te Vas" has her telling her love that if he leaves her, she'll have moved on: "I won't (still) be here in the same place".note
- The Cameo:
- Canon Discontinuity: Her first two albums, Magia and Peligro. They were recorded when she was only 13 and 15 and did poorly commercially; Shakira was also disatisfied with her lack of creative control on the album. They were pulled from print at her request and haven't been released outside Colombia, and generally aren't counted as part of her discography.
- The Cover Changes the Gender: The French song Je l'aime à mourir ("I love her to death") by Francis Cabrel is essentially a man telling the world of his love for the woman who shares his life. The bilingual (French & Spanish) cover by Shakira does not bother to change the gender of the target of the narrator's affection.
- Cunning Linguist: Along with Spanish and English, she is fluent in the Portuguese of Colombia's neighbor Brazil (where she broke out early in her career), and has shown herself to know a good portion of French and Italian. Not to mention how "Waka Waka" has some verses in an African language. Presumably, she speaks some Catalan, since her husband is from Catalunya.
- Dance Battler: In the "Did It Again" video, she and her partner fight in bed capoeira-style.
- Distinct Double Album: Shakira, having written over 60 tracks after Laundry Service, decided to make her follow up album a double album. To make this more interesting, she recorded the first disc in Spanish ("Fijacion Oral Vol 1") and the second disc in English ("Oral Fixation Vol 2"), and released them separately (later in a box set). The Spanish disc also has a decidedly more Latin feel. There are only two tracks that had complete translations released for both albums - "En Tus Pupilas" aka "Something", and "Dia Especial" aka "The Day And The Time". Later on, "La Tortura" and "Las De La Intuicion" received English translations and "Hips Don't Lie" a Spanish one. Shakira's choice of guest artists also related to the market she was appealing to, the former having popular Latin American artists Gustavo Cerati and Alejandro Sanz, and the latter having internationally popular artists Carlos Santana and Wyclef Jean.
- Does Not Like Shoes: She is the poster girl for bare feet. Moreover, the song "Pies Descalzos, Sueños Blancos" pretty much outright states that women are/should be a race of barefooted people. In her biography, Woman Full of Grace, she indicates that being barefoot makes her feel like she has removed the facade from her personality and allowed her True Self to shine through.
- Double Entendre: To the young ear, "Underneath Your Clothes" is about how great the person is inside. To the ear of someone who's been through high school, not so much.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- The original pressings of Oral Fixation Vol 2 don't have "Hips Don't Lie" and have its lead single "Don't Bother" as the second track. Both the album and the single failed to live up to sales expectations, and there were very real fears Shakira's career in the West was over. Fortunately, "Hips Don't Lie" was soon after recorded and released on a revised edition of the album that also included the Spanglish version of "La Tortura" that had been a hit in the US. "Hips Don't Lie" was such a huge hit it came to define Shakira's career and ensured most copies of the album you'll find include it.
- Those unfamiliar with her early career will be surprised that Pies Descalzos and Donde Están Los Ladrones?, even her MTV Unplugged, were more alternative rock than the latin pop that made her worlwide famous. And in contrast to the sexy blonde pop diva, she's just a meek brunette teen.
- Oral Fixation Vol 2 includes a few surprisingly thought-provoking songs like "How Do You Do?" (questioning the righteousness of God) and "Timor" (a brilliant satire on how the West treats thrid world countries). Rest assured, she never gets that deep again with her discography.
- Even the Girls Want Her: And the gays. Stupid sexy Shakira!
- First-Name Basis: If you say "Shakira," she is what comes to mind. Also because she shares her Lebanese surname with some less than favorable people (Mebarak, homophone to the name of former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak).
- Forbidden Fruit: Featured in the artwork for Oral Fixation Vol. 2, and referenced in "Pies Descalzos"lyrics .
- Foreign Language Title: Three from Sale el Sol. The English versions of "Loca" and "Rabiosa" keeps their Spanish titles, while "Addicted to You" has an English title but is entirely in Spanish other than the Title Drop in the chorus.
- Gratuitous Disco Sequence: Used as an excuse to get her dancing into music videos. Props to the one in Ciega, Sordomuda where the cops somehow discover she's dancing there.
- Genre Shift: After Donde Están Los Ladrones? and her MTV Unplugged she went more into latin pop, coinciding with dyeing her hair to blonde. "She Wolf" was more EDM then the prior pop music which was more pop then the indie music before.
- God Is Evil: "How Do You Do?" holds no punches about God's cruelty. However, Shakira forgives Him.
- Hot Gypsy Woman: Referenced in her song "Gypsy".
- Hot Pursuit: In the video for "Ciega, Sordomuda" Shakira and friends are arrested for dancing in the street, the police unafraid of being rough. She manages to get out with some guy and there is a chase scene, complete with smashing through cardboard boxes. The cops never quite catch them and in the end discover that they are robots and then the video ends, leaving the viewer with no knowledge whether Shakira and the this-videos-love-interest's dancing with hoops to a mariachi band in the street then leading the police through streets of blindfolded anybodies to discover they are robots in an abandoned disco crimes were ever punished. (The cops could well have been chasing them because first she was and then the pair were both blindfolded, though, and not because they broke out.) Not to mention that it blatantly lies about her height (According to the line-up it's 5'9''). It's a strange one.
- Humble Hero: Shakira is a philanthropist and in 2004 turned down a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, though she did ultimately get a star at said walk seven years later.
- Hypocrite: Songs like 'Illegal', "Objection" and "Don't Bother" are about how much she doesn't like cheating and deception. However, in the video for "La Tortura" she portrays the woman a man is cheating on his partner with and in "Costume Makes The Clown" she comes right out and says "It's your turn now/ To cheat on me".
- "I Want" Song:
- Quiero. Obviously.
- The chorus of "Suerte" ('Lucky', the Spanish version of "Whenever, Wherever") just repeats the fact that she wants to live with this guy for the rest of her life. Changes slightly at the end, saying literally that she's up to her neck for him and she wants him to stay with her. In fact, there's pretty much just that line identical in both versions.
- In My Language, That Sounds Like...: When Borat hosted the MTV Video Music Awards, he at one point giggled when saying Shakira's name. He then explained that "Shakira" is Kazakh for "vagina". (It isn't.) At the end of the show, he tells the audience he will later attempt to "Get into Brittany Murphy's 'shakira'."
- Intercourse with You:
- "Las de las Intuicion/Pure Intuition":Let us be one and let's beginA mistake that turns into perfectionI want to see you sliding in my underworld (underwear?)This time I plan to let you winBe a victim of my own inventionLet us be one and let's begin, once and for all
- She Wolf has three in a row with "Long Time", "Why Wait" and "Good Stuff".
- "Empire" can be interpreted this way as well.
- "Las de las Intuicion/Pure Intuition":
- Internal Homage: The music video for "Perro Fiel" recreates shots from several previous music videos.
- A few of Shakira's earlier songs have lyrics about how she doesn't understand (association) football, because of the tradition of the sport in Colombia, even though she has performed anthems for 3 FIFA World Cups and is married to a footballer. She now does know about football.
- Her Ink Suit Character in Zootopia is the only character in that movie to wear shoes. Compared to Shakira herself famously being among the relatively small population of humans that Does Not Like Shoes. Of course, this could be a deliberate contrast to represent the juxtaposition but in a different society.
- Knife-Throwing Act: She appeared standing against a target with knives around her in a photo in the April 2002 issue of FHM magazine (UK edition).
- Latino Is Brown: Averted. Not only does have Italian, Catalan, Spanish and Lebanese Arab ancestry as mentioned above but she is an extremely pale, blonde-haired Colombian singer.
- List Song: "Vuelve".
- Lost in Translation:
It was that spice in your skin/ Of sulfur mixed with honey /So I filled myself with courage and went for a walk on the wild side
- Even after she became more used to the English language, there is no denying that the Spanish versions of her songs are usually more poetic and original, and rhyme much better. Compare a direct translation of the song "Lo Hecho está Hecho" ("What has been done has already been done" is the closest translation in meaning)
You were like one of those guys / The kind with a wandering eye (Hey!) / But I said, "Hey, what the hell? Once in my life, I'll take a ride on the wild side
- ...to the corresponding part of the English version of the song "Did It Again",
- The infamous lyrics about her "small and humble" breasts is often assumed to be a case of translation problems, but the Spanish lyrics are actually the same.note
- Lyrical Dissonance: More than one of her songs sounds happy and upbeat. Then you get to read the lyrics...
- Ciega, Sordomuda possibly sounds the most upbeat of them all; the chorus starts, however, "[Unkempt], blind, deaf-and-dumb,/ clumsy, [worried/ irrational], stubborn,/ it is all that I have been".
- Te Dejo Madrid is about having to leave someone she loves dearly. Si Te Vas is the other way round.
- Waka Waka really is happy, though, whatever language you're listening in.
- MadonnaWhore Complex: "Costume Makes The Clown" references this:I'm not a virgin, but I'm not the whore you think
- Meaningful Echo:
- In Inevitable she sings "no entiendo de fútbol" - 'I don't understand football' - as she's confessing at the beginning.
- In Don't Bother she says near the end "For you, I'd give up all I own, and move to a communist country... and learn about football. If it would make you stay."
- Don't Bother repeats the line "I promise you won't ever see me cry", going back to previous track How Do You Do? which included the repetitive lines "Do you ever cry?/ I sometimes cry", the latter of which is confessed which shows her relationship with God is stronger that she can cry in front of Him; but still manages to be question Him because female anger.
- Motor Mouth: She is quite capable of this, and good luck trying to sing along...
- That next line? "Un pie por la cara mía esta noche por el día, y qué?" (yes, in the same amount of time — it's 2.2 seconds, 20 syllables)!
- The rap sections in "Ciega, Sordomuda", "La Tortura", etc.
- Also the verses in the Spanish version of "Loca".
- New Sound Album: Shakira switched from her Latin-pop-rock fusion to electropop for She Wolf, a sound hinted at with "Las de las Intuicion/Pure Intuition".
- Nude-Colored Clothes:
- She wears a nude colored outfit in the She Wolf video.
- Also seen on the cover of El Dorado.
- Obsession Song:
- If you listen really carefully to the lyrics and block that lovely accent you'll hear that what she's singing can fall into either and in some cases both of the categories.
- "Underneath Your Clothes" is an example of how she can be both passive and aggressive in this: from "I love you more than all that's on the planet" to "There's my territory/ And all the things I deserve" and with "We... belong to each other".
- "Whenever, Wherever" and "Suerte", despite being supposedly the same song, go in different directions on this one. The former more aggressive and the latter passive with the lyrics "Whenever, Wherever/ We'll learn to be together/ I'll be there and you'll be near/ And that's the deal, my dear" and "With you, my life/ I want to live that life/ And the rest of my life/ I want to live with you" respectively.
- Hinted at in "Objection" when she sings at the partner "Every twenty seconds you repeat her name/ But when it comes to me you don't care/ If I'm alive or dead" then "I love you for free and I'm not your mother... I'm falling apart in your hands again/ No way! I've got to get away".
- Panty Shot:
- The video for Las De La Intuición has a lot of this.
- There's also some in the video for "La Tortura"
- Paper-Thin Disguise: She managed to spend an entire summer at UCLA without being recognized by going by her middle name and dressing up in a cap and pants. The fact that it hit the news she had attended after she was done with the classes proves how effective her disguise was.
- Petite Pride:
- She's small chested and likes it very much.Lucky for my breasts they're small and humble / So you don't confuse them with mountains
- That page image disagrees with the "petite" part, though.
- The first two lines of 'Costume Makes The Clown' (Told you I felt lucky with my humble breasts/Well I don't) also beg to differ with the 'pride' part.
- She's small chested and likes it very much.
- Pink Is Erotic: In the music video for "Can't Remember To Forget You" with Rihanna, there is a scene that has Shakira bathing in water to salmon pink lighting.
- Playing with Fire: On the single cover of "Hips Don't Lie"; it makes the picture look positively tribal.
- Pretty Butterflies: In the music video for "No".
- Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Happens to the sleazy ex-boyfriend in the video for "Objection (Tango)".
- Raised Lighter Tribute: At the start of the official video for Inevitable.
- Religion Rant Song: "How Do You Do" is a downplayed type 1. Rather than a direct attack on God or religion it questions the true nature of God, as well as the suffering brought about by religion and God himself.How many people die and hurt in your name?
Hey, does that make you proud, or does it bring you shame?
And if our fate have all been wrapped around your finger
And if you wrote the script, then why the troublemakers?
You've made mistakes, but that's okay, 'cause we all have
But if I forgive yours, will you forgive mine?
- Roguish Romani: The English version of "Gypsy" features the lyrics "I might steal your clothes and wear them if they fit me."
- Inevitable starts, in short, with "If we're being honest, I'm useless".
- Ciega, Sordomuda has "[Unkempt], blind, deaf-and-dumb,/ clumsy, [worried/ irrational], stubborn,/ it is all that I have been".
- This pretty much sums up the masochistic titles.
- Self-Titled Album: Her 2014 English release.
- She's Got Legs: Has hips and legs to die for and is not afraid to show them.
- Shaking the Rump: The core component of her signature style of dance.
- Singer Namedrop:
- In true Wyclef style, he manages to repeat "Shakira, Shakira," far too many times to count, and still get "The Fugees" into 'Hips Don't Lie', as well as both his home country (Haiti), Shakira's (Colombia) and her birthplace (Barranquilla).
- The start of "Beautiful Liar" goes: "B-Beyoncé, Beyonce / S-Shakira, Shakira."
- Singing Voice Dissonance: Hearing her speak, you wouldn't expect the passionate, throaty, thick growl she sings with.
- Something Something Leonard Bernstein: Take any Shakira song that's not originally in English, and there's a good chance it will devolve into this.Estoy aquí, queriéndote, Ahogandome, enlararararararararararar...Nanananana, nananananu, lararara, ojos así, como los que tienes tú!
- Spicy Latina:
- Three Minutes of Writhing: Shakira is particularly famous for shaking her hips.
- She was originally an alt-rock singer more akin to Alanis. Then she began shaking her hips, dyed her hair blonde, and became Latin-Britney.
- She's a trained Belly Dancer, which explains the ass shaking in
some ofher videos. Doesn't really excuse smearing herself with oil while writhing, though.
- She's possibly the only person in history to dance with Beyoncé (in the video for their duet "Beautiful Liar") and not get upstaged.
- Title 1: Fijación Oral Vol. 1, followed by Oral Fixation Vol. 2.
- Translated Cover Version: She has done this in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. "Ojos asi" from Dónde están los ladrones? returned on Laundry Service as "Eyes Like Yours"; from Fijación oral vol. 1, "Dia Especial" and "En Tus Pupilas" returned on Oral Fixation vol. 2 as "The Day and the Time" and "Something," respectively.
Of course, all of the information presented above, is for the benefit of us normal Muggle humans. In reality, Shakira is the alternate persona of a wizard, named Uncle Kelbo!