2018 will start with a bang as international pop star, Shakira, known for her incredible hip-shaking and belly dancing moves, hits the North American leg of her El Dorado World Tour, January 11th at the BB&T Center in Sunrise and January 12th At Miami’s American
After selling over 140 Million albums worldwide, winning five MTV Video Music Awards, two Grammy Awards, eight Latin Grammy Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards, 28 Billboard Latin Music Awards and being nominated for a Golden Globe—Shakira keeps aiming to stay at the top by releasing El Dorado this past May. Previewing the record with a handful of singles including her hits La Bicicleta, Nada, Comme Moi, Deja Vu and Chantaje, El Dorado marks Shakira’s 11th album and follows her self-titled 2014 release.
She says she wants this album, its music and its videos to “present Colombia as I saw it, through my childhood, and not as many people imagine it. Not the Pablo Escobar Colombia, which is the cliché that lots of people who are not familiar with the rest of our reality only know about. I wanted to show the other face, the real face, the face that Colombians experience.”
In November, her El Dorado World Tour kicks off and will be known as a peak-level performance show by the woman who knows how to move and make a memorable and “get up and dance” impact on the crowd. At age 40, the Colombian singer, songwriter, dancer, and record producer is still demonstrating her Latin American, Arabic, and Rock and Roll influences along with outrageous belly dancing hip-moves. Shakira’s dancing and music skills are an eclectic blend of both of her parent’s heritage—a Lebanese father and Colombian mother.
“I was full of doubts, and I thought I was never going to make good music again […] Finding inspiration itself and realizing it had always been there all along — that was my El Dorado. That was a perfect state of mind […] It was like a liberation.”
Shakira rose to prominence in Latin America with her major-label debut, Pies Descalzos in 1996, and Dónde Están Los Ladrones? in 1998. She then entered the English-language market with Laundry Service, whose lead single, Whenever, Wherever, became one of the most successful singles of 2002. Her success was solidified in 2005 with her albums Fijación Oral, Volumen Uno and Oral Fixation, Volume Two, the latter of which spawned one of the best-selling songs of the 21st century, Hips Don’t Lie.
After catapulting to the top of the Hot 100 Chart in 2006 with this infectious hit featuring Wyclef Jean, Shakira gave everyone serious ab-envy with her defined core and hypnotizing belly dancing moves. Her subsequent albums, She Wolf (2009) and Sale El Sol (2010), received critical praise but it was her official song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) that became the biggest-selling World Cup song of all time. With over 1.3 Billion views, it is also one of the most-watched music videos on YouTube. As it stands, the singer has landed 12 other Hot 100 hits alone.
Today, Shakira transforms from being a super busy yet dedicated mom to 2 and 4-year old sons, Milan and Sasha and a wife to defensive soccer player husband, FC Barcelona’s Gerard Piqué, back to the hot stage performer we’ve praised for two decades. Piqué says it all started when he wrote to her while they were both in South Africa. “She was there to sing at the opening ceremony and I asked her what the weather was like.” He recalls their minute-to-minute conversations about “the weather” as Shakira started continuously telling him what the weather was, to the point that he told her that his team will have to get to the World Cup final, where she was scheduled to sing, to see each other again.
That year, Piqué and Barcelona made it to the World Cup final where they faced Holland and won thanks to a goal in extra time from Andres Iniesta. They ended up dating and married shortly after. Interestingly, Piqué and Shakira share the same birthday, February 2, although Shakira is 10 year’s older than the Soccer star.
“My whole life, I had pressed pause on so many things in my personal life to follow my dreams, my professional dreams, to become a successful artist and suddenly, things changed, and I saw myself as a mother, with a family I had dreamed about since I was a child. And then, when I realized the creator inside of me was also asking to be considered, my music became my escape. The studio became the place to let some steam off, away from everyday life as a mother — that became my hobby. And then it became a pleasure like all hobbies are. So now music is my hobby. Oh, I never thought I would say that!” She laughed. “It’s crazy!”
With a prestigious star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she is also devoted to well-known philanthropic activities and charity work, most notably through her Colombian charity, Pies Descalzos Foundation. The Barefoot Foundation was founded in 1997 to help poor and impoverished children, with a mission of ensuring that every Colombian child can exercise their right to a quality education.
The foundation targets displaced and vulnerable communities by addressing their unique needs with a main focus on aid through education. Their five schools across Colombia provide education and meals for 4,000 children. Support for the Foundation comes from contributions by Shakira and donations from national and international companies who care about social responsibility. They also work with multilateral corporations who endorse special projects and have formed alliances with government agencies. In 2014, Shakira was honored at the Radio Disney Music Awards for her work with this charity.
Aside from being a great singer, performer and mother, Shakira served as a coach on the fourth and sixth seasons of the American TV Show, The Voice. During that time, her tenth album, Shakira, was preceded by its lead single, Can’t Remember to Forget You, featuring chart-topper, Rihanna. She then went on to voice the socially conscious celebrity, Gazelle in the 2016 movie, Zootopia. Before voicing her character, Shakira demanded to have her animal alter ego be “more like her.” “I feel like her and I have a common denominator. When the directors told me about her I said ‘That is me.’ But she was too slim so I asked them to give her more curves and put more meat on her bones.
She needs bigger hips…” she explained. The studio recorded Gazelle voice before she was animated and emulated Shakira’s expressions while recording. The star antelope was also given a makeover—wider hips, longer lashes, wavy hair and darker eyes like her inner Colombiana, as requested. The movie also contains a soundtrack sung by Shakira called Try Everything.
While Shakira seems to have made her mark in all areas of being a worldwide pop star, it seems like she may become a legacy like the faces of Madonna and Cher. None-the-less, we await her coming to “shake-it-up” on her tour visit to South Florida in January 2018 at the BB&T Center and the American Airlines Arena with much anticipation. shakira.com
By KC Anderson