Sunday, February 2 isn’t just the day that Shakira makes history with Jennifer Lopez this year, performing at the Super Bowl halftime show. It is also the Colombian star’s birthday (she will be turning 43). Colombians have been knowing about Shakira, and her musical talent for decades now. This means knowing about her various musical phases, which people usually break down by what her hair color was at the time (black, then red, then today’s blonde). Some of her iconic songs that most of us know are “Estoy Aqui,” “Ciega, Sordomuda,” “Whenever Wherever”/”Suerte,” “Hips Don’t Lie,” and “Bicicleta” (a Carlos Vives song Shak is featured on).
Of course, Shakira has gone on to be an international superstar, with fans around the world knowing her jams. In celebration of the Barranquillera’s b-day, we wanted to share 26 of these great Shakira recordings you (and everyone else) should know.
“Hips Don’t Lie,” Ft. Wyclef Jean
“Hips Don’t Lie” was released in 2006. It’s title emerged from Shakira telling musicians she worked with that her hips don’t lie when it comes to knowing when a song was ready for release. The mega jam, which features Haitian rapper Wyclef Jean, is Shakira’s first and only #1 hit song on Billboard’s Hot 100, and allowed her to share Colombian culture to the masses.
In “Ojos Asi,” Shakira embraces and shares her Lebanese roots. The Middle Eastern jam, which she performs in her concerts, contains lyrics sung by Shakira in Arabic, and Arabic chants. It is a single off of her 1998 album, ¿Donde Estan Los Ladrones?, but an English version, “Eyes Like Yours” is on 2001’s Laundry Service.
“Whenever, Wherever/“Suerte” is part of the collection of love songs written about Shakira’s then-boyfriend Antonio de la Rúa. It talks about the luck she feels about everything, including how she was made, and how that enables her to love her boyfriend even more. The song was co-written by Gloria Estefan, as well as Tim Mitchell and Ron Smith.
“Estoy Aqui” is the lead single off of Shakira’s 1995 album, Pies Descalzos. The rock-tinged jam speaks about still being there after a breakup, even when it is not fixable. A Portuguese version (“Estou Aqui”) and an English version were also recorded.
“La Bicicleta,” Carlos Vives Ft. Shakira
Colombians were so happy when two of their two biggest music icons united for an upbeat, hit song. “Bicicleta” is a Carlos Vives song that features Shakira, and just makes you smile with it’s words about childhood nostalgia and love for Santa Marta and Barranquilla. Added bonus? Maluma jumped on the song’s remix.
Another popular Shakira song is the high-energy “Ciego Sordomuda.” Many of Shaki’s jams talk about love, and all the emotions it inspires, and this one is no different. It captures that feeling of having all of your senses overtaken by that rush of love. That feeling of being out of control, but not being able to do anything about it (not that you’d want to).
“Underneath Your Clothes”
Written about then-boyfriend Antonio de la Rúa, “Underneath Your Clothes” is an unabashed love song that Shakira included on her 2001 Laundry Service album. It is sincere, vulnerable, and reminiscent of the innocence of a first love.
“She Wolf” peaked at #11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The electro-pop song, and its video, featured a sexier, more wild Shakira, and inspired people everywhere to also walk on the wild side. As with other Shak jams, a Spanish version was recorded and released, entitled “Loba.”
“La Tortura,” Ft. Alejandro Sanz
In “La Tortura,” (written by Shakira and Luis Fernando Ochoa) singer Alejandro Sanz is begging for forgiveness for cheating. Although it hurts Shakira, she is not having it. She has learned that you can’t expect certain things from certain people.
“No” is the ultimate break up song. It talks about the pain of being in a relationship that has long run its course, and how attempts at making things right aren’t the same as truly making things right. The song was co-written with Ceruti.
“Chantaje,” Ft. Maluma
Another Colombian musical collaboration worth noting involves the pop/reggaeton song “Chantaje.” The 2016 recording brings together Shakira and Maluma, and was nominated for a slew of awards. These include Latin Grammy nods for Song of the Year, Best Latin Fusion Performance, and Record of the Year, and a Best Latin Video VMA nomination.
Another song from the hit album Dónde Están los Ladrones?, “Inevitable” is a vulnerable look at love. Shakira starts with confessions about her faults, admitting that she can be difficult. Throughout the song, she is holding onto a relationship that is over, and wants her ex to know that she hasn’t moved on.
In this tune which was part of Shakira’s 1998 album, Dónde Están los Ladrones?, and was co-written with Luis Fernando Ochoa, the singer/songwriter ponders what God found when he returned to check on the earth after his day of rest.
“Un Poco de Amor”
An early Shakira song worth noting is “Un Poco de Amor.” A 1996 single off of her debut studio album, Pies Descalzos, it is a bouncy reggae/Latin pop jam that speaks about looking for love. A Portuguese version called “Um Pouco de Amor” appeared on Shakira’s 1997 album, The Remixes.
“Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),” Ft. Freshlyground
In 2010, the World Cup was held in South Africa. Shakira’s “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” shined as the official song of the championship, speaking about getting up when you fall down and shining. The jam went platinum, and has sold over 15 million downloads around the world.
“Perro Fiel,” Ft. Nicky Jam
A Shakira song that is guaranteed to get stuck in your head is 2017’s “Perro Fiel.” The infectious reggaeton single, off of her album, “El Dorado,” features Puerto Rican singer (and honorary Colombian) Nicky Jam. “Perro Fiel” went to #1 in several countries, including Mexico, Paraguay, Lebanon, and Argentina, and topped the Latin Airplay chart in the U.S.
“Que Me Quedes Tu”
Off of her 2001 album, Laundry Service (and 2002’s Grandes Exitos), “Que Me Quedes Tu” reached #1 on both the Billboard Latin Pop Songs, and Hot Latin Songs chart. As with so many of Shakira’s songs, this one, too is about love. The lyrics beautifully state that no matter if the entire world collapses, and everything goes away, as long as the one she loves remains, she is happy.
“Nada” is off of Shakira’s latest (2007) album, El Dorado. Another song co-written with Luis Fernando Ochoa, the song speaks on missing your love and how achievements – including fame, or fortune – mean nothing if that person isn’t there with you.
“¿Donde Estas Corazon?”
“¿Donde Estas Corazon?” is a jam from Shakira’s raven-haired days. Off of her 1995 album, Pies Descalzos, the hit won Shak, and co-writer Luis Fernando Ochoa, an ASCAP Award in 1997 for Pop/Contemporary Song.
“Can’t Remember to Forget You,” with Rihanna
“Can’t Remember to Forget You” brought together Shakira and Rihanna, and got both a hit that reached #15 on the Hot 100 chart. It captures the feeling of knowing you should leave someone alone, but forgetting all about that once you’re around them.
“Me Enamore” is a sweet song which chronicles the love story between Shakira and her other half, Piqué. The love jam peaked at #2 on the Billboard Latin Airplay chart, and #83 on the Hot 100. It also was nominated for Latin Pop Song of the Year at the 2018 Billboard Latin Music Awards.
“Te Aviso, Te Anuncio (Tango)”
Shakira doesn’t box her music into just one or two genres. She isn’t afraid to try something totally different, like she did in the song, “Te Aviso, Te Anuncio.” Also recorded in English as “Objection (Tango),” the singles blended tango, surf rock, and pop rock for a super cool sound.
Written for the Love in the Time of Cholera soundtrack, “Hay Amores” was written by Shakira and Antonio Pinto, and was nominated for a Golden Globe. The song speaks on a profound love that stands the test of time and distance.
In “No Creo,” Shakira states that she doesn’t believe in many of the things others believe in, including some facts. She doesn’t even believe in herself yet. But the one thing she does believe in is her love, because he is the only one who really knows who she is. Shakira and Luis Fernando Ochoa co-wrote the song.
There’s no denying that Shakira loves to write about love. “Antología” is off her debut studio album Pies Descalzos, released in 1995. It talks about the things that she learned from a relationship. Here are some of the beautiful songwriting Shakira is generally known for:
…because all the time I spent near you; left its thread, woven in me.
And I learned to take out seconds from time/You made me see the sky deeper
You freed my feet from the pavement, so both could escape flying for a while
But you forgot one last instruction/because I don’t know how to live without your love yet.
“Me Gusta,” Ft. Anuel AA
Shakira’s latest jam is “Me Gusta,” with Puerto Rican Anuel AA. The reggaeton trap song dropped this year, and is already in the top 10 (#6) of Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart. While we love Shaki’s music on her own, her collaborations are so cool, allowing different genres, influences, and voices to come together to create something fresh and new.