Between 1995 and 2000 Shakira
she was consecrated as the female singer of her most successful generation of Spanish-language music. Albums Barefoot Where are the thieves? and the MTV Unplugged they earned her several #1, awards such as the Anglo Grammy and the title of the new princess of Latin American pop rock. However, its global explosion occurred in 2001 when its name went around the planet earth.
To listen to | Shakira ratifies her status as a pop diva in the video ‘Don’t Wait Up’
When Shakira played throughout Latin America with her songs in Spanish, Sony Music, her record company, proposed to her to translate and perform in English songs of Where are the thieves?. The barranquillera did, but the songs were never official singles, which means that they were not sent to Anglo stations.
At that time he decided, with the support of his company, to start studying English in depth so that he could write new songs and put them on a new studio album that would come out at the beginning of the millennium.
With the arrival of 2000, Shakira won her first Anglo Grammy with her live album which began to make the American press talk about her. Shakira’s first single had to go all out, her cover letter couldn’t be lukewarm or take a minor hit.
During the musical sessions Shakira met with the Cuban Gloria Estefan
, wife of emilio estefan who was his executive producer at the time. In those meetings they agreed to compose together and translate the songs drawing on the experience of the Latin diva.
The story that the song tells is focused on the relationship that Shakira had at that time with the Argentine lawyer, and son of the President of that country, Antonio de la Rua. The English and Spanish version says that she would cross the Andes in order to be reunited with him.
The Spanish composition is entirely by Shakira, but for the English version it featured the collaboration of Gloria Estefan and her music producer (and live band manager) Tim Mitchell.
Sonically the song has elements of Andean music, popular in northern South American countries, electric guitars and an interesting experimentation of percussion. The single feels very Latin, but its English version was perfectly suited to what the market was asking of female singers.
luck and Whenever, Wherever they were sent to radios around the world as one of the biggest bets of 2001. Shakira had to continue to make the Latino audience fall in love and impact the rest of the world where English-en-song dominates the market.
The single comes with an expensive video recorded on green screen, but it has a high investment in technology to trick the eye of the viewer into believing that Shakira was in the Andes. Additionally, the video features a dance segment that reveals the hip movement of the barranquillera.
A video directed by Francis Lawrence that featured Shakira wearing the blonde look and risking wearing sexier clothes. The video debuted on MTV and quickly became a favorite of thousands of viewers.
The song led Shakira to embark on a promotional world tour in which not only the release was focused, but the entire album. Whenever Wherever was the first single by Laundry Service and was #1 in official listings of more than 15 countries.
It is estimated that the single has sold, between physical and digital, more than 17 million units. A milestone in Latin music and one of the most successful crossovers of non-English-speaking musicians in non-Hispanic territories.
Whenever, Wherever is one of the songs that has been present in all of Shakira’s world tours and remains one of her most successful singles, surpassed only by Hips Don’t Lie and Waka Waka.
Shakira performed the song in 2020 during her show of the Super Bowl. That performance caused the single to be placed on the iTunes #1 in the United States.
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