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Look Back at Pop Queen (and Former Voice Coach) Shakira's Legendary Career

Shakira boasts a mythic music career that spans over four decades.

By Jessica White

The queen of Latin pop music, Shakira, is one of the most captivating Coaches who has ever graced one of The Voice's red chair, boasting a decades-long career. 

How to Watch

Watch the Season 26 premiere of The Voice on Monday, September 23 at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock. 

Shakira's influence as a musician is immeasurable. Born in Barranquilla, Colombia to her Colombian mother and Lebanese father, Shakira quickly became known for her sonic fusion of Arabic and Colombian musical styles. She created an entirely new sound — which has made the "Hips Don't Lie" one of the most successful Latin artists in music history.

From her red chair reign to her smash 2021 Superbowl show, Shakira is a powerhouse performer to her core, continually raising the bar. Shakira is beloved far and wide for her unique vocals and mesmerizing dance moves.

Shakira's career background is a testament to her timeless talent and artistry. Dive into the former Voice Coach's impressive career history, below.

Shakira's Early Career: Magia, Peligro, and Pies Descalzos

Shakira with Carlos Ponce in 1999

Shakira released her debut album, Magia (1991), at just 14 years old. In 1993, Shakira kept the beats going with Peligro and, while the first two albums included many bops, Shakira's third studio album, Pies Descalzos (1996), permanently planted her on the Latin music charts.

Shakira continued to shake up the industry with her reggae-reminiscent sound and mind-boggling belly dancing, gaining even more traction with the 1998 release of Dónde Están Los Ladrones? 

Shakira cemented her legacy in 2001 after winning the Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album for the hypnotizing recording of her MTV: Unplugged performance. But even with a Grammy under her belt, Shakira was only getting started. 

Laundry Service 

The album responsible for elevating Shakira to international superstardom was her 2001 release Laundry Service. Before the album's debut, Shakira had relocated to Miami, Florida in hopes of growing her American fan base, prompting her to write an album in both English and Spanish.

RELATED: Blake Shelton and Shakira Sang a Badass Rock Version of "Whenever, Wherever"

Giving us the smash hits "Whenever, Wherever," "Te Dejo Madrid," and "Underneath Your Clothes," Laundry Service was partially produced by Emilio Estefan, the son of fellow Latin pop legend Gloria Estefan.  Laundry Service proceeded to be a decorated success, winning several awards in 2002.  

Fijación Oral and "Hips Don't Lie"

2005 and 2006 were monumental years for Shakira's career as she released two albums that made her a household name.

In 2005, Shakira released Fijación Oral, Vol. 1, gracing fans with its sultry lead single "La Tortura." The album was a bonafide Grammy-grabber, earning her the 2006 Grammy for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album and four Latin Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, Song of the Year ("La Tortura"), Record of the Year, and Best Pop Vocal Album. 

Shakira was only heating up. She upped the ante and forever changed the future of belly dancing with Oral Fixation, Vol. 2, featuring the mythic hit "Hips Don't Lie." Besides Shakira and Wyclef Jean's smash single that has since become one of Shakira's most well-known songs, Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 included must-hear songs like "Don't Bother" and "Illegal," featuring Carlos Santana. "Hips Don't Lie" earned widespread acclaim, was chosen for the closing ceremony of the FIFA World Cup, and became Shakira's first-ever #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100.

She Wolf to El Dorado

Shakira performing during the kick-off celebration concert for the 2010 FIFA World Cup

Shakira's 2009 release She Wolf, was an international success thanks to dynamite tracks like the titular hit "She Wolf, "Did It Again" (co-written with fellow Voice alum Pharrell Williams), and "Gypsy."

In 2010, Shakira released the nostalgic album Sale el Sol, a must-listen record that many consider Shakira's nod to her Colombian roots. The album's lead single was "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)," the 2010 FIFA World Cup theme song. 

When speaking of her ninth studio album, Shakira said, "This album represents exactly the way I am—my state of mind today, as an artist and as a woman. Some of the songs remind me of my beginnings, so it’s kind of like going back to where everything started, but from a new perspective, with the way I see things now."

Shakira released the grand-slam self-titled album Shakira in 2014, featuring the energizing breakup ballad "I Can't Remember to Forget You," featuring Rihanna.

RELATED: Shakira Wore the Coolest Leather Chaps to Perform Her New Record-Breaking Hit

Shakira's most recent studio release was 2017's El Dorado, a fun-filled reggae-pop journey with hits like "Chantaje," "Me Enamoré," and "Trap," featuring Colombian artist Maluma.

Shakira and J.Lo's Super Bowl Halftime Show

An elite few have the honor of performing at the Super Bowl Halftime Show, but Shakira is among the unforgettable ranks of halftime show-stealers. The 2020 Super Bowl halftime show starred Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, who delivered an incredible set centered around Latino pride.

"I feel incredibly honored and humbled to be, in a way, next to J.Lo, representing the Latino community that is such an important force in the United States," Shakira told Complex.

RELATED: Shakira's Two Sons Look Just Like Her in Smiling Selfie at a Dodger's Game: See Pic

Shakira's rock-n-roll medley of her smash hits was a befitting testament to her prolific career. Shakira took fans on a sonic journey through her most beloved singles, pairing the set with the perfect amount of nostalgia, hip-swaying, and mesmerizing vocals.

Shakira's On-Screen Credits

Shakira Career poses with someone in a Judy Hopps costume

Shakira's magnetic energy and catchy hits have claimed an international chokehold on audiences for decades, leading to many television and film credits since her 1991 rise to fame. Shakira made her on-screen debut in the Colombian telenovela El Oasis (1994) as Luisa Maria. Since then, Shakira's robust career has spoken for itself within many of her on-screen projects.

Shakira, the Guest Star Sensation: Taina to Wizards of Waverly Place

In many cases, Shakira has appeared as herself in television and film, with her iconic curly hair and belly dancing becoming a fun surprise for audiences. In 2002, she appeared as herself in the teen sitcom Taina, and guest starred as herself again in the Spanish sitcom 7 Vidas in 2005.

In 2010, Shakira appeared in the kooky comedy series Wizards of Waverly Place as herself in an episode centered around her cameo. Similarly, in 2011, Shakira appeared in Dora and Friends: Into the City when the titular explorer decided to take her friends to a Shakira concert.


Shakira also surprised audiences with her role in the 2016 film Zootopia as the superstar Gazelle, a beloved hip-swinging pop star.

Ahead of the film's release, Shakira created the power ballad "Try Everything," featured throughout many emotional peaks of the movie and featured on her 2016 album Shakira. 

Shakira: The Voice Coach

The Voice Coaches Shakira

In 2013, Shakira shook things up in Season 4 of The Voice, sitting in the coveted red chair alongside then-Coaches Blake Shelton, Usher, and Adam Levine. Shakira returned in 2014 for another spin in the red chair for Season 6.

RELATED: Blake Shelton & Shakira Sound Perfect Together Singing "I Need You Now" by Lady A

Fans of The Voice loved Shakira for her tenacity as a Coach, but also adored Shakira as a featured performer who took the stage with her rival Coaches for several exciting sets.

Blake Shelton and Shakira singing on stage.

These included Shelton and Shakira's duet of Shelton's "Boys 'Round Here," a rock-n-roll rendition of Shakira's "Whenever, Wherever," and many more must-watch performances.

Shakira's Dancing With Myself

Dancing With Myself Creators Nick Jonas, Liza Koshy,and Shakira

In 2022, Shakira appeared in yet another NBC reality competition perfectly suited to her skill set: Dancing With Myself. Inspired by the many viral dances that have made the rounds on social media, the competition featured weekly dance challenges that required each contestant to learn and execute.

RELATED: Shakira's TikTok Challenge for Her New Song Is Gold

Shakira served as an executive producer and starred as one of the three "Creators" that guided contestants through each dance routine, taking the stage alongside fellow Voice veteran Nick Jonas and social media guru Liza Koshy. As one of the world's most legendary dancers, Shakira was the perfect gal for the gig.

Shakira's Awards and Recognitions

Shakira on stage accepting an award.

Shakira's prolific career has earned her international recognition as well as awards and recognitions within the past four decades.

Shakira has received six Grammy nominations throughout her tenure, taking home the gold for the first time in 2001 for her MTV: Unplugged album. In 2006, Shakira won the Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album for Fijación Oral Vol. 1. Shakira's 2018 album El Dorado earned her the Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album. 

Shakira has commanded the Latin Grammy Awards stage each year she was nominated since her breakout fame in 2000. Shakira has earned 26 Latin Grammy nominations, taking home 11 Grammy Awards throughout her sprawling career.

Shakira performing onstage at the 2009 American Music Awards

Shakira cemented her status as a globe-straddling superstar in 2018 after being included in Spotify's top 10 most streamed female artists of the decade, which revealed she was highest streamed Latin artist on the platform at the time.

Shakira's legacy extends much farther than her many musical achievements and countless award wins. In 2006, a 16-foot, six ton monument of Shakira was erected in her hometown of Barranquilla in the Latin pop star's honor. In 2018, Shakira traveled to Tannourine in Lebanon, the hometown of her paternal grandmother, to receive another exciting honor: A square in the Cedars Reserve forest named after her. 

“We want Shakira to be a role model for children here," Lebanese consul in Colombia Edmond, Feris Harb, said. "Her stardom is a good example for the future generation."

Shakira's Philanthropy: The Barefoot Foundation

A photo of Shakira at a basketball game.

Very quickly into her music career, Shakira wanted to use her fame for good. In 1997, Shakira founded The Barefoot Foundation (Pies Descalzos Foundation), a Colombian charity to aid impoverished children and provide education and meals to those in need all over the country. Shakira has also been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and representative since 2003.

"Today's babies will drive tomorrow's business," Shakira told UNICEF. "Their capacity to contribute will shape tomorrow's societies, will solve tomorrow's problems."

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