Shakira’s History With Latin Urban Music: ‘La Tortura,’ ‘Chantaje,’ ‘Me Gusta’ & More

With her curly black locks and guitar in hand, Shakira has captivated the music world one song at a time, kicking off her career in the '90s as a teenager from Colombia who penned philosophical and heartfelt lyrics.

She got on the radar with her timeless songs, including “Estoy Aqui,” “Inevitable” and “Ojos Asi,” which flaunted her edgy, pop-rock essence. In the early 2000s, the Barranquilla-born songstress leapt into the English-language market with her fifth studio album, Laundry Service, home to chart-topping hits such as “Whenever, Wherever” and “Underneath Your Clothes.” She also revamped her image, rocking blond curls while maintaining her rocker-chick authenticity.

Now, Shakira has gone global.

“I might consider myself debris from the Latin explosion,” she told Billboard in 2018. “There are people who stay and people who disappear. It depends on us as artists and what we have to offer.”

As music trends evolved, so has Shakira’s musical style, not shying away from experimenting with world music and new genres.

“It’s hard to generalize, but music is at a point where it increasingly has a more sophisticated sound that’s attractive to a global fan. Many Latin artists understand this universality well, and they know how to attract global tastes,” she said of the growing Latin urban and trap scene.

Although it’s not the direction fans originally expected from her, Shakira has dipped her toes in the urban scene multiple times and made it work.

As she makes the rounds with her recent single “Me Gusta” in collaboration with Anuel AA and ahead of her performance Sunday at the Super Bowl halftime show alongside fellow Latin superstar Jennifer LopezBillboard looks back at Shakira’s history with reggaeton and trap music below.

“La Tortura” feat. Alejandro Sanz

In 2005, Shakira dropped her single “La Tortura,” part of her album Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1. The pop urban-tinted track was in collaboration with Spanish artist Alejandro Sanz, which peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart dated June 4, 2005. It ruled for 25 weeks.

“Gordita” feat. Calle 13

For her 2010 album Sale El Sol, Shakira teamed up with Calle 13 for “Gordita,” a song on which Residente gushes over the old-school Shakira and vice versa. The track, which fuses alternative, hip-hop, urban music and Middle Eastern sounds, debuted and peaked at No. 10 on the Latin Digital Song Sales chart dated Nov. 6, 2010.

“Chantaje” feat. Maluma

"Chantaje" was the first of Shakira's many collaborations with Maluma. “I miss working with more Colombians in the studio," Shak previously told Billboard. "There’s an irreplaceable closeness to the culture. It’s something I can’t find with any other musician or artist. It’s reflected in the good vibe and what a good time we have.” “Chantaje” debuted at No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart dated Nov. 19, 2016, where it ruled for 11 weeks.

“Perro Fiel” feat. Nicky Jam

A year later, Shakira dropped “Perro Fiel” with Puerto Rican artist Nicky Jam. The reggaeton-pop track tells the story of a woman who’s confused by her crush’s mixed signals. “Perro Fiel” -- in whose video Shak’s red hair color makes a comeback -- peaked at No. 6 on the Hot Latin Songs chart dated Dec. 2, 2017.

“Trap” feat. Maluma

“Trap” was another song that evolved from the first time Shakira and Maluma hit the recording studio together. Following the success of “Chantaje,” the two Colombian acts fused their musical styles to drop a Latin trap song. They also flaunt their strong harmonizing game. On Hot Latin Songs, the sensual bop peaked at No. 17 on the chart dated Feb. 10, 2018.

“Clandestino” ft. Maluma

The Shakira and Maluma chemistry is so strong that in 2018 they teamed up once again for “Clandestino.” The upbeat reggaeton track peaked No. 7 on the Hot Latin Songs chart dated Aug. 18, 2018. Of working with Maluma, she said: "Sometimes the creative process can be as painful as giving birth. But when it’s with Maluma, it can even be pleasant."

“Me Gusta” feat. Anuel AA

Shak kicked off the year teaming up with Anuel for her recent single “Me Gusta.” The infectious reggaeton-meets-Latin trap fusion revives Inner Circle’s 1992 reggae bop “Swear,” using parts of the timeless “ala la la la long” chorus. “Me Gusta” debuted at No. 20 on the Hot Latin Songs chart dated Jan. 25, 2020.

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