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9 Reasons Why Shakira Is a True Icon

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Shakira, Shakira!

For over three decades, the Colombian singer has been at the forefront of Latin music. Now, she's taking the Super Bowl halftime show by storm. Shak and Jennifer Lopez are set to perform some of their greatest hits and deliver a sensational show at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, on Sunday. 

Fans have already seen Shakira rock some of the biggest stages around the world, including multiple FIFA World Cups. This year, however, the Super Bowl is making history with two of Latin and pop music's biggest Latinas coming together. As we countdown to kickoff, which will also include Demi Lovato singing the national anthem, ET is rounding up all the reasons why Shakira is a true icon. 

Shakira
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation

She Has Songs That Cut Deep

Back when she was rocking black hair, guitar in hand and delivering deep, passionate and angsty lyrics, Shakira touched people's hearts with her early '90s songs like "¿Dónde Estás Corazón?" and "Estoy Aquí," and "Antologia."

Listen to Shakira's early albums, Pies Descalzos and Dónde Están los Ladrones?, and her philosophical lyrics ooze heartbreak, desire, melancholy and anger. From "Inevitable" and "Tú" to "Ciega Sordomuda" and "Pies Descalzos, Sueños Blancos," the singer showcases her ever-changing range.

She's a Crossover Sensation

The Barranquilla-born songstress already had a huge following by the time she made her U.S. crossover in the early 2000s. Her English-language album, Laundry Service, gave fans the international No. 1 singles "Whenever, Wherever" and "Underneath Your Clothes."

Encouraged by Gloria Estefan to cross over and sing in English, Shakira found the American pop world welcoming of her unprecedented fire and passion. Laundry Service landed at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart, and topped many lists worldwide. The album was certified multi-platinum in the U.S., proving that Shakira had successfully crossed over to the mainstream. Laundry Service sold more than 13 million copies worldwide and was the seventh best-selling album in 2002.

She Has Hips That Don't Lie

Her unique and mesmerizing voice isn't the singer's only attribute. Shakira has been making hips shake since "Whenever, Wherever," but her 2006 collaboration with Wyclef Jean, "Hips Don't Lie," cemented her as a belly-dancing goddess. Not only did she impress with her moves, but the catchy track also reached No. 1 on charts in at least 55 countries, including the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, becoming Shakira's first and only No. 1 single to date in the U.S.

As for where her love of dance came from? Shakira has been dancing since she can remember. 

"I'm not a trained dancer, but I grew up in a city that revolves around dance. Dance is such an important part of our culture," she told Katie Couric during a CBS News interview in 2009. "I learned how to dance even before I learned how to walk. That's an exaggeration, of course, but I've been dancing my entire life. I love it."

"I have such a respect and fascination for dance and how your body can become a vehicle and a channel to your emotions and sentiments," she added.

She's Making History and Winning Awards

Shakira has a long list of accolades, but among her most rewarding is being a three-time GRAMMY Award winner and 12-time Latin GRAMMY winner. The "She Wolf" singer holds the title for most Latin GRAMMY wins by a female artist.

She's also sold over an estimated 140 million records worldwide, with "Hips Don't Lie" breaking the record for the most radio plays in a single week and becoming the fastest-selling digital download song in the U.S. Shakira also became the first artist to perform a Spanish language song at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2005.

In 2015, Shak became the first person in the world to reach 100 million likes on Facebook, becoming the most-liked female and musician on the social media platform. In 2018, she was the most-streamed female artist on Spotify.  

She's a Streaming Star

Shakira's streaming stats are definitely impressive. As of 2020, globally she ranks as the 66th most-listened-to artist, with 26,866,968 monthly listeners and 18,043,395 followers. Her top-streamed songs globally are "Hips Don't Lie," "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)" and "Chantaje."

The top countries that can't get enough of streaming Shakira are the U.S., Mexico, Spain, Argentina and Chile.

She's a World Cup Queen

Shakira has become synonymous with the FIFA World Cup, holding the title as the first musical act to perform three times during the soccer celebrations. Her first shot at World Cup glory was at the 2006 World Cup in Berlin, Germany, with the festive "Hips Don't Lie (Bamboo mix)." The original song was released earlier that year, in February, but it was chosen for the tournament's closing ceremony on July 9.

2010 marked Shakira's second World Cup appearance -- this time "Waka Waka" was dubbed the official song for the tournament in South Africa. Written, composed and produced by Shakira and John Hill, the lyrics encourage one to aim for their goals like a soldier on a battlefield. The track received positive reviews and praise from the public and critics.

The video also featured appearances by soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Dani Alves, Carlos Kameni, Lionel Messi, Rafael Marquez, and Gerard Piqué, Shakira's now-partner.

And this is why Shakira is the unofficial World Cup queen! Coming in to get everybody's hips moving, the Colombian singer's track, "La La La (Brazil 2014)," was reworked and released as the second theme song for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Praised by music critics and a commercial success, the video pays tribute to Afro-Brazilian heritage and tribal imagery. Messi, Neymar, Cesc Fàbregas, Sergio Agüero, Radamel Falcao, James Rodríguez and Eric Abidal made special cameos -- but fans especially enjoyed seeing Shakira's boyfriend, Piqué, and their son, Milan.

She's a Devoted Mother

Mother to two boys, Milan, 7, and Sasha, 4, these days, Shakira is focusing on her little guys.

"I used to be the center of my universe, the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega, and now I'm a satellite of my kids," she told ET in 2017. "I completely revolve around them. They're the center of my universe and my biggest priority in life to make sure they feel loved and that they will become good people, great human beings. That's my number one goal and then everything else is secondary."

"I never thought I would say this, music is my hobby," Shakira confessed of her album, El Dorado, which she was promoting at the time. "But they switched the dynamic completely. That's why I enjoy making this album so much, because now my work is being a mom. I now consider my other work, which is making music, a hobby. That's why making this album was such a pleasure."

She's a Humanitarian

In 1997, the Colombian queen founded her charity, Pies Descalzos Foundation (Barefoot Foundation), that aims at helping poor and impoverished children. The organization seeks to contribute to the quality challenges of educational infrastructure, teaching and innovation processes that are currently facing Colombia and Latin America. Since its inauguration, the foundation has built five schools across Colombia that provide education and meals for thousands of children.

Additionally, in 2003, Shakira was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. And just last week, she showed the beginnings of the construction of yet another school in Colombia.

She's a Dreamer

Ahead of her Super Bowl performance, Shakira is all about giving it her all. "You'll see me in all my splendor," she told 60 Minutes' Bill Whitaker in a preview piece before sharing what message she's hoping to send to the world with her performance.

"I think the message [of my performance] is gonna be, ‘Listen, I'm a woman. I'm a Latina. It wasn't easy for me to get to where I am. And being at the Super Bowl is proof that everything is possible,'" she passionately stated. "That the dreams of a little girl from Barranquilla, Colombia, they were made of something of what dreams are made of and I'm gonna be there, giving it all."

During the Super Bowl press conference days ahead of the performance, Shak added: "We've been working so hard the past weeks to make sure everything is as good as we can feel it...This is a palpable example of how anything is possible, really. And the only thing that matters is the size of your dreams."

Shakira Super Bowl Press Conference
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Tune in to Super Bowl LIV airing Sunday, Feb. 2 at 3:30 p.m. PST/6:30 p.m. EST on Fox.

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