Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shakira -- Aquarius!

Confession: I like Shakira. I wish I could move my hips like she does. I wish I could sing like she does.

She is a singer, songwriter, musician, and (hello, Aquarius!) a major philanthropist. Her albums have been off-the-chart successful, her singles hugely popular, and she broke out of the Latin American market into America (which equals the global market--I guess--and is what everyone wants!).

Her video of the official FIFA/World Cup song of 2010, written and performed by Shakira:

And (bonus) those great looking soccer players!

She is from Colombia, but has not only used influences from Latino music and native Latin American sources, but was also highly influenced by gritty American and British groups like The Pretenders. Her influences range, to say the least. I love it. I think it is great that she sings in Spanish and English--why not?

But like Carmen Miranda, people from Colombia and the Latino world have criticized her for this, for turning her back on her roots for money... really?

I think it's pretty impressive that she can record the same song in both languages and it is successful... and you can hear the Andean instruments here.

The girl is constantly and consistently singing concerts for charitable groups. She has founded her own charitiable group which funds schools for poor children in Colombia. She worked against the Arizona anti-immigration laws. She has worked with and created groups performing for unity among Latino artists (and raising money for the region!). She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She has personally donated millions of her own hard-earned dollars...

On her own time and dime, right? On top of a hugely successful global career as a performer and writer... wow.

And she continues to study history and participate in academic programs around the world.

See: I love Shakira!

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