Even though Colombia is still largely Roman Catholic, the most sacreligious words one could utter in Colombia are, ” I don’t like Shakira”….so take a deep …. wait for it …….. I don’t like Shakira !
Now my family don’t agree with me nor do 100,000,000 Facebook followers. I have been told, ”there’s no accounting for taste” and I could not agree more. I have always followed ”the beat of a different drummer” and I don’t have to be a lemming.
Look, my lips don’t lie and neither do my hips. Musically, I do not find her style interesting. I feel that she is over rated but has had exceptional management, so much so that she has achieved incredible success especially considering that she is a Colombiana from Barranquilla. I have to admit, I would take her over Madonna who is another artist that I do not consider so much as talented but brilliant or brilliantly managed.
Of course the world would not agree with me as she has won two Grammy’s, eight Latin Grammy’s, 7 Billboard Music Awards, 28 Latin Billboard Music Awards, five MTV Awards, has been Golden Globe nominated, has a star on the ”Hollywood Walk of Fame” and has sold over 60 million ”records” worldwide……. Not bad for a ”chica” from the coast of Colombia.
All that being said, as much as I am not a musical fan, I do admire her as a personal, philanthropist and citizen of the world. In 2012 she was nominated as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine. Although she did not make the final cut there is no doubt that she has inspired other Latin American ”moguls” to get on board with //meaningful projects”. She also received a nomination for a Prince of Asturias Concord Award for her humanitarian work.
She is a UNICEF goodwill ambassador and founded the ”Pies Descalzos” Foundation – ”The Barefoot Foundation” on an effort to make education universal. It is important to note that she founded this orgaization when she was only 18 years old. They have now opened 8 new schools worldwide and 6 alone in Colombia.
Shakira also co-founded the the ALAS Foundation (Fundacion America Latina en Accion Solidaria). Alas means wing and was created to launch a social movement with a commitment to Early Childhood Development throughout Latin America.
In October 2011, she was appointed to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics by President Obama. In 2014 Forbes listed her as one of the top 100 most influential women in the world.
The headlines are replete with copy such as :
“The Howard G. Buffett Foundation Joins Shakira’s Pies Descalzos Foundation And Activia To Provide School Meals To Children Through The World Food Programme (WFP – World Food Programme) ”
‘‘Shakira Launches New World Music Video and Joins Forces with Activia to Support World Food Programme”
“Shakira donates to UN war relief in D.R. Congo”
No matter how you spin her disks or the media hype, there is something very special about Shakira. She shown us that she is more than ”put your money where you mouth is ” by a tremendous dedication to making the world a better place. Some artists dapple in philanthropy but to me it appears that Shakira lives it. ( Here is a great story with photos from CBS – http://www.cbsnews.com/news/shakiras-biggest-hit/ ) What more can I say. It is very difficult not to admire the amazing work she has done.
Shakira, to quote the title of one of your latest songs, – ”I can’t remember to forget you”
Shakira_at_Obama_Inaugural.JPG: Yeoman 1st Class Donna Lou Morgan Derivative work. As a work of a military personnel, this photo is in the public domain.