Latin Music USA

S1 E8 | CLIP

The Legends: Shakira

Shakira Mebarak, a Colombian of Lebanese descent, brought a unique combination of rhythms from her native Barranquilla. With the help of producer Emilio Estefan, she became an international superstar. Watch LATIN MUSIC USA Friday, April 28 and Friday, May 5 at 9/8C on PBS (check local listings). Image credit: Retna, Ltd./Larry Marano

AIRED: October 18, 2009 | 0:04:38

SMITS: Shakira Mebarak, a Colombian of Lebanese descent,

brought a unique combination of rhythms

from her native Barranquilla.

You know, I grew up in a Caribbean city, you know,

so I am used to merenguüe, salsa, vallenato, cumbia,

but, I don't know why, I just love rock and roll.

SMITS: With her whimsical poetry and folk-style sounds,

Shakira had become well known in Latin America

as an alternative rocker.

She arrived at Estefan's studio in 1998

in search of a wider audience.

ESTEFAN: I saw in Shakira talent-- a baby full of talent.

This girl can move, she can sing, she can write.

SMITS: Emilio looked for a distinctive sound for Shakira

and found it in her Lebanese roots.

ESTEFAN: To be a good producer,

you really have to find a sound

that establishes their personality,

where they come from.

For example, Shakira,

the first song I did for her, it was Middle Eastern.

SMITS: "Ojos Asi"-- "Eyes Like These"--

became Shakira's signature song.

COBO: She had a mix of sounds that hadn't been heard before.

She was very dynamic.

She broke a mold,

and I think for something to be huge it has to break a mold.

MOTTOLA: When you think about putting a whole machine

behind an artist, to say,

"This artist has global potential,"

you really have to think about, at the end of the day,

can they make popular music and can they then be out there

to support that popular music bilingually?

♪ Suerte que es tener labios sinceros ♪

♪ Para besarte con mas ganas

♪ Suerte que mis pechos sean pequeños ♪

♪ Y no los confundas con montanas... ♪

SMITS: Before Shakira, every crossover artist had been

bicultural and bilingual,

but the young Colombian star spoke no English,

and as a singer-songwriter, she struggled.

EMILIO ESTEFAN: We worked hard--

to 5:00, 6:00 in the morning--

trying to translate songs and trying to do things

because we believed in her.

♪ Whenever, wherever, we're meant to be together ♪

♪ I'll be there and you'll be near ♪

♪ And that's the deal, my dear... ♪

SMITS: Co-written by Gloria Estefan,

"Whenever, Wherever" was for Shakira

what "Livin' La Vida Loca" had been for Ricky Martin.

The album, Laundry Service,was an international sensation.

SHAKIRA: Guten Abend, Frankfurt.

Buenas noches, Mexico.

Bonsoir, Paris.

¿Cómo estás, Colombia?

WYCLEF JEAN: Here we go!

Uno, dos, tres, quatro.

Put your hands in the air.

Put your hands in the air.

Put your hands in the air.

Hey, Shakira, Shakira.

SHAKIRA: ♪ Oh, baby, when you talk like that ♪

♪ You make your woman go mad

♪ So be wise and keep on

♪ Reading the signs of my body


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