Local Wire

Shakira

Had Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll (yeah, truncating it, Cher/Madonna-style, was probably a good idea) — the 29-year-old, Colombian-born singer who's been making albums (mostly sung in Spanish) since she was 15 — broken through in the U.S. at the height of the late '90s, Ricky Martin-led Latin-pop explosion, she'd be . . . well, she'd probably be as washed up as Ricky Martin is these days. Instead, she waited until the fad chilled out a bit, then wrote and recorded her first primarily English-language album, 2001's Laundry Service, which went multi-platinum, spawned the ubiquitous hit "Underneath Your Clothes," and laid the foundation for what's turned out to be a successful and lasting presence in America. Rockists dig Shakira for writing her own songs and occasionally incorporating guitars that both hit hard and gently weep; popists dig her for writing glossy, lascivious, of-the-moment radio candy like her current smash hit, "Hips Don't Lie" (a collaboration with Wyclef Jean). And based on accounts from the road, nearly everyone digs the hip-shaking, career-spanning spectacle that is her live show.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Alan Goldberg