Fresh off a highly-publicized break up with husband Gerard Piqué, Colombian superstar Shakira has managed to capitalize on the situation with two of the biggest worldwide hits of the year. Her success has not only been due to the quality of the songs and the buzz of her personal life, but from very strategic collaborations with some of the biggest names in the Latin industry right now. With a big year shaping up already, what more can we expect for her?
It all started with her massive single “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53.” If you aren’t plugged into the Hispanic music scene, you might not know Bizarrap, a young Argentinian producer who has found fame by doing almost-freestyled sessions with some of the biggest and buzziest artists in the música urbana sphere. These sessions always go viral, with last year’s “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 52” featuring Quevedo by itself amassing over one billion Spotify streams in seven months.
So it’s no surprise that Shakira’s session smashed, especially being the first time the singer has vocally dragged her ex-husband. Now, it’s not the first song Shakira has recorded about the divorce — last year’s “Monotonía” featuring Ozuna and “Te Felicito” featuring Rauw Alejandro touched on the subject. However, it is the first song where it seems like Shakira lets it all out and doesn’t even try to be sympathetic to Piqué, especially given how she pretty much names both him and his alleged new girlfriend, Clara Chia.
But the success of 2023 Shakira goes beyond just Bizarrap. Her newest hit, “TQG” with Karol G, shows just how much appeal the singer has right now. Both it and “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53” topped the global Spotify chart and debuted inside the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, two very big achievements for Latin songs, especially being completely in Spanish.
“TQG,” like “Bzrp,” is largely enhanced by its context. Karol G has been having a career-defining run ever since her smashes last year “Mamiii” featuring Becky G and “Provenza,” but the singer also had a very publicized break-up about a year ago with rapper Anuel AA. So the narrative of two huge stars teaming up to make a female empowerment anthem after heartbreaks might be too strong for anyone to ignore.
Shakira’s big year is likely not stopping anytime soon. There are rumors of a new album coming out this year, and we could be seeing a new, looser side of the artist, especially with so much to say about her personal life. At the upcoming Latin Grammys, Shakira is definitely one of the names to watch, especially in the general and urban categories, where she might even pick up a win or two. Shakira could also make her return to the anglo Grammys, and might even be a contender for a general field nomination there.
Grammy voters surely are aware of her current success, and “Bzrp” being high up on alphabetical ballots won’t hurt. It’s likely that Shakira will be top of mind come voting time. And in the end, it’s not hard to imagine awards voters admiring Shakira for taking such a troubling situation and making it into one of the most impressive years of her career. In her own words: “Las mujeres ya no lloran, las mujeres facturan” (“Women no longer cry, women cash in”).
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