Should Have Been Bigger: Shakira & Rihanna’s “Can’t Remember To Forget You”
Shakira has been leaping from one exciting development to the next recently. The 42-year-old kicked things off by announcing a new concert film that will play on over 2000 screens across the globe this winter. Even better, last week we learned she’s co-headlining the Super Bowl LIV Halftime show with Jennifer Lopez. That’s pretty much the definition of legends only if you ask me. Meanwhile, her “Don’t Bother” video randomly amassed more than 15 million YouTube views over a decade after its initial release.
It’s great to see an underrated bop getting so much love years later. And while we’re on the topic of Shakira classics that deserve more, now is the perfect time to revisit her exceedingly iconic Rihanna collab “Can’t Remember To Forget You.” The pop powerhouses linked up on the track, the lead-single to Shakira’s self-titled album, back in 2014. And it had all the ingredients to be a chart-dominating super-smash. On it, the divas deal with the all too relatable struggle of letting go of a no-good lover. There’s just one problem.
They keep forgetting exactly how bad their guys really are. “I left a note on my bedpost. Said not to repeat yesterday’s mistakes. What I tend to do when it comes to you,” Shakira admits on the opening lines. Rihanna echoes those sentiments on a verse of her own. And then they come together for the instantly hummable chorus. “Ohh, ohh, I can’t remember to forget you. Ohh, ohh, I keep forgetting I should let you go,” they sing. “But when you look at me the only memory is us kissing in the moonlight.”
The gorgeous icons paired the single with a scintillating video. In it, they canoodle on an oversized pillow while puffing on cigars. There’s also some suitably sexy choreography and scenes of Shakira performing in the middle of a pool. The end result is a very chic work of art that is rapidly closing in on one billion views on YouTube. Buoyed by impressive numbers, the song made a pretty solid dent on the global charts. That was also the case on the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number 15.
It seems strange to say a song that peaked well within the Top 20 was underrated. However, if you think about it, “I Can’t Remember To Forget You” really should have soared even higher. Based on their combined star power, it’s easy to imagine it at least breaking into the Top 3 like Shakira’s Beyoncé collab “Beautiful Liar” did years earlier. That’s not even considering the fact that the song is seriously catchy. If life is fair, the song will get its just desserts next year.
I can picture it now. During a sure-to-be incredible set at the Super Bowl, Rihanna pops onstage for a surprise performance of “Can’t Remember To Forget You” featuring a new verse courtesy of J.Lo. And thanks to the ensuing burst of streams and downloads, the track burns back up the Hot 100 again years later. Really, it’s what they deserve. While we wait to see if that happens, revisit the massive bop and eye-popping video below.