Shakira’s Superstar-Making ‘Laundry Service’ Era: A Gallery
Like most non-Latinos, Laundry Service was my introduction to Shakira. I can still remember the first time I saw the “Whenever Wherever” video. Who was this goddess emerging from the ocean? Why was she singing about small and humble breasts? How did she manage to belly dance between wild horses without injury? It took me a while to figure out the answers to all of those questions, but I knew I was smitten. And that fascination has never waned in the (almost) two decades that have passed since Shakira’s English-language debut.
Given that we’re living in a literal hell-scape, nostalgia is king in 2020. As such, I’ve found myself returning to albums I know inside and out. And that surely applies to Laundry Service. From the initial rush of “Objection (Tango)” to wonderfully offbeat album tracks like “Poem To A Horse” and Spanish-language hits like “Que Me Quedes Tú,” this is a perfect project. There isn’t a less than immaculate song to be found and at least half the record is comprised of classic hits that defined the early ’00s.
Laundry Service not only helped Shakira crack the US market, it also made her a superstar around the world. The numbers are staggering. It sold more than 13 million copies worldwide and ranks as one of the best-selling albums of the 21st century. That’s mind-boggling considering the fusion of Latin and world music sounds as well as the fact that Shakira wrote every song — with the use of a rhyming dictionary, no less — in her early 20s. Click through the era’s iconic looks up top and revisit some of the music below.