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Whenever, Wherever by Shakira

Album: Laundry ServiceReleased: 2001Charted:
  • Shakira is from Columbia, and Spanish is her native language. The Spanish version of this is called "Suerte," which means "Luck."
  • This was Shakira's first album recorded in English.
  • Shakira was a star in Latin America, but this was her first hit in English-speaking countries. The video for this, which was directed by Francis Lawrence, became a huge hit on MTV and introduced her to a new set of fans.
  • Gloria Estefan wrote this with Shakira. Estefan has had tremendous success recording in both English and Spanish, but like Shakira, her core fan base is Spanish-speaking.
  • The song is about being willing to travel the world in order to be with a distant lover. Most of the songs Shakira writes are about love.
  • This was written in Spanish, and the Spanish lyrics are more meaningful. The English translation is a little goofy, with lines like "Lucky my breasts are small and humble so you don't confuse them with mountains." The lack of lyrical depth did not hurt, as the beat, the chorus, and the video made this a hit.
  • One of the key instruments are Andean pan flutes. They are common in Arabic music, which is a big influence on Shakira.
  • After this was released, Shakira's boyfriend was the subject of a great deal of controversy. She was dating Antonio De La Rua, the son of Argentinean president Fernando De La Rua, who resigned in December 2001 with Argentina's economy in turmoil. On his last day in office, five protesters were shot by police guarding the presidential palace, which enraged Argentines as well as many other Latin Americans. Considering Shakira guilty by association, Tower Records refused to sell her CD at the request of the president of Tower Records Argentina. The younger De La Rua wrote speeches for his father. He was in the video for another song on the album called "Underneath Your Clothes."
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Comments: 19

There's a segment on the PBS series "Latin Music USA" explaining how Emilio and Gloria Estefan of Miami Sound Machine helped mentor a young Shakira from unknown to emerging superstar. Emilio says he looked to Shakira's paternal heritage (Middle Eastern - Lebanese - on father's side) when creating a unique image for her. Note the bare midriffs and belly dancing.Donna - Ft. Lauderdale, Fl
Gotta love a song with pan pipes! It makes me want to go somewhere in South/Central America! Love this song; Shakira has a great voice, and they don't have to auto-tune her.Karen - Metuchen, Nj
I'm guessing that the other song to hit it big featuring panpipes was Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer.Chris - South Surrey, Bc
Shakira is a true "Earth Woman". She loves to be barefoot. She is bare foot in this clip, and many others (notably the duet with Beyonce). She performs in barefeet. She has beautiful, petite little feet with dainty toes. Her favourite nail polish color is black.Craig - Melbourne, Australia
Chauncey - I don't think it sounds that much like "Aint't It Funny" either, but a number of music critics of the time did!Dave - Cardiff, Wales
I think the spanish version (translated) is way better.
Michelle Diaz, Springfield,VA.
Michelle - Springfield, Va
It soooooooo does NOT sound like JLo's Ain't it Funny.. I find that whole statement funny.. Shakira's lyrics about her breats were only commical. Do you reallly think that she was serious when she said "so you don't confused them with mountains." Give me a break. On the other hand, I totally confuse Pamela Anderson's breasts with Mountains anyday! I also felt that this song had an undertone of having sex whenever and wherever.. but whatever. Shakira=Awesome!Chauncey - Niagara Falls, Ny
Additionally, when it was released this song also drew comment from some critics who thought it sounded like Jennifer Lopez's 2001 release "Ain't It Funny"Dave - Cardiff, Wales
I don't think the english lyrics are silly at all. I think most of her songs in English and Spanish have the same theme to them of love and womanhood. In english she sings about her breasts and hips, and it s a sign (to me) that she is proud of her womanhood and sexuality. In Spanish it's the same too. In Te Dejo Madrid, there is a lyric that (when translated) means "cats like me land on their feet". I get the same feel from that as I do from her english songs.Jessie Ann - Purchase, Ny
I like this song, but only in spanish. I like "Hips Don't Lie" better!Caitlin - Upper Township, Nj
This song was dedicated to her fiancé, the son of Argentina's former president Fernando de la Rua. That´s why it says something about climbin´ the Andes. As for its Spanish translation into English, I have to same it´s pretty much the same to the English version.Anna - U.s, Ca
Usually it´s true for Latin songs that the original spanish text is so much better than the english version of the song. This case is different though: The english lyrics posted here are quite an exact translation of the spanish text (I´ve reread the spanish lyrics). Conclusion: even in spanish it´s stupid. At least it sounds nice...Jazzz - Frankfurt
This song reminds me of the Men at Work hit song "Down Under," 20 years earlier. I remember when it was brand new.Josh - Hillsdale, Mi
could someone post the Spanish lyrics, translated?Kelli - Cedar Rapids, Ia
why would anyone quote "lucky that my breasts are small and humble. so you dont confuse them with mountains" what the hell lyrics are those and shakira honey im yet to confuse a large breast with a mountain.. but hey! maybe im just a one off..Marlow - Perth
This song is horrible in English. But then all of her English songs are bad. If you haven't heard her Spanish songs, listen to them and you'll know what I'm talking about. And the country is Colombia, not Columbia.Kyrie - Raleigh, Nc
"Whenever, Wherever" was - and still remains - one of only two UK hit singles to feature a panpipe section. The Andean panflutes in this song were inspired by the the traditional Rosminian panpipe chorus "Cacharpaya", a piece of music made famous in 1982 by the avant-garde group Incantation who took Cacharpaya to No. 10 in the UK in that year. Issued as Shakira's debut UK single in early 2002, "Whenever, Wherever" went to No. 2 in the UK charts. Despite the relative commercial failure of follow-up "Underneath Your Clothes" in the UK in August 2002, "Whenever, Whenever" still remains one of the biggest-selling UK singles so far this decadeDave - Cardiff, Wales
MadTV parodied this as "Whatever ,Don't Matter.Alex - New Orleans, La
This song is so good. I personally think that song is better in Spanish, it loses its meaning when translated. Just my opinion. Shakira grew up in Barranquilla, in the secure north of columbia.Zack Wiener - Auckland, New Zealand
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