The Evolution of Shakira’s Career: A Journey from 1991 to 2023

Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, known as her mononym stage name Shakira, has been dominating the music scene for over two decades.

Since her first number one global hit Wherever, Whenever in 2001, the Colombian-born pop star has stayed firmly in the charts.

This year, the MTV Video Music Awards is handing Shakira the accolade she deserves with the Video Vanguard Award for being a “trailblazer for women” in both the Latin and global music industry.

To celebrate the singer’s outstanding career so far, let’s take a walk down memory lane and see some of her best moments from the early noughties ’til now.


Shakira may only have reached global fame in the very early noughties, but she has been a successful recording artist since she was 13.

As a teenager she made her recording debut and released four albums in the 1990s before finding success in the US market.

Her first Latin album was in 1991, and it took 10 long years before those outside Latin America recognised Shakira as the star she is today.

2001 was a huge year for Shakira.


Before then, she was a virtually unknown singer in the US industry. Before this, she had been churning out popular Latin hits since the ’90s.

Her first English song, Whenever, Wherever, was released this year from her debut English-language album, Laundry Service.

This catchy tune catapulted Shakira into international stardom and was the springboard for her 22-year long chart domination.

Shakira had wanted to break into the American music industry for years.


Speaking about her debut in 2001, the Hips Don’t Lie singer admitted it was a huge and terrifying leap to go from Spanish-language to English music.

“Before ᴀssuming this big challenge of writing for the first time in English and making my first English album and presenting it to the world… of course I was feeling ready for it, a little bit scared… actually a lot scared,” she told

“But I knew I could do it and my instincts always told me to go ahead and jump in the water.”

Shakira pictured promoting her album Servicio de Lavanderia (Laundry Service) in 2001.


Shakira at the radio station KTUs Fourth Annual Miracle on 34th Street concert December 18, 2001.

Pictured at the 2001 Radio Music Awards.


Shakira performing at the club La Riviera during the world presentation of her album Laundry Service in 2002.

In 2002, Australia was graced with Shakira’s presence at the 44th TV Week Logie Awards in Melbourne.

Shakira in her signature grungy style at the 5th Annual VH1 Divas Las Vegas concert in 2002.


Shakira backstage with one of five of her awards at the 1st Annual MTV Video Music Awards Latin America at the Jackie Gleason Theatre in 2002.

Shakira performing on stage for her Mongoose tour at the bullring Las Ventas April 25, 2003 in Madrid, Spain.

In 2003, Shakira was named the new ambᴀssador of UNICEF.

Shakira pH๏τographed backstage at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards Latin America in 2004.

Shakira performing on MTV’s Total Request Live “Sounds of Summer” at the Hard Rock H๏τel in Las Vegas.

Shakira posing with her awards in the press room at the 2005 Billboard Music Awards.

Shakira at the Echo 2006 Music Awards on March 12, 2006 in Germany.

Shakira at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards on February 11, 2007 in Los Angeles, California.

Shakira at the Latino inaugural gala, “Celebrando El Cambio – Renewing America’s Promise,” at Union Station on January 18, 2009 in Washington, DC.

Shakira at the NRJ Music Awards 2011 in France.

2011 was also the year Shakira began dating her ex, Barca football player Gerard Piqué.

Here, Piqué is seen on stage at Shakira’s concert in Spain. The pair went public with their romance not long before this.

Shakira and Piqué at a gala in 2011.

In 2013, Shakira welcomed her first child, a son named Milan, with Piqué.

Pictured here during a soccer match in Spain.

Shakira and Piqué seen in 2015.

Shakira at the premiere of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Zootopia.

Shakira and Piqué with their sons Milan Sasha at the gala of Los 40 Music Awards 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.

Shakira kicking off The North American Leg of her El Dorado World Tour at United Center on August 3, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performing onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020.

Shakira seen at the screening of Elvis during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 25, 2022 in Cannes, France.

Shakira making a fashion statement during Paris Fashion Week in 2023.

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