The city of Barranquilla, in Colombia, has unveiled a 6.5-metre-tall bronze statue of Shakira to honour the famous singer who was born there on 2 February 1997.
The statue, depicting one of Shakira’s famous dance moves from the hit “Hips don’t lie” is one of the tallest statues of a pop star ever unveiled, topped only by the almost 8-metre-tall statue of Marlyn Monroe, holding down her skirt, in Palm Springs, California.
On 2 February 1997 “Barranquilla and the world witnessed the birth of a heart that composes, hips that don’t lie, a voice that moves masses and a pair of bare feet that walk for the good of children and humanity”, reads the plaque in front of the statue. The bare feet are a reference to the singer’s charitable foundation “Pies descalzos”, Spanish for “bare feet”, which promotes early childhood development.
While Sharika herself was not at the unveiling ceremony, her parents stood proudly in front of the giant replica of their daughter. “It makes me happy to share this with my parents and especially my mother on her birthday”, Shakira wrote in an Instagram caption, sharing pictures of her parents, brother and Barranquilla Mayor, Jaime Pumarejo.
The statue was created by Yino Márquez with the help of his students and the city chose to place it on a recently built promenade along the Magdalena River that runs along the edge of the town. “Thank you to the sculptor Yino Márquez and the students of the district school of arts for this example of the enormous artistic talent of the people of my land”, Shakira wrote on X.
Shakira started 2023 on a strong foot, releasing a record-breaking song at the beginning of the year in which she disses her ex-partner and former footballer Gerard Piqué. Among others, the unnamed song, which was recorded with Argentinian DJ Bizarrap in ” BZRP Music Sessions #53″, tells Piqué to train his brain too, not just his body. “A she-wolf like me ain’t for dudes like you. I’ve outgrown you and that’s why you’re with a girl just like you”, says the chorus.
In another verse, the singer says Piqué left her “as a neighbour to the mother-in-law; With the press at the door and the debt at the IRS”, referring to a tax fraud case she’s been involved in in Spain over where her actual residence was between 2012 and 2014. Shakira made the news again this year by choosing to settle the case and pay a €7.5 million fine, as well as an additional fine of €438,000 to avoid a three-year prison sentence.
“This decision to reach a deal responds to personal, emotional and sentimental reasons that have nothing to do with legal [reasons]”, Shakira said in a statement at the time, adding she was ready to defend her innocence but decided to prioritize her career and children. “I have reached the conclusion that winning is not a victory if the price is that they rob you of so many years of your life.”