Latin Queen Shakira Expresses Her Love For her Origins Through Cultural Fluidity And The Experience of being a Cross Cultural Kid

Shakira (Image via Instagram)

Most people know Shakira for her Latin dance moves and great vocals. What they may not know is that she is also a Cross Cultural Kid. She took the United States by storm in 1997 without relinquishing her multicultural roots.

Shakira’s Origin

Shakira is the product of a Lebanese father and a native Colombian mother. With her father speaking the Lebanese dialect of Arabic and her mother speaking Spanish, Shakira is a CCK. 

Shakira (Image via Instagram)
Shakira (Image via Instagram)

Shakira was born in 1977 in Barranquilla, Colombia. At the age of 10 she began writing poetry into songs and belly dancing. In 2001, she released her album “MTV Unplugged” which won a Grammy award for best Latin Pop album. That same year, she also released her first English-language album, “Laundry Service.” Although her English songwriting skills were questioned by many people, that album sold 13 million copies worldwide. This is what jump-started her crossover success and encouraged her to write more bilingual music and albums in English.

In 2005, Shakira released her song “Hips Don’t Lie.” In her music video, she really gets in touch with her Lebanese culture. She dances around barefoot enjoying the feel of the music expressing her multicultural roots.

The reason why I named that song that is because, when I’m in the studio, I know when a song is ready and it can be taken out of the oven, and it’s exactly when my hips start moving — when my body reacts physically to a song, I know (if it’s a dance song) that song is done,” she tells the magazine. “So, I used to say to my musicians, ‘My hips don’t lie! Are they moving? They’re not moving! So this is not ready.’ And that’s how I came up with it, the idea of the song.

Shakira 2014, NewsComAu

Staying True to her Roots

It is apparent in her songs and music videos that she loves to express her heritage in her music. Whether her songs are in Spanish or English, she never loses touch of herself. While still presenting music that is pleasing and successful in her Latin culture as well as in the U.S..

I am trying to make my accent so it won’t bother anyone, but I am not going to drive myself crazy trying to pretend I am an American girl when I am from Colombia.

Shakira 2020

Shakira’s success is based upon the fact that she is unapologetically herself. She is in U.S. making music without losing her culture. She brings awareness of her culture and her people through her music, informing the U.S. audience while still reaching those listeners through her talent.

Shakira (Image via Instagram)
Shakira on ‘The Voice’ (Image via Instagram)

While sticking to her Arab and Latin rock-styled music she continues to make music in both Spanish and English. Using the incorporation of both, she was awarded best Latin rock alternative album in her second Grammy award. This was very possible due to her “Waka Waka” single that blew the nation away. It became a theme song for the FIFA World Cup in 2010. This helped made her the global pop star she is today. 

Success through Others

With her unique style and diversity, she was able to become a judge on “The Voice,” a talent television show in the U.S. She was an example for cross-cultural kids who are able to show their diversity and culture. With a diverse pop star judge it was seen that a lot more multicultural kids were coming onto the show in honor of her and in honor of their own culture.

The more diverse you are, the easier it is for you to reach out to different people. One can understand where they’re coming from and how they express themselves through music. 


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Celebrating Cross-Cultural TCK Identity
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