“Shakira’s Most Iconic Music Videos: A Celebration of Her MTV Vanguard Award Win”

As I type this, I find myself grooving to the beat of “La Tortura” and doing that signature chest-rise dance of Shakira’s. This iconic artist needs no introduction – with 12 Latin Grammy Awards under her belt, a recent MTV Vanguard Music Video Award win, and a career spanning over two decades, Shakira has solidified her place in music history. As a self-proclaimed worshipper of the Colombian singer (we even share the same birthday!), I can attest to the fact that her onscreen presence is mesmerizing, and her dance moves are nothing short of inspiring. In fact, I once got caught by my chemistry teacher practicing “La Tortura” instead of memorizing a formula. With 77 music videos on her official YouTube page, there are plenty to choose from, making narrowing down the top 20 a difficult task.

While “Beautiful Liar” – Beyoncé’s hit featuring Shakira – and Karol G’s “TQG” technically belong to other artists, they’re worth mentioning nonetheless due to their standout dance breaks. The 2007 video for “Las de la Instuicion” may be dated, but it’s still a fun, quirky watch. Now, onto the list itself.

Kicking things off at number 20 is “Trap” featuring Maluma. Directed by Jaume de Laiguana, the video is minimalist in style but features some close-ups of very attractive people. While not one of their best collaborations, the duo’s chemistry is still undeniable, and Shakira lying in a pool of milk somehow manages to work.

The music video for “Perro Fiel” featuring Nicky Jam kicks off with a memorable scene. Three ladies, not wearing shirts, face away from us and mimic cellos as the music begins. The classical moment takes a surprising turn when dirt bikes zoom across the screen at night. It’s unclear how all these elements fit together, but Shakira pulls it off with natural coolness. Additionally, we get a dose of Nicky-Nicky-Nicky Jam (La Industria Inc., IYKYK), making it even more enjoyable.

Let’s talk about “Hips Don’t Lie” featuring Wyclef Jean. It’s definitely one of Shakira’s most famous songs, especially in the US. The music video was directed by Sophie Muller and it showcases another one of Shakira’s reinventions. This time, she’s dancing between sheets that are hung up like canopies, resembling jellyfish. Shakira playfully dances and flirts with the camera, showcasing her iconic hip movements that are totally mesmerizing. When this song and video came out, everyone wanted to dance like her!

“Skip the Beginning”
This music video may take a while to get going, but once it does, it’s a blast. The first half is spent with Shakira singing into the ear of an unconscious man lying on the floor. However, things pick up from there. The two share a steamy moment in a shower (while fully dressed), before the scene changes to a junkyard where Shakira rocks out on her guitar and operates a forklift. I’ve always admired Shakira’s rockstar persona – it’s what launched her career – so seeing glimpses of that is always appreciated. Plus, watching her smash up a car in the junkyard is pretty satisfying.

“Acróstico” is a touching love letter dedicated to Milan and Sasha, the two children of the author. Initially, I refrained from watching this video as I had an inkling it might stir up my emotions, which it did. As I watched the video, I couldn’t resist tearing up. The video depicts her two kids playing the piano and singing while images of their home in Spain flash across the screen. Their childhood memories are packed in boxes, symbolizing their family’s move from Spain to Florida. The video elicits emotional feelings as the lighting and focus are dark, yet tender.

“Lo Hecho Está Hecho” is a music video that caught my attention because of the impressive choreography on the bed. I used to watch So You Think You Can Dance with my mom, and this routine could have easily been on the show. Although the artist released an English version of the song and video, I highly recommend watching and listening to the Spanish version (and translating it later). The video has a lot to offer and is worth a watch.

The music video for “Nada,” directed by Jaume de Laiguana, presents a stark departure from the typically upbeat and dance-heavy videos associated with the artist. The video’s melancholic tone reflects the song’s title, showcasing an empty lighthouse home devoid of basic necessities like water, books, and food. One notable scene sees the protagonist crawling under her bed in despair, a relatable image for anyone who has experienced a devastating breakup. Despite her heartbreak and isolation by the sea, the artist remains stunningly beautiful throughout the video.

“Whenever, Wherever” is a classic Shakira tune that everyone seems to know. It’s easily one of her most beloved tracks, especially in America. I recently revisited the music video and was pleasantly reminded of its grandiosity. The video boasts a spectacular display of CGI horses galloping beside Shakira as she sings against a sunset backdrop that looks like it came straight from a computer screen saver or one of those cheesy mall videos. It’s just as iconic as I remember it, and I’m sure it will continue to be a fan favorite for years to come.

When Shakira first released music videos, she appealed to the eccentric and artistic crowd. However, in “Pies Descalzos, Sueños Blancos”, we see a different side of her as a 20-year-old playing guitar with her band in a barren field with legs sticking up from the ground. There’s also an allusion to Eve from the Bible as a woman eats from a bucket of apples under an apple tree on a hill. The video starts with a masquerade ball featuring unsettling masks. It’s definitely worth a watch.

Shakira and Maluma have collaborated once again for their latest music video, “Clandestino.” The video features a moody, beachside setting and showcases Shakira’s stunning appearance in a beach dress. Despite not having too much happening in the video, it’s still captivating and draws viewers’ attention. Additionally, Shakira playfully incorporates the “caged” theme often seen in her other videos. The director of this video is Jaume de Laiguana.

At number 10 on our list, we have the music video for “Copa Vacia” featuring Manuel Turizo, one of Shakira’s latest releases. In the video, Shakira portrays a mermaid who is taken out of the water and put in a tank, continuing the theme of being trapped or caged. There are some stunning shots of her singing under a waterfall with Turizo. It’s great to see Shakira returning to her roots of storytelling and incorporating symbols into her work. While her choreography is always impressive, it’s even more exciting to see her explore her creativity in new ways. We’re halfway through our list, so stay tuned for more!

The earliest entry in the top 10 list of Shakira’s music videos is “No Creo,” which dates back to 1999 and is taken from her fourth album, Donde Están los Ladrones? This video has something for everyone, with Shakira sporting dark hair, being dwarfed by towering figures, and surrounded by a motley crew of oddballs on a lawn, while a group that may be either anti- or pro-Karl Marx looks on from the wall. There’s even an underwater scene! Throughout these varied settings, Shakira’s singing about placing her trust only in her lover. It’s an energetic, colourful video, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you’re definitely missing out.

The music video for Shakira’s “Te Aviso, Te Anuncio (Tango)” was directed by Dave Meyers, who went on to direct videos for Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish. Upon rewatching it after several years, I was reminded of how enjoyable it is. The video features Shakira confronting her unfaithful boyfriend and his mistress in a bar, which is depicted through comic book-style graphics. Additionally, we see glimpses of Rockstar Shakira, who not only dances the tango and shakes her hips, but also plays guitar with her band and headbangs. Despite being released in 2002, the video still holds up today.

Shakira’s music video for “Chantaje” featuring Maluma is a visual masterpiece. Even dancing in a dirty bathroom looks cool when Shakira does it. The director, Jaume de Laiguana, who has worked with Shakira before, creates stunning imagery, such as lion fountains spouting water onto Shakira resting on a sofa, and the duo grooving in a bar. The whole aura of the video is set by the moody red lighting, adding to its allure.

Shakira’s latest track, “Te Felicito” featuring Rauw Alejandro, sees the singer calling out a deceitful ex-partner. Despite this, the music video takes on a futuristic theme and showcases some impressive visuals. Shakira also builds up her perfect partner in the form of a robot boyfriend played by Rauw, who shares some fun and exciting dance moments with the Colombian songstress.

The song “Monotonía” featuring Ozuna was released shortly after the news of Shakira’s separation from Piqué went public. It presents a painful picture of their ending, which was hinted at in the earlier release of “Te Felicito.” The music video is a dramatic depiction of heartbreak caused by love, with Shakira skillfully conveying the story. In contrast to her previous release “Nada,” this video has a playful tone with CGI effects, including a scene where her heart is blasted out of her chest. Although the concept of a “music video in a grocery store” has been done before, Shakira manages to offer something new and refreshing that can be appreciated by all.

The track titled “El Jefe” featuring Fuerza Regida is an impressive piece of work, both in terms of the music and the visuals. While the song touches on the topic of the power dynamic between employees and their bosses, it also tells the story of Shakira’s former nanny who was unfairly dismissed without any compensation by her cheating ex-boyfriend who happened to be a football player. However, Shakira has rehired her and promised that she will receive royalties from the song’s video. This duality of messages is what makes this song stand out. If you watch till the end, you’ll even catch a glimpse of Shakira’s former nanny, Lili Melgar.

Let’s talk about “Can’t Remember to Forget You” featuring Rihanna. You might remember the iconic moment when Britney Spears and Madonna danced with a wall between them in “Me Against the Music.” Well, hold onto your hats because Rihanna and Shakira do it even better here. Although I usually have an “eat the rich” mentality, I have to admit that watching these two wealthy ladies gallivanting, dancing, and lounging around a mansion while smoking cigars and showing off their expensive jewelry is totally fine by me. And let’s not forget the incredible scene of Shakira playing the drums and guitar in the middle of the pool. It’s truly iconic.

One of Shakira’s most memorable performances was at this year’s VMAs, where she started with her song “She Wolf” and included the visually impressive body-bending routine from the music video. The song is iconic and it was a tough decision to choose between it and the runner-up. Upon re-watching both videos multiple times, I have come to a firm decision. The symbolism of being trapped is evident once again, and Shakira’s willingness to embrace her eccentricity is on full display. She dances in a pink glitter cave, wearing a stunning cutout jumpsuit, under the moon on a rooftop, and reveals her innate desire for excitement. Finally, she wakes up in her closet and sneaks into bed with her unsuspecting partner.

I bet you already knew that I was going to choose “La Tortura” Ft. Alejandro Sanz as my number one pick, especially from the intro. This music video is timeless and never loses its appeal. Shakira excels in her ability to embrace the unconventional and lighthearted – she’s covered in either oil or mud (I’m not too sure) for a dance routine that only she can pull off flawlessly. Additionally, the dynamic and attraction between Shakira’s and Alejandro’s characters, along with their countertop dancing, make this video unbeatable. You can argue with someone else, but in my opinion, this is her best music video.

Scroll to Top