Shakira is the sultry Colombian singer who grabbed the world’s attention at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
But long before Shakira sang the iconic “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” hit, her life was a series of failures.
The failures ultimately prepared her for future success, not just in her homeland Colombia, but also in other regions across the globe.
For instance, many people know “Hips Don’t Lie,” a song that got everybody on the dance floor in the mid-2000s.
But the list of Shakira’s best songs is so diverse.
Let’s explore the 20 best Shakira songs of all time to find out how she’s captivated audiences worldwide.
By the way, we’ve listed the songs in no particular order.
1. “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” (Song Year: 2010)
It took us time to decide which song to put at #1 on this list.
Of course, some will say “Hips Don’t Lie” deserves the top spot.
But for its global influence and legacy, let’s go with “Waka Waka,” a song that made everybody fall in love with football by uniting millions of fans worldwide.
If anybody ever needed a morale booster at the 2010 FIFA world cup in South Africa, Shakira’s “Waka Waka” was surely the one.
Everybody was grooving to the danceable rhythm.
And by the time the World Cup was over, many had mastered the song’s lyrics word for word.
“Waka Waka” was unlike most other Shakira songs, bringing celebratory vibes to the global stage.
The music video was even better and is permanently engraved in many people’s hearts.
2. “Hips Don’t Lie” (Song Year: 2005)
If you are going to dance to a Shakira song, let it be “Hips Don’t Lie.”
Oh! We’re guilty of not including this as the #1 hit.
It’s one of Shakira’s most recognizable songs, with an almost perfect melody and music video to get you hooked.
It triggers nostalgic memories for some people, especially those who listened to Shakira’s songs from her Oral Fixation Vol. 2 studio album (2005).
The combination of English and Spanish lyrics makes it even better, with a blend of reggae and hip-hop elements.
3. “Gypsy” (Song Year: 2009)
“Gypsy” is many people’s favorite Shakira song, describing the singer’s life on the road.
The song was inspired by Indian bhangra music and is available in English and Spanish versions.
Shakira released “Gypsy” as part of her 2009 She Wolf album and has previously explained that it was a way to express her “way of living life.”
“I’ve been on the road since I was very young, so that’s where the gypsy metaphor comes from.”
4. “Whenever, Wherever” (Song Year: 2001)
Another beautiful love song to compliment your romantic playlist.
“Whenever, Wherever” finds Shakira confessing her love for this special someone.
She craves his company and wishes to do anything to be with them.
She boldly says how she would travel the world with this one person.
“Whenever, Wherever” is for those thrills and excitement of new love when you meet this one special person and wish to spend the rest of your life with them.
Shakira released a Spanish version of the song “Suerte,” but the English version endeared her to many English listeners.
5. “She Wolf” (Song Year: 2009)
“She Wolf” is a danceable tune where Shakira expresses her desire to be free.
Or, to be precise, a song about female liberation.
The werewolf metaphor expresses a strong desire to get out of the cage and not get burdened by your feminine image.
As the narration continues, Shakira also talks about her boring romantic partner and her desire to go out and find a new guy to arouse her.
You can listen to the Spanish version of “Loba,” which is just as danceable.
6. “Underneath Your Clothes” (Song Year: 2002)
Shakira continued her romance theme in 2002 with another classic hit about unconditional love.
The lyrics express the singer’s undying love for this one guy.
The track is a perfect example of a love song with both literal and deeper meanings and received favorable reviews from music critics.
It was the second single from Shakira’s first English language album, Laundry Service, released in 2001.
7. “Can’t Remember to Forget You” (Song Year: 2014)
Shakira’s 2014 collaboration with Rihanna is one of her best songs of all time.
It isn’t probably as popular as many would assume, but the lyrics describe the singers’ love for this special someone.
It’s a song about this one man the Colombian singer can’t get off her mind, no matter how hard she tries.
You probably can relate to the feeling when you just can’t forget this one person, no matter how caring, loving, or toxic they are.
See also: Best Songs of 2014
8. “Loca” (Song Year: 2010)
“Loca” is a Latin-pop track about Shakira’s obsession with a certain guy.
It is a Latin pop-merengue song that showed the Queen of Latin music’s versatility, with the English version becoming a commercial success across the globe.
It topped the charts in Italy, Hungary, France, Austria, and Belgium.
The Spanish version was equally successful, climbing to #1 in Switzerland and Spain besides topping the Billboard Hot Latin Songs, Tropical Songs, and Latin Pop Airplay charts.
9. “Beautiful Liar” (Song Year: 2006)
“Beautiful Liar” is the female empowerment anthem every lady needs.
The mid-tempo R&B-pop song features Beyoncé and tells the story of two women told the same lies by one man.
The man cheated on both of them and instead of fighting over him, they chose to move on with their lives.
Musically, “Beautiful Liar” combines Shakira’s Latin vibes and style with Beyoncé’s hip-hop and R&B styles for a unique taste that made it a commercial success.
The English version was nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2007.
10. “Illegal” (Song Year: 2006)
In 2006, Shakira released a hit single titled “Illegal” for her Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 studio album.
The album also included the famous “Hips Don’t Lie” hit.
The lyrics mourn the loss of a loved one.
Despite the powerful message, “Illegal” only received moderate success in the mainstream market, with music critics divided over lead guitarist Carlos Santana’s contribution.
Still, it peaked in the top 10 in Switzerland, Hungary, and the Netherlands.
11. “Ojos Asi” (Song Year: 1999)
Shakira was already releasing music in the late 90s.
And one of the songs that helped her launch a successful career is “Ojos Asi,” or ‘eyes like that’ in English.
Think of it as love at first sight, with Shakira confessing her affection for this mysterious man.
She’s mesmerized by the guy and marvels at his unique eyes that she’s never seen anywhere else.
The danceable tune has Arabic and Spanish elements and was one of the songs that introduced the Colombian pop singer to the world.
12. “Hay Amores” (Song Year: 2007)
Another pretty song by Shakira to sing to a loved one.
She recorded this track for her 2008 EP Love in the Time of Cholera, and it has since become one of her best songs from the late 2000s.
Lyrically, the story builds around the theme of unconditional love, with the narrator declaring her deep affection for this one person.
If there’s any love immune to any damage, it has to be the one described by Shakira in “Hay Amores.
13. “Empire” (Song Year: 2014)
Not every artist can boast of achieving international pop-rock superstardom.
But that’s Shakira’s story, rising from humble beginnings with Sony Music Colombia to become one of the greatest pop singers in history.
“Empire” is one of her signature songs that expresses her love for a powerful man and for creating an empire together.
The rock ballad finds the singer returning to her Colombian roots, crooning in her classic passionate vocals only comparable to the likes of Joni Mitchell, Jewel, and Tori Amos.
14. “Objection (Tango)” (Song Year: 2002)
Another hit from Shakira’s Laundry Service album, “Objection,” was the singer’s way of announcing her arrival to the American pop scene.
It’s a pulsating combination of surf guitar and samba drums to get you on the dance floor.
The lyrics portray an angry Shakira, desiring to end a love triangle she’s fed up with.
She asks the addressee to choose between her and his other woman.
Some called it a feminist anthem, so you should listen to it to judge by the lyrics.
15. “La Tortura” (Song Year: 2005)
“La Tortura” means ‘torture’ in English and expresses Shakira’s pain after losing her lover.
The song portrays Alejandro Sanz as the man responsible for causing the heartbreak.
The remorseful boyfriend spends a better part of the narration begging for forgiveness.
“La Tortura” set a record for staying on the Hot Latin Songs chart for 25 weeks.
The song also won Song of the Year and Record of the Year at the Latin Grammy Awards in 2006 and was certified gold in the US.
16. “Don’t Bother” (Song Year: 2005)
“Shakira” was already popular when she entered the studio to record “Don’t Bother,” a song about moving on.
At that point, she was a lyrical maestro, captivating audiences with her much-improved writing skills.
The song takes a somber mood as the singer talks about moving on without her lover.
She won’t shed a tear but will get on with her life.
So, the guy shouldn’t bother asking for forgiveness.
17. “Chantaje” (Song Year: 2016)
Keep scrolling if you rely on your high school Spanish to decipher the lyrics for Shakira’s 2016 hit with Maluma.
But if you just want to dance and enjoy the sexy music video, “Chantaje” is the song for you.
The reggae hit translates to ‘blackmail’ and reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart.
Everybody knows Shakira is a great dancer.
But she takes it to a new level in “Chantaje,” seducing Maluma to great effect without making her intentions known.
The singer described “Chantaje” as “smooth and sexy and modern and different and simple, minimalistic.”
And it’s one of the best Shakira songs to include in your playlist.
18. “Don’t You Worry” (Song Year: 2022)
In one of her latest songs, Shakira encourages the listeners not to worry because everything will be alright.
The song features David Guetta and Black Eyed Peas, spreading a message of self-love, perseverance, and unshakable faith.
If you want to ignite your survival spirit when the going gets tough, this is the song to listen to.
It was nominated for the NRJ Music Awards and LOS40 Music Awards of 2022.
Of course, we can’t forget the danceable rhythm that perfectly complements the inspiring lyrics.
19. “Sale El Sol” (Song Year: 2010)
Sale El Sol is another beautiful blend of rock and pop elements with subtle Latino and Colombian influences.
The empowering lyrics encourage the listeners to keep going in tough times, a message that resonates with many.
“Sale El Sol” wasn’t the most danceable track from Shakira’s 9th studio album, but the powerful message made it one of her most recognizable songs.
20. “Que Me Quedas Tu” (Song Year: 2001)
Let’s go back to the early 2000s with a song from Shakira’s 5th studio album, Laundry Service.
“Que Me Quedas Tu” is another beautiful love confession where the Colombian singer dreams of spending the rest of her life with this one person.
She doesn’t care if the world is crumbling.
Or all action movies are ending.
Or the smiles are getting outdated.
Because as long as she is with this guy, everything feels right.
The song was a commercial success, topping the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart.
Best Shakira Songs – Final Thoughts
Shakira is a global music icon who has captivated audiences with her eclectic style and unique voice.
She’s sold over 70 million records worldwide, won multiple awards, including 3 Grammy Awards and 13 Latin Grammy Awards, and successfully defended her nickname as the Queen of Latin Music.
The 20 best Shakira songs of all time show her versatility, longevity, and influence in the music industry.
Enjoy her incredible talent by listening to some of her best songs from the list.
You may also like: Best Spanish Songs of All Time