The businessman who made Shakira the first world pop celebrity

The Barranquilla woman has been in charge for 25 years and has left behind figures like Madonna who have already been forgotten. The MTV thing was awesome.

After her performance at the Video Music Awards last night, major international media started talking about how Shakira got her start. Also highlighted are their delivery, their talent for dancing, each song they performed, and how they have become an essential part of understanding the history of world pop.

The Video Music Awards are one of the most important competitions in the music industry. MTV, the channel that produces them, set a precedent when it started supporting emerging talents who needed to promote their music videos. Not only Shakira, but other artists like Britney Spears, Foo Fighters and even Metallica owe a part of their success to this series.

But although the channel devoted itself to the production of reality shows and thus lost almost all of its viewers, just the opposite happened with the awards ceremony. Today, the Video Music Awards has established itself as one of the biggest awards in music. Comparable to the Grammys and possibly even bigger.

In last year’s edition, Bad Bunny, the Puerto Rican considered by music critics to be the world’s most important star, won the Artist of the Year award. In recent interviews he described that moment as the most important in his history.

Shakira is also at the peak of her career. In January 2023, she was the Latin artist with the most listeners on the Spotify platform and several of her songs were the most listened to on YouTube, reaching over 1 billion views. The World Cup’s “Waka Waka” is the most heard in South Africa with almost 4 billion.

With his performance last night, the Barranquilla native showed that no one has a performance as big as him. The songs that Shakira sang at that awards ceremony (“Nowhere Anywhere”, “Objection – Tango”, “The Hips Don’t Lie”, etc.) are not only famous, but also hits from the last 20 years and she sang May go. Even for the little ones. Today, a five-year-old child is more likely to hear a Shakira song than a Madonna song.

But how did Shakira break into the international market so successfully? How did a Latina woman become a global star at a time when singing in English was necessary to achieve this? And at a time when such a feat was quite difficult? At a time when stars rarely live beyond forty years of age, how does she continue to be crowned queen?

In part, due to Shakira’s immense talent and continued dedication. But also, through the eyes of one of the most powerful men in the music industry: Tommy Mottola, Michael Jackson’s former producer.

How did Shakira get started?

Daniel Thomas Mottola is responsible for not only the success of Shakira, but also that of Ricky Martin. It was 1999 and “Livin’ La Vida Loca” was playing everywhere. The Puerto Rican had given hits such as “Vuelve”, “Maria” and “La Copa de la Vida”, the official song of the France 98 World Cup.

Mottola understood that now was the time to bet on the female image and he decided on Shakira. Ever since he saw the Barranquilla dancer dance “Ojos Así”, the first single with which she began to enter the American market, he was fascinated by her.

In despacito formulaBillboard’s Leila Cobo explains what happened the day Tommy Mottola revealed the strategy he had in mind to make Shakira a world star: I don’t know if I’m ready, but if you think That I’m ready, so I promise you that I’m going to try my best. She would answer him.

Mottola’s achievements – in Anglo and Latin markets – are remarkable. The artist promoter was fundamental in the early stages of the careers of Diana Ross, John Mellencamp, Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey and Thalía. The last two have also been his wives, Tommy’s relationship with the interpreter of “Amor a la Mexicana” is one of the most talked about in show business.

But Mottola is famous for other less pleasant details, such as a clause included in Ricky Martin’s contract that made it impossible for him to marry, or his fondly remembered fight with Michael Jackson when he signed with Sony Music (the same label). Was in charge as Shakira)

This story is quite extensive, but for now it can be summarized as that Michael Jackson committed himself to goals that proved unattainable and that is why Mottola did not give him enough money to produce his album. Would not have decided. , invincible, The last album of his life ‘The King of Pop’ managed to be published.

, Don’t miss: Shakira, Untouchable: Why it is forbidden to speak in Colombia…

Why is last night’s presentation so important?

Last night, Shakira reminded us of her entire career and showed that nothing is impossible, not even when you’re the first Latin pop singer with the potential to become the biggest star internationally.

He didn’t need to win any major awards for so much to be talked about. Almost as much as Taylor Swift, the artist who won Artist of the Year and Video of the Year, the most important awards of the night. Shakira won two other awards, but in the categories of ‘Avant-Garde Artist’ and ‘Best Collaboration’.

The songs she sang, from “Ojos Asi” to “TQG” with Karol G, are hits recognized by most people who watched her performance. So it would not be a stretch to think that at the moment there is no pop star (male or female) that is bigger than her and that Latin women in music do much more than just make money.

It’s no coincidence that the Google search engine’s first suggestion is: ‘Shakira makes video music awards history.’

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