Someway, Shakira got bigger than her world. From her birth in Barranquilla, Colombia, to her dominant position in the music industry from 2001, the Latin star pushed her success to the limit.
It wasn’t always easy. She started with two anonymous albums, Magia and Peligro when she was only a teenager. Those two records will be ignored in this study as they hardly sold a thing and got removed from the market for decades on the demand of the artist herself. With her 1995 third album Pies Descalzos Shakira hasn’t only got successful, she became massive, huge enough to cross over boundaries of Latin America. Following effort was so strong too that breaking the world main audience was inevitable. This unstoppable rise to the top reached its peak with 2001 set Laundry Service and it’s cult single Whenever, Wherever. It was already 15 years ago, on Billboard issue dated December 15 2001, when that song jumped into the Top 10 of the US Hot 100. Her first, not her last.
Her special nature makes it harder to compare her success with other pop stars. Shakira continues to release most of her material in Spanish along with English versions. Of course, as popular as she may be in Latin countries, those are still fairly weaker markets than English-speaking ones. So, when taking into account everything, how does she perform against the US / UK pop stars? Thanks to the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept we will be able to answer those questions.
As a reminder for users who are not yet familiar with the CSPC idea you do not need to worry, it is quite simple as it only consists in merging every sales from all formats an artist has been getting and attributing them to respective studio albums. We will start by focusing on raw data, setting how much each Shakira album sold. Then, we will check sales of each track from those albums on each format – physical, download and streaming. To complete the study, we will study sales of the all compilations, live albums and music videos she dropped. Once all the raw data is set, we will only need to apply appropriate weighting to get the overall picture of the Latina legend career results.