The Colombian superstar’s exhibit at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles — which opens to the public Saturday and runs through February 2024 — is a tribute to the singer-songwriter’s decades-spanning career. Featuring multiple displays that tell the story of Shakira’s humble beginnings to her global stardom, the exhibit came together in six months, according to co-curator Ernesto Lechner.
“It’s a tribute to [Shakira’s] geniality,” he tells Billboard. “I wanted to create an atlas, not a map, that represents Shakira as a citizen of the world, a globe-trotter.”
The immersive exhibit puts you in Shakira’s world via her songs, music videos, stage outfits and lyrics that have defined pivotal moments in her career. Each display includes memorable clothing worn by Shakira, including her red and gold Super Bowl outfits, a gold-dipped guitar for her El Dorado World Tour, and a mixing table where fans can break down four of Shakira’s songs.
“From her team’s perspective, they were interested in doing a career retrospective, and from our perspective we wanted people to understand Shakira in a way that maybe they weren’t aware of and having it be multi-layered and multi-faceted,” adds Jasen Emmons, chief curator & vice president of curatorial affairs at the Grammy Museum.
Below, the five best displays at the Shakira, Shakira: The Grammy Museum Experience exhibit:
From Barranquilla to the world
Although Shakira needs no introduction, the exhibit starts off with a “how it all started” story. The chart-topping singer began to write her first songs as a little girl in her native Barranquilla, Colombia. Inspired by Arabic music, she also began belly dancing at age 4, a style that, to this day, she still incorporates into her performances. Additionally, she learned to play a variety of instruments, including the guitar, harmonica, drums, keyboard and percussion.
Shakira the lyricist
Placed in a clear, glass box is one of Shakira’s treasured songwriting notebooks where you can read handwritten notes, poems and even lyrics written by Shakira that inspired “Nada” from her 2017 album El Dorado. Shakira began writing poems at age 7 and original songs by age 10.
Mix it up!
Being able to break down four of Shakira’s songs, including “Chantaje” and “Empire,” is quite fun if you want to learn more about the mixing and producing process. Three small Korg Kontrol consoles are placed on a table, and once you put on headphones, you can choose which song you want to break down with the guidance of recording and mixing engineer Dave Clauss, who’s worked on four Shakira albums and her Rauw Alejandro-assisted “Te Felicito.”
All the outfits
Many of the iconic Shakira looks are on full display at the exhibit. It includes the red and gold outfits she wore for her Super Bowl performance in 2020 and the custom Gibson Firebird electric guitar, encrusted with 70,000 crystals, that she played during a medley that included her single “Empire.” The multiple outfit displays throughout the exhibit also feature outfits she’s worn for her world tours.
¡Muévete como Shakira! (Move like Shakira!)
If you want to prove that your hips don’t lie either, the museum invites you to record yourself doing the latest Shakira trend on TikTok. Following three simple prompts, you’re on your way to joining millions of fans who are dancing along to whichever Shakira song is the latest one going viral.
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