From Love to Heartbreak: The Untold Story of Shakira’s Career and the Songs She Dedicated to Her Partners!

TQG (Te quedó grande), which is addressed to Piqué, will be Shakira's umpteenth song for her partners or ex-partners.

From Love to Heartbreak: The Untold Story of Shakira’s Career and the Songs She Dedicated to Her Partners!
Juan Carlos Saloz

Juan Carlos Saloz

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Shakira has made it clear that it is better not to mess with her. Ever since she called it quits with Gerard Piqué, the former FC Barcelona player and founder of the Kings League, the Colombian artist has been billing like no one else with songs of spite and heartbreak.

At the moment, there are already four songs that talk about the subject: Te felicito with Rauw Alejandro, Monotonía with Ozuna, the session with Bizarrap and the upcoming TQG (Te quedó grande) with Karol G. However, although this breakup has been so hard for him, it is not the first time he talks about his relationships in his songs.

In fact, it could be said that he has made a whole career out of talking about his partners and ex-partners, and his compositions have always been linked to his personal life. Let’s take a look at some of her timeless hits she has released over the years to analyze how her career has evolved in this regard.

The first Shakira: before love

Shakira’s career began when she was only 14 years old. Her first studio album was Magia, released in 1991, and included songs she had composed when she was only eight. The second, Peligro, came two years later, but both proved to be flops. In the end, Shakira had to grow up and experiment, and when she did, she released Pies descalzos in 1995, at which point her successful career officially began.

In this album we could already glimpse some of Shakira’s hits related to love, such as ¿Dónde Estás, Corazón, Te necesito or Un poco de amor. However, they are still generic songs since she had not had any big official relationship.

It was in 2000 when all this changed. With a grown-up Shakira and a promising future ahead of her, she fell in love with Antonio de la Rúa, son of former Argentinean president Fernando de la Rúa. After a few months they officially dated and De la Rua became her manager. Here appears the first song directly dedicated by Shakira to a couple: Suerte. Remember all her music trajectory here:

Within the album Laundry Service, this song is based on all the adversities that, according to Shakira, they had to go through before getting together. The song has very clear phrases that explain how their relationship was:

Lucky that you were born in the south

And that we make fun of distances

Lucky to have met you

And for you to love foreign lands

I can climb the Andes alone

To count your moles

With you I celebrate and suffer everything

My joys and my woes

The refrain was also clear, “Contigo, mi vida, quiero vivir la vida y lo que me queda de vida, quiero vivir contigo” (With you, my life, I want to live life and what’s left of my life, I want to live with you). But not all her life would be with him, as we would soon learn.

Antonio de la Rúa: a beautiful heartbreak

Antonio de la Rúa undoubtedly marked Shakira’s life, and the proof is in the songs he released in the following years. Día de enero is one of the most beautiful, which is dedicated directly to their relationship and everything they lived together, from the trips to the wounds suffered by De la Rúa himself, which according to Shakira managed to heal thanks to their love:

I met you one day in January

With the moon in my nose

And as I saw that you were sincere

In your eyes I lost myself

What a clumsy distraction

And what a sweet sensation

And now that we walk the world

Like Aeneas and Benitin

I’ve already found you several scratches

That were done to you out there

But my crazy love

Is your best doctor

And the chorus, again, makes it clear that this was Shakira’s most fruitful songwriting period: Voy a curarte el alma en duelo / Voy a dejarte como nuevo / Y todo va a pasar / Pronto verás el sol brillar / Tú, más que nadie, mereces ser feliz. (I’m going to heal your grieving soul / I’m going to make you as good as new / And everything will pass / Soon you’ll see the sun shine / You, more than anyone else, deserve to be happy.)

This song already made it clear that something was not quite right with their relationship, but that they still loved each other and were going to overcome everything together. Many others of the time also spoke of De la Rúa, but the relationship was not eternal: in 2010 she left him, apparently because of wear and tear and the “monotony” of which Shak has spoken so much later. Although the truth would soon be known: that was the time when the singer started with Gerard Piqué.

Sale el Sol, released in 2010, is one of Shakira’s first straightforward heartbreak songs. But nothing to do with Casios and Twingos. Her relationship with her manager was beautiful, and she makes it clear in the lyrics:

These weeks without seeing you

Seemed like years

I wanted to kiss you so much

That my lips hurt

Look how fear made us

To commit stupid things

It left us deaf and blind

So many times

The chorus is finally hopeful and talks about coming out after a breakup, but without the toxicity he would later flaunt. Another heartbreaking song of the moment was Lo que más, in which he directly cites what it costs him to leave his relationship. But back then there was no such thing as hate. Everything was beautiful.

The arrival of Piqué: love and bicycles

Shakira’s life reached a new point after the World Cup in South Africa. The young Gerard Piqué filled the Colombian’s life with color, and she showed it in several songs that made it clear that she would do everything for her footballer. The clearest of them all was Me enamoré, from 2017, in which she explains how their relationship began:

Life began to change me

The night I met you

I had little to lose

And it went on like this

Me in my striped bra

And my hair half done

I thought: This is still a boy

But what am I going to do?

The chorus, already at a somewhat less compositional level than the previous songs, made his feelings clear: “Me enamoré, me ena-ena-namoré / Lo vi solito y me lanzé / Me ena-ena-namoré” (I fell in love, I fell in love, I fell in love).

But shortly before, Shakira already released an even more viral song that talked about her “Pique”. In La Bicicleta, together with Carlos Vives, she left the following verses that showed that she was not for anyone else:

Everybody says (Take me, take me on your bike)

So that we can play rag ball over there in Chancleta

That if you show Piqué the Tayrona one day

Then he won’t want to go to Barcelona

So much so that she even sang a version of Boig per tu, a classic Catalan ballad that is one of Piqué’s favorite songs. This, perhaps, was the best moment that Shakira left us in her relationship with the founder of the Kings League. But Clara Chía arrived… and everything changed.

Shakira’s rebound arrives in her life

Not that Shakira had waited to end with Piqué to write a song of spite. One of her biggest hits is Renuncio, from 2001, in which she became a cartoon (as in the later tribute of Bizarrap‘s Session) to end a bad love affair. But at that time he spoke in general, without having yet experienced the real betrayal.

When Piqué ended the relationship through the back door, Shakira was waiting to return to music. But she did it through the big door. First she made clear Piqué’s coldness with Te felicito, in which she dedicated verses to him like “Por completarte me rompí en pedazos / Me lo me lo advieron pero no hice caso / Me lo cuenta que lo tuyo es falso / Fue la gota que rebasó el vaso” (For completing you I broke into pieces / They warned me but I didn’t pay attention / I realized that yours is false / It was the straw that broke the camel’s back).

But there was still a lot left to say. Months later, she released Monotonía with Ozuna, in which she blamed the routine more than her own relationship, although she already made it clear that she owed nothing to Piqué with verses like “Nunca dije nada, pero me dolía, yo sabía que esto pasaría / Lo tuyo y haciendo lo mismo, siempre buscando protagonismo” (“I never said anything, but it hurt, I knew this would happen / Your thing and doing the same thing, always looking for the limelight.”).

Finally, he brought out the session with Bizarrap in which he even hit him in the ID card. He attacked him so much that it is almost in bad taste to put the lyrics, but come on, they charged from Clara Chia to Piqué’s mother.

Now, with Karol G, he is about to release a new song, addressed to both the ex-football player and Anuel AA. At the moment, we only know a couple of phrases that will come out, but they make clear the path that the song will take:

“You going out for food and me thinking it was the monotony.”

“At least with me, I was keeping you pretty.”

Juan Carlos Saloz

Juan Carlos Saloz

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