By embracing the most fashionable musical styles, the Colombian singer has created a schism among her followers

Shakira has straightened out a musical career that was shaky, even in semi-retirement. And she’s done it in record time. However, there’s been controversy – and disappointment – surrounding how she’s achieved a reboot.

Ana Soriano, 42 — a devoted Shakira follower — feels that “Shakira has lost her essence. That pop-rock artist who wrote meaningful lyrics no longer exists,” she laments. On the other side of the debate, Sebas Álvarez, 37, and also a Shakira fan, opines that “she’s an artist who adapts very well to the times.”

These two currents are defended with equal ardor by specialists, such as Pablito Wilson. An Argentine, he’s one of the great experts in current Latin music and author of the reference book Reggaetón: Una revolución latina. Currently, Wilson lives in Colombia, Shakira’s homeland. From there, he speaks with EL PAÍS by phone. “I think Shakira’s achievement must be highly-valued,” he emphasizes. “I would dare to say that, right now, she’s the greatest artist in the world. Succeeding as she is — at more than 40-years-old — seems like an unprecedented case to me.”

“Her musical evolution also seems totally coherent to me. You listen to songs like Monotonía (2022) and you realize that Shakira has done a thorough study to understand social media today — to understand how millennials, centennials, speak. [She’s reached] a middle point between what she wants to do and what works commercially.”