“Being a songwriter is an accomplishment that I consider equal to and perhaps even greater than being a singer and an artist,” said Shakira in a statement. “At 8 years old — long before I sang — I wrote to make sense of the world. Each song is a reflection of the person I was at the time that I wrote it, but once a song is out in the world, it belongs not only to me but to those who appreciate it as well.”
The amount paid for Shakira’s catalog was not disclosed, but the high-profile sale highlights the potential in international catalogs in general and Latin catalogs in particular. Although there have been few major sales of high-profile Latin catalogs, in November Hipgnosis announced that its acquisition of 42 catalogs from Kobalt included hits by Enrique Iglesias, among them “Bailando” and “Hero,” as well as songs popularized by the likes of Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony and Jennifer López.
All told, Shakira has placed 42 songs on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart, with 11 of those hitting No. 1, dating back to 1998’s “Ciega Sordomuda.” The Colombian superstar has more top 10 hits (30) on the chart than any other female act, according to MRC data, and at 43 years old has managed to remained ever-relevant, constantly releasing new music and collaborations.
Shakira’s catalogue gained renewed attention following her Super Bowl performance on Feb. 2, 2020, with her songs earning 20.98 million streams on Feb. 2 and Feb. 3 — up 221% compared to the 6.53 million they earned on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. In fact, the most streamed song on Feb. 2 and Feb. 3 by any of the halftime performers was Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie,” which captured 3.16 million streams on those two days combined — up 194% compared to the 1.07 million it earned on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.
Last year, Shakira also surpassed 30 million subscribers to her YouTube channel, one of only 15 artists to reach that number.
“One step at a time, this incredible woman from Colombia has evolved into one of the most famous and influential people in the world. What no one should ever take for granted is that she is one of the most serious and successful songwriters of the last 25 years, having written or co-written virtually every song she has ever recorded,” said Merck Mercuriadis, founder of The Family (Music) Limited and Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, in a statement. “She is a superb creator who has led the charge from what was massive physical success to now having bigger success in streaming than most of her contemporaries.”
The announcement follows a string of high-profile catalog purchases over the past several months, with music legends including Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks and Neil Young recently selling all or part of their publishing catalogs.