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Giant Shakira statue unveiled in her hometown of Barranquilla

A huge statue of Shakira has been unveiled in her hometown of Barranquilla, Colombia.

The statue is 6.5 metres tall (21.3ft) and features the singer swivelling her hips in the dance move which featured heavily in the video for her popular hit ‘Hips Don’t Lie’.

A plaque at the foot of the statue praises her for having “hips that do not lie, a unique talent, a voice that moves masses”. It also references her charity work through a foundation she created called “Pies descalzos”, Spanish for “bare feet”, which promotes early childhood development.

It was unveiled on Tuesday (December 26) at an event which was attended by Shakira’s parents, William Mebarak and Nidia Ripoll, as well as by the mayor of Barranquilla.

Shakira then shared a photo of her parents next to the statue to her social media and mentioned (as translated by Instagram) that her mother got to see it on her birthday.

Shakira was also crowned the year’s most searched musician according to Google’s 2023 Year In Search.  The Colombian singer released her collaboration with producer Bizarrap in January; ‘BZRP Music Sessions #53’ went viral, inspired by her troubled relationship with ex-partner Gerard Piqué.

Last month, the artist settled her long-running dispute with the Spanish authorities after two allegations of tax evasion. She was alleged to have avoided paying taxes over a number of years by using an offshore company based in a tax haven.

The charges of tax fraud were first issued back in July 2021, when Barcelona prosecutors claimed Shakira should have been paying taxes as she was living in Spain for a substantial period between 2012 and 2014. A second wave of allegations arose two months ago when she was again charged with tax evasion in Spain. This time, the prosecutors claimed that Shakira had failed to pay 6.7million euros (£5.8 million) in tax on her income in 2018.

Shakira confirmed in a statement that she had resolved the debate with the Spanish authorities and ultimately decided not to take the matter to court due to the “emotional toll” it would have on her.

Shakira has strenuously denied all allegations since they first arose in 2021. She also maintained that her fiscal residence at the time was in the Bahamas – describing the claims as “fictional” and claiming that she had paid what she owed.

 

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