Shakira's Nine Best Cover Songs, From AC/DC to the XX

Photo by Antoine Verglas
Shakira loves her pop music.
Shakira is blessed with a treasure of a larynx and is notorious for her physical appearance -- and talents for propelling herself through space to inspire a fervid, "loca" following -- but she also digs a lot of different types of music outside of her sphere. Fortunately, her reinterpretations of her faves are respectful and can border on transcendent. Metallica's James Hetfield, for one, probably never expected to get his hard-rock artistry eclipsed by a Colombian pop star.

In preparation for Shakira's Saturday performance at BankAtlantic Center, here are nine songs she has put her stamp on -- some admittedly better than others. 

Let's get this one out of the way as quickly as possible. "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)" was Shakira's "contribution" to this past summer's World Cup. Didn't know it was a cover of a Cameroonian marching tune? Well, you do now. Still don't care? We don't either.

Shakira did a pretty straight version of Aerosmith's "Dude Looks Like a Lady," and the performance filmed during a VH1 tribute to the band a couple of years ago shows that her hip-swinging (and harmonica-playing!) owes a few things to Steven Tyler too.

Taking a much more somber tone, this interpretation of the Pretenders' comeback hit "I'll Stand by You" for the Hope for Haiti Now Telethon in January is all about her vocal prowess -- we don't need those backup singers.

Shakira joins Stevie Wonder for "Higher Ground" for President Barack Obama's inauguration last year. Oh yes, and Usher was there too.

The blogs got ramped up earlier this year for Shakira's reinterpretation of the XX's "Islands" (she calls it "Explore"). This probably did not make any bloggers actually buy concert tickets, though.

Shakira is covering Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" on her current tour, and it's likely to figure into Saturday's show. Lars Ulrich is grimacing somewhere about the guy she got to bang on the drums.

This version of Van Morrison's "Bright Side of the Road" for President Obama's Neighborhood Ball is hurt most by the lack of a proper tuning of the instruments. Hang around. It gets better about one minute in and infinitely more pleasant than the song's originator of late.

Somewhat of a treacle-filled approach to Elvis' "Always on My Mind." More suited for Faith Hill, or no one.

Shakira's take on AC/DC's "Back in Black" opens with some cabaret organ (and dancing) but eventually explodes into a more faithful arrangement. This is what karaoke for superstars should always be like.

8 p.m. Saturday, September 25, at BankAtlantic Center, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise. Tickets cost $49.75 to $163.25. Call 800-745-3000, or click here.

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Reed Fischer
Contact: Reed Fischer