Can Shakira’s Return Help Fans Forget Boring World Cup Anthem?

Shakira will be taking the stage before the final game at this year’s World Cup’s closing ceremony on July 13. The Colombian pop singer is slated to perform her song “La La La (Brazil 2014)” off the tournament’s official soundtrack, One Love, One Rhythm: The Official 2014 FIFA World Cup, alongside Brazilian percussionist and singer Carlinhos Brown.

This will mark the artist’s third consecutive appearance at the World Cup. She also previously penned and performed “Waka, Waka” the official anthem for the 2010 tournament in South Africa, during which she met longtime boyfriend, FC Barcelona and Spain star defender Gerard Pique. The two welcomed a child together, their now one-year-old son Milan, back in 2012.

“I have an intricate relationship with football for obvious reasons, and I truly understand what the World Cup means to so many people, myself included,” she said of the scheduled appearance.

News of the performance should be good news not only to her fans, but to the many World Cup followers that were vastly disappointed with “We Are One (Ole Ola)” the anthem of this year’s tournament, sung by Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez, and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte. The three performed the upbeat track at the opening ceremony in mid-June, after Lopez temporarily pulled out of the gig just days before the ceremony, reportedly due to “scheduling conflicts.” Their performance stirred up some controversy and got some very mixed reviews from the public, with many viewers taking to Twitter to criticize everything from the sound to their dancing and yes, even their outfits (the latter of which might have actually been warranted).

In their defense though, they had very, very large shoes to fill. Shakira’s “Waka, Waka” received favorable reviews from music critics and even more praise from listeners. While the song peaked at No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in the United States, it went to number one on record charts in various countries around the world, including France, Germany, and Spain. It was certified platinum in the states and has sold nearly 10 million units worldwide. As of June 2014, the official music video, featuring various famous soccer players like Lionel Messi and Cristina Ronaldo, also remained the eighth most-watched video of all time on YouTube.

“La La La (Brazil 2014),” which is a reworked version of Shakira’s song “Dare (La La La),” off her most recent album, was released in May and has also fared pretty well commercially. Similarly to “Waka, Waka,” the official video features cameos from famous players, including Brazil’s star play Neymar and Pique, as well as a brief appearance from their son.

If her past performances on the tournament are anything to go by, fans will likely be a lot happier with this appearance than with that of the opening ceremony. Mexican-American guitarist Carlos Santana, Haitian-American hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean, and Brazilian singer Alexandre Pires will also take the stage to perform their World Cup song, “Dar Um Jeito” (Portuguese for “We Will Find a Way”). The closing ceremony will also feature a samba dance from one of the Rio de Janeiro schools known to participate in the city’s famous Carnival celebrations.

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