The Real Reason Singer Juanes Doesn’t Want to Sing with Fellow Colombian Artist Shakira

Juanes (short for Juan Estebán) has been a global star since he came on the music scene in 2000 with his album, Fijate Bien (“Take A Good Look”). This solo debut album brought the singer three Latin Grammys, including the coveted Best New Artist award.

Colombian musical artists Juanes and Shakira at an awards show in 2006
Colombian musical artists Juanes and Shakira at an awards show in 2006 | Rodrigo Varela/WireImage

Since then, the Colombian artist has produced eight studio albums, three live albums and taken home an additional 19 Grammys. He’s also collaborated and recorded with many other artists. One singer he hasn’t worked with is superstar and fellow Colombian, Shakira.

Find out the real reason Juanes doesn’t see a collaboration happening in the near future.

Shakira’s over 20 years in the music industry

Shakira has seen mammoth commercial success as well in her career since 1996, with the release of Pies Descalzos (Bare Feet), which sold 3 million copies. Since then, Shakira has also ventured into and conquered the English-speaking world with her enormous hits Hips Don’t Lie and Whenever, Wherever.

She has notably collaborated with Maluma on Chantaje (Blackmail) and with fellow Colombian star Carlos Vives on the Latin Grammy Award-winning La bicicleta (The Bicycle). Plus, she’s also dueted with countless others, including Pitbull, Blake Shelton, with Beyoncé on Beautiful Liar, Alejandro Sanz, and Maná, among others.

Juanes has collaborated with many artists

Juanes has paired up with other incredible artists as well. In 2003, he and Portuguese-Canadian singer Nelly Furtado released their single, Fotografía (Photograph), from his album Un Día Normal (A Normal Day). He returned the favor by dueting on Te Busqué (I Looked for You), a single from her 2006 album Loose.

The Medellín native has also recorded with Chilean star Mon Laferte, world-renowned Juan Gabriel, rocker Carlos Santana, jazz icon Herbie Hancock, the inimitable Juan Luis Guerra, and with another fellow Colombian, singer Fonseca.

Juanes with Mexican singer-songwriter Christian Nodal, working together on a music video

He also recorded The Shadow of Your Smile with the legendary Tony Bennett on Bennett’s Duets album. It was a significant recording for Juanes, who hadn’t felt particularly comfortable singing in English. By the end of the recording, Bennett was singing in Spanish!

In a 2015 interview with The Las Vegas Review-Journal, the 47-year-old was asked who he enjoyed singing with the most.

Juanes with Juan Luis Guerra

“I’m very happy working with Juan Luis Guerra. Very recently, I also worked with Juan Gabriel. It was incredible. But each artist is so different from one another. After you work in a collaboration with somebody else, you get things from the other artist that you can do yourself and try to make different. It’s very healthy.”

Why Juanes won’t sing with Shakira

In a 2017 interview with NBC News, Juanes was asked how he and Shakira, the most famous names in contemporary Colombian music, hadn’t yet recorded together.

“I don’t know either. I think it’s just we haven’t had the time yet to meet each other well. We know each other. We’ve had conversations in the past… five minutes, ten minutes.”

Juanes with the 2019 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Award,
which he received this week.

“I respect her a lot and I really think she’s a very talented person and I think in the future, maybe, someday, but I don’t want to do it because of commercial reasons, I want to do it because it feels good, because it’s a good song and I want her to do the same. So if someday we’re on the same page, we can do it.”

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