With additional reporting by Chris Willman
Tonight at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Yahoo Screen, Target and Clear Channel will co-host Shakira's album release party at the iHeartRadio Theater in Burbank, Calif. Watch the live concert and download the Yahoo Screen app here.
Shakira is well-known for her dominance in the pop, dance, and Latin worlds, but now it appears the singer is expanding her range...into country music! As her fellow "Voice" judge (and Nashville superstar) Blake Shelton explains, Shakira turned out to be a natural in the genre once she put her pipes to the test. The pair performed Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" on "The Voice" together last year, and have just recorded a country-flavored duet for Shakira's upcoming 10th album.
Shelton said he had no hesitation about working with his Colombian co-star. "Shakira has in recent times gotten interested in country music, so she wanted me to perform a song with her. I said, 'That's fine. Whatever you want to sing, just let me know," he explained. "I said, 'You figure out what [brand of country] you're comfortable doing and we'll do that together.' She loves Lady Antebellum, so we ended up doing 'Need You Now.'"
"And she told me that night that she had so much fun, 'I want to write a country song.'...She mentioned [wanting to write] with [my wife] Miranda [Lambert]; they never did, but the wheels were turning."
Turns out Shakira was totally serious about the idea, and sought the guidance of two of Nashville's best and biggest songwriters to get things moving: "When she came back to start filming this season, she told me she'd written this song with Hillary Lindsey and Mark Wright. She sent it over and said, 'Would you be interested in singing on this thing with me?' I listened to the song, and it was amazing."
Shelton was not only impressed with the song, he was struck by Shakira's ability to dead-on pinpoint the kind of country she wanted to write and perform. "I immediately wrote back and I said, 'Man, you wrote the song that's the style you like,' which is that kind of midtempo, driving thing that Lady A does. She definitely made it Shakira, though. So I was honored that she asked me to come and sing on it"
Can't wait to hear the new duet? Not too much longer to wait! Shakira's self-titled album will hit the streets Tuesday March 25.