Whenever, Wherever

Whenever, Wherever

"Whenever, Wherever"/"Suerte"
Single by Shakira
from the album Laundry Service
Released 27 August 2001 (2001-08-27)
Length 3:16
Label Epic
  • Shakira
  • Tim Mitchell
Shakira singles chronology
"Moscas En La Casa"
"Whenever, Wherever/ Suerte"
"Underneath Your Clothes"

"Whenever, Wherever" is a song by Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira for her third studio album and English-language debut, Laundry Service. It was released on 27 August 2001 by Epic Records as the lead single from the album. The song was written and produced by Shakira and Tim Mitchell, with additional songwriting from Gloria Estefan. "Whenever, Wherever" is a pop song that incorporates elements of worldbeat and Andean music. Its Spanish-language counterpart "Suerte" (English: "Luck") lyrically discusses how fortunate Shakira is to have found her romantic partner.

Upon its release, "Whenever, Wherever" received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who complimented its production. The song became her breakthrough hit in the United States, peaking at number six on the Billboard Hot 100. In doing so, it became her most successful single in the country, though it was eventually succeeded after "Hips Don't Lie" peaked at number one on the chart in 2006. The track additionally topped charts in twenty-nine nations, including in her native Colombia and the majority of Latin America and Spain, Europe, and Oceania. Having sold over 10 million copies worldwide, the song became the biggest hit of 2001 and is one of the best-selling singles of all time. It is recognized as one of Shakira's signature songs.


  • Background and release 1
  • Composition 2
  • Critical reception 3
  • Commercial performance 4
  • Music video 5
  • Other versions and live performances 6
  • Track listings 7
  • Charts 8
    • Weekly charts 8.1
    • Year-end charts 8.2
    • Decade-end charts 8.3
  • Certifications 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Background and release

After releasing her second major album, ¿Dónde Están los Ladrones?, in 1998, achieving a lot of success, Shakira released her first live album, MTV Unplugged: Shakira, in 2000. However, Shakira wanted to break through in the United States and the world with songs in English.[1] Shakira said, "Before assuming this big challenge of writing for the first time in English and making my first English album and presenting it to the world… of course I was feeling ready for it, a little bit scared… actually a lot scared. But I knew I could do it and my instincts always told me to go ahead and jump in the water."[2] Then, "Whenever, Wherever" was released as her debut-English single, on 27 September 2001.[3] At the same time, a Spanish version titled "Suerte" (meaning Luck) was released for Spanish markets.[3]


The song is strongly influenced by Andean music and is one of the first songs to combine worldbeat with pop and Latin pop.

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"Whenever, Wherever" was written and produced by Shakira and Tim Mitchell, with additional co-writing credits by Cuban-born American singer Gloria Estefan.[4] Sonically, the song is a mix of pop music and worldbeat[5] with distinctive Latin instruments like the Charanga and Quena Flute[2] "Whenever Wherever" is composed in the key of C# minor.[6] The song is heavily influenced by Andean music, and includes the charango and panpipes in its instrumentation. Panpipes on the track were provided by Andy F Dowling from in Scotland.[7]

Lyrically, "Whenever, Wherever" talks about fate and how it has played a major role in Shakira's romance.[8] It starts with a guitar, similar to the four-note riff from Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond",[9] leading to the explosive melody. Then, Shakira talks that she would follow her boyfriend to the top of the highest mountain, risking life and limb to be intimate with him.[8] In the pre-chorus, she sings, "le ro lo le lo le, Le ro lo le lo le's." In the chorus, she sings, "Whenever, wherever/We're meant to be together/I'll be there and you'll be near/And that's the deal my dear."[8]

Critical reception

"Whenever Wherever" received mainly positive reviews from music critics. Alex Henderson of Allmusic picked the song as a highlight, writing that it's "infectious" and "it's to Shakira what 'Livin' la Vida Loca' was to Ricky Martin: the major hit that brought her to English-speaking audiences in a big way."[10] Lisa Oliver of Yahoo! Music called it " the top track from the album by miles," writing that, "Despite such bemusement-inducing lyrics as 'lucky that my breasts are small and humble so you don't confuse them with mountains', it still manages to make you sit up and fancy the synthetic-fiber trousers off her."[11] The phrase was praised by The Guardian's Alexis Petridis, who called it "the most thought-provoking line of recent memory."[9] The website Bland Is Out There also enjoyed the phrase, writing that, "it's the most clever, self-confident couplet to hit radio in the long time."[8] The review also wrote that the Spanish version, "Suerte", was far superior, because "In English, Shakira's vocals are breathy and nasal. But in her native tongue, she's commanding and willowy."[8] For David Browne of Entertainment Weekly, the song has a "shameless Latin-pop hook."[12]

Commercial performance

Shakira performing "Whenever, Wherever" during her Tour of the Mongoose.

"Whenever, Wherever" was Shakira's most successful single, until "Hips Don't Lie" was released in 2006, having sold at least 5 million copies worldwide according to Yahoo! Music and placing it at number seventeenth among the biggest-selling singles of the last decade.[13] In the United States, "Whenever, Wherever" debuted at number 76 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart,[14] while it peaked at number six.[15] In doing so, it became her first top-ten single on the chart. Additionally, the track respectively peaked at numbers one, three, and four on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks, Latin Pop Airplay, Hot Dance Club Play, and Top 40 Tracks component charts. In Canada, the song peaked at number 4.[15] In Australia, the song debuted at number-one, on 10 February 2002, remaining at the top for six weeks.[16] In New Zealand, the song debuted at number 39 on the RIANZ chart, on 20 January 2002, while it reached the number-one spot in its fourth week. It spent 8 non-consecutive weeks at the top, becoming her highest-charting single.[17]

In Europe, "Whenever, Wherever" became a major success, topping the charts of more than fifteen countries, quickly establishing Shakira's presence in the European mainstream. In the United Kingdom, the song became Shakira's first top three hit on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number two for two consecutive weeks, and eventually spent ten weeks in the top ten of the chart, as well as nineteen weeks in the top 75.[18] The song currently stands as the seventh bestselling song by a female artist in the 21st century in the United Kingdom.[19] It is also the thirty-eighth bestselling single of the 2000s decade in the UK.[20] In Austria, the song remained at the top for seven weeks,[21] while in France, it remained for four weeks.[22] In Italy, the song debuted at number-one, staying at the top for one further week. Later, it fell to number 4, climbed to number 2 and reached the top again. Later, it fell to number 2 and attained the top once again. Later, the song fell to number 2 and climbed to number-one, where it remained for two further weeks, spending seven non-consecutive weeks at the top.[23] In Switzerland, the song debuted at number nine on the singles chart, and the following week, it reached the number-one position, where it remained for a total of seventeen consecutive weeks, becoming the twenty-second most successful song of the decade in that country. Topping the charts for 17 weeks, it also set a record in being the longest time on the number one spot in the country.[24] In February 2014 "Whenever, Wherever" entered the UK Singles Chart again at number 99.[25]

The Spanish version of the song, "Suerte", also written by Shakira and Mitchell, was released as a single in Spain, Mexico as well as in a handful of countries in South America. It became a huge hit, peaking at number-one on Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks chart for seven non-consecutive weeks and remained within the top ten of the chart for over four months. It also topped the charts in almost all of the Spanish-speaking countries where it was released.

Music video

Shakira after she rises from the ocean in the music video for "Whenever, Wherever".

The music video was directed by Francis Lawrence in front of a green screen, and features Shakira surrounded by the earth's natural wonders. It begins with her submerged in the ocean, before leaping out onto the surrounding rocks and observing a landscape of mountains; a falcon swoops down towards her. She then proceeds to walk barefoot into the desert, where she is soon seen dancing amid a stampede of horses. The stampede suddenly ceases, and Shakira kneels into a shallow pool of mud, and begins crawling through it. As the video nears its conclusion, she is on top of a snowy mountain before jumping off, descending into water and submerging herself once more, as the video comes full circle.

The video became an instant hit on several music programs. It became Shakira's first video to retire on MTV's Total Request Live, and reached number one for a single week on the MuchMusic program Countdown. It won the 2002 Latin Grammy Award for "Best Short Form Music Video". There are 2 remix videos using the Tracy Young Spin Cycle Mix and the Tracy Young Tribal Mix

Other versions and live performances

Shakira recorded a studio recording of the live version of "Whenever, Wherever", which was used for television performances, for both the English and Spanish versions of the song. It was called the "TV Edit". She sang the original CD version only once, on the 2001 Radio Music Awards, where she performed the song live for the first time. A remix of the song was included on the re-release of Laundry Service, Laundry Service: Washed & Dried. It was titled the "Sahara Mix", and was completely transformed from the original version, instead being given a heavy Middle Eastern feel. For her world tour, the Tour of the Mongoose, Shakira took the drums that begin the "Sahara Mix" and incorporated them into an intro for "Whenever, Wherever/Suerte"'s original version, which extended the amount of time Shakira had to interact with the audience. She also included the same intro for "Whenever, Wherever/Suerte" for her second world tour, the Oral Fixation Tour. However, for this tour, she danced to the drums with a rope, as opposed to dancing with a candelabra on her head as she did during the Tour of the Mongoose. To promote the DVD Live & Off the Record, Shakira used the song as a second single, editing the original live version to a radio edit version and video edit version, which was included in the "Poem to a Horse" promo. During The Sun Comes Out World Tour, Shakira gave the song a more rock-oriented sound, mixed it with a cover of the English band EMF's "Unbelievable", and brought select female audience members on stage for a short dance lesson.

Track listings

  • Japanese single (EICP 53)
  1. Whenever Wherever 3:17
  2. Objection (Tango) 3:43
  • European single (671913 3)
  1. Whenever Wherever 3:16
  2. Suerte 3:14
  • Suerte European single (671913 9)
  1. Suerte (Whenever, Wherever) 3:14
  2. Whenever, Wherever 3:16
  • Australia (672196 2)
  1. Whenever Wherever 3:16
  2. Suerte (Whenever Whenever) 3:14
  3. Whenever Wherever (TV Edit) 3:39
  4. Inevitable 3:13
  • Europe (671913 8)
  1. Whenever Wherever – Album Version 3:16
  2. Whenever Wherever TV Edit 3:39
  3. Suerte – Album Version 3:14
  4. Suerte TV Edit 3:38
  • Europe CD Maxi single (EPC 671913 2)
  1. Whenever Wherever 3:16
  2. Suerte 3:14
  3. Estoy Aqui 3:55
  4. Tú 3:36
  • Europe 4-track WW (672426 2)
  1. Whenever Wherever 3:16
  2. Suerte (Whenever Wherever) 3:14
  3. Whenever Wherever – Tracy Young's Spin Cycle Mix 7:03
  4. Whenever Wherever – Video
  • WW/Suerte Europe (671913 7)
  1. Whenever, Wherever (TV Edit) 3:39
  2. Suerte (Whenever, Wherever) 3:14
  3. Estoy Aqui 3:52
  4. Tú 3:36
  5. Whenever Wherever (Tracy Young's Spin Cycle Mix) 7:03
  6. Whenever Wherever (Dark Side Of The Moon Mix) 7:45
  • UK promo (HPCD 2617 /XPCD 2617); USA promo (ESK 16691)
  1. Whenever Wherever 3:16
  • Australia promo (SAMP 2414); Brazil promo (900051/2-502605); Europe promo (SAMPCS 10588)
  1. Whenever Wherever 3:16
  2. Suerte 3:14
  • Europe promo (SAMPCS 12236)
  1. Whenever, Wherever – Sahara Mix 3:56
  2. Whenever, Wherever – Hammad Belly Dance Mix 3:45
  • Suerte Argentina promo (DEP 707); Suerte Mexico promo (PRCD 98424)
  1. Suerte (Whenever, Wherever) 3:14
  2. Whenever, Wherever 3:16
  • UK 1-track Epic promo (CDR ACETATE)
  1. Whenever Wherever
  • USA 2-track Epic promo (CDR ACETATE)
  1. Whenever Wherever – Tracy Young Tribal Mix 9:40
  2. Whenever Wherever – Tracy Young Tribal Mix Radio Edit 3:15
  • Australia (CDR ACETATE)
  1. Tracy Young’s Spin Cycle Mix 7:02
  2. Acapella 121 BPM 3:36
  3. Tee’s Blue Dub – New Version 7:37
  4. The Dark Side Of The Moon Mix 8:14
  • Europe 12" vinyl (671913 6)
  1. Whenever, Wherever 3:16
  2. Whenever, Wherever – Tracy Young's Spin Cycle Mix 7:03
  3. Whenever, Wherever – A Cappella 121 Bpm 3:37
  4. Whenever, Wherever – Tee's Blue Dub New Version 7:37
  5. Whenever, Wherever – The Dark Side Of The Moon Mix 7:45
  • USA 7" (ZSS79642B)(34-79642)
  1. Whenever Wherever
  2. Suerte (Whenever Whenever)
  • Mexico jukebox 7" vinyl (670037)
  1. Suerte (Whenever, Wherever) 3:14
  2. Te Aviso Te Anuncio (Tango) 3:47
  • WW Europe 12" (SAMPMS 12235-0122356000)
  1. Whenever, Wherever – Sahara Mix 3:56
  2. Whenever, Wherever – Hammad Belly Dance Mix 3:45
  • USA 4-track 12" (EAS-16691-S1)
  1. Whenever Wherever – Tracy Young's Spin Cycle Mix
  2. Whenever Wherever – A Cappella 121 BPM
  3. Whenever Wherever – Tee's Blue Dub
  4. Whenever Wherever – The Dark Side Of The Moon Mix
  • Cassette (672426 4)
  1. Whenever, Wherever (Album version) 3:16
  2. Suerte (Album version) 3:14
  3. Whenever, Wherever (The dark side of the moon mix) 7:45



Country Certification Sales certified
Australia[64] 3× Platinum 210,000
Austria[65] Platinum 30,000
Belgium[66] 2× Platinum 100,000
Finland[67] Gold 15,000
France[68] Diamond 970,000[69]
Germany[70] 3× Gold 750,000
Greece[71] Platinum 30,000
Netherlands[72] Platinum 60,000
New Zealand[73] Platinum 15,000
Norway[74] 3× Platinum 30,000
Sweden[75] 2× Platinum 40,000
Switzerland[76] 2× Platinum 80,000
UK[77] Platinum 600,000


  1. ^ Kessler, Ted (14 July 2002). "Interview: Shakira - Colombian gold | The Observer".  
  2. ^ a b "PopEntertainment.com > Music > Feature Interviews P to T > Shakira". Pop Entertainment. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "iTunes - Music - Shakira - Whenever Wherever".  
  4. ^ "Whenever, Wherever - Shakira | Allmusic".  
  5. ^ Schwartz, Mark. "Laundry Service - Editorial Review".  
  6. ^ Sheet music for "Whenever, Wherever". Hal Leonard Corporation. 2002.
  7. ^ Schwartz, Mark. "Music: Laundry Service, Shakira, CD". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 25 February 2007.
  8. ^ a b c d e """Music Review: Shakira "Whenever, Wherever. Bland Is Out There. 7 July 2005. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Petridis, Alexis (8 March 2002). "Thong songs".  
  10. ^ Henderson, Alex. "Laundry Service - Shakira". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  11. ^ Oliver, Lisa (12 March 2002). "Shakira 'Laundry Service' Album Review".  
  12. ^ Browne, David (12 November 2001). "Laundry Service (2001)".  
  13. ^ "Biggest Selling Singles Since the Year 2000". Yahoo. 1 September 2009. Retrieved 5 September 2009. 
  14. ^ "Ja Rule Finds 'Love' On Top Again".  
  15. ^ a b "Laundry Service - Shakira - Awards - Allmusic".  
  16. ^ a b " Australian-charts.com – Shakira – Whenever Wherever". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  17. ^ a b "Charts.org.nz – Shakira – Whenever Wherever". Top 40 Singles.
  18. ^ a b "Shakira: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  19. ^ [3]
  20. ^ Radio 1 Official Chart of the Decade, as broadcast on BBC Radio 1 on Tuesday 29 December 2009, presented by Nihal
  21. ^ a b "Austriancharts.at – Shakira – Whenever Wherever" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  22. ^ a b "Lescharts.com – Shakira – Whenever Wherever" (in French). Les classement single.
  23. ^ a b "Italiancharts.com – Shakira – Whenever Wherever". Top Digital Download.
  24. ^ a b "Swisscharts.com – Shakira – Whenever Wherever". Swiss Singles Chart.
  25. ^ [4]
  26. ^ Suerte Chart peaks
  27. ^ "Ultratop.be – Shakira – Whenever Wherever" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  28. ^ "Ultratop.be – Shakira – Whenever Wherever" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  29. ^ "Shakira – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Shakira.
  30. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Shakira – Whenever Wherever". Tracklisten.
  31. ^ "Shakira – Chart history" European Hot 100 for Shakira.
  32. ^ "Shakira: Whenever Wherever" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
  33. ^ "Musicline.de – Shakira Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  34. ^ "Top 50 Singles chart (Week: June 2, 2002)".  
  35. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  36. ^ "Chart Track: Week 11, 2002". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
  37. ^ "Shakira – Chart history" Japan Hot 100 for Shakira.
  38. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Shakira – Whenever Wherever" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  39. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Shakira – Whenever Wherever". VG-lista.
  40. ^ "Nielsen Music Control". Archived from the original on 2008-05-08. 
  41. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. 8 June 2002.  
  42. ^ Romanian Top 100: Editia 5, saptamina 4.02-10.02, 2002
  43. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Shakira – Suerte" Canciones Top 50.
  44. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Shakira – Whenever Wherever". Singles Top 60.
  45. ^ "Shakira – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Shakira.
  46. ^ "Shakira – Chart history" Billboard Hot Latin Songs for Shakira. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
  47. ^ "Shakira – Chart history" Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs for Shakira.
  48. ^ "Shakira – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Shakira.
  49. ^ "2002 Australian Singles Chart". aria. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  50. ^ "2002 Austrian Singles Chart" (in German). Austriancharts. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  51. ^ "2002 Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  52. ^ "2002 Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  53. ^ "Dutch Top 40" (PDF) (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  54. ^ The first is the list of the best-selling domestic singles of 2002 in Finland, the second is that of the foreign singles:
    • "Myydyimmät kotimaiset singlet vuonna 2002" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
    • "Myydyimmät ulkomaiset singlet vuonna 2002" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
  55. ^ "2002 French Singles Chart" (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  56. ^ "2002 Irish Singles Chart". IRMA. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  57. ^ "2002 New Zealand Singles Chart". Rianz. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  58. ^ "2002 Swiss Singles Chart" (in German). Swisscharts. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  59. ^ "2002 UK Singles Chart" (PDF). ChartsPlus. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  60. ^ 2002 Year End Chart for Billboard
  61. ^ "Dutch Charts". RTL.de. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  62. ^ "Die ultimative Chart Show | Hits des neuen Jahrtausends | Download". RTL.de. Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  63. ^ "Top 100 best selling singles of the noughties| Download". Moopy. 2010-01-05. 
  64. ^ Australian certifications aria.com. Retrieved 18 January 2009
  65. ^ Austrian certifications ifpi.at. Retrieved 18 January 2009
  66. ^ Belgian certifications Ultratop.be. Retrieved 18 January 2009
  67. ^ Finnish certifications ifpi.fi. Retrieved 23 August 2009
  68. ^ French certifications Disqueenfrance.com. Retrieved 18 January 2009
  69. ^ http://www.infodisc.fr/Single_Certif.php (Select Shakira from the drop list)
  70. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('Whenever Wherever')" (in German).  
  71. ^ Greek certification ifpi.gr. Retrieved 16 September 2011
  72. ^ Dutch certifications nvpi.nl. Retrieved 18 January 2009
  73. ^ New Zealand certifications (see: chart #1302 – Sunday 31 March 2002) Rianz.org.nz. Retrieved 18 January 2009
  74. ^ Norwegian certifications Ifpi.no. Retrieved 18 January 2009
  75. ^ Swedish certifications Ifpi.se. Retrieved 18 January 2009
  76. ^ Swiss certifications Swisscharts.com. Retrieved 18 January 2009
  77. ^ UK certifications Bpi.co.uk. Retrieved 18 January 2009

External links