With the exception of two joint social media posts, Colombian superstar Shakira and Argentine DJ Bizarrap’s “Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53” was quietly published on January 11: One said the song will be released soon, while the other said it was already available.
Within 24 hours, the session had amassed over 15 million Spotify listens, placing it at the top of the service’s Top 50 worldwide playlist. In addition, the video had amassed over 55 million YouTube views, setting a record for a Spanish-language song. This week, it debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard Global 200 and No. 8 on the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. thanks to that single-day count (it will likely hit the Billboard Hot 100 next frame, after a full week of tracking).
The success of the song can be easily explained, and this isn’t incorrect. Global superstar Shakira, who has two boys with her extremely famous ex-boyfriend Gerard Piqué, released a post-divorce diss tune based on their very public interactions. Who wouldn’t be interested?
But even with that, “Vol. 53” is not pulling the incredible numbers it is. Big hits are formed of salty breakup songs, and historically, there have been many of them. As evidence, take a look at Karol G and Becky G’s “Mamii” from last year, in which Karol G apparently mentions ex-Anuel AA but never calls him by name.
Shakira, on the other hand, is unambiguous in “Vol. 53,” calling out everyone in the song. While this may be expected in the rap community, it is essentially unheard of in pop music, and it has never happened in Spanish pop. Shakira’s session expanded the idea of the pop diss track by including names, facts, and punishment in one mouthwatering package that can be (and has been) examined, replicated, and parodied in countless ways on social media.
You can hear all about Shakira’s breakup with Piqué in “Vol. 53,” which not only mentions Piqué’s name but also that of his alleged paramour and goes into minute details. Piqué was the singer’s longtime girlfriend and a professional soccer player who left the 45-year-old singer for a 23-year-old.