Can Shakira Conquer the World?: The New Issue of Rolling Stone

October 28, 2009 9:30 AM ET

When Shakira released her bestselling single "Hips Don't Lie," most listeners never knew that the phrase originated in a fairly chaste setting: the studio. "I would say, 'Hey, do you see my hips moving?' " she says, explaining how she tests out potential tracks. " 'No? This is not working. My hips don't lie.' "

Shakira's sexiest moments: from belly-dancing with Beyoncé to howling in a cage.

The 32-year-old singer's famous hips have been a good barometer of success in the past. She's sold 50 million records worldwide and earned over $100 million, but as she prepares to unleash her third English album, She Wolf, the Colombian-born singer is at a crossroads. In Rolling Stone's new issue, on stands today, Shakira tells Vanessa Grigoriadis about the pressures of becoming a true superstar in the U.S. now so she can indulge a "physical calling" soon: "My body feels like it is asking to reproduce," she says, revealing that a baby could be in her post-She Wolf future.

To meet that goal, Shakira hit the studio hard for She Wolf, and gave Rolling Stone an up-close look at her coffee-fueled sessions at the Bahamas' Compass Point Studios, a location she chose specifically for its rock & roll cred. "I am such a huge fan of Bob Marley, the Cure and AC/DC, and when I heard about this legendary studio where all of them recorded, I knew I had to be here," she says. For a close-up look at Shakira's RS cover shoot, check out this exclusive footage from the streets of New York:

But even an album as meticulously planned as She Wolf can hit a snag. Find out why the album's release date got bumped back, how Lil Wayne wound up on Shakira's new Timbaland-produced song "Give It Up to Me," why she refuses to marry her beau of nine years, and more about her ongoing oral fixation in our latest cover story.

Also in this issue: how Rivers Cuomo grew up without losing his geek-rock mojo and a close-up look at Lenny Kravitz as he gets back to basics. Go behind the fall's freakiest tour — Lady Gaga's Monster Ball — and hop in the studio with Alicia Keys as she sculpts The Element of Freedom. Plus, Naomi Klein on the only way to stop global warming and L. Christopher Smith on the epidemic of murders at the nation's third-largest Army base.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

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