La Tortura

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"La Tortura"
La Tortura by Shakira featuring Alejandro Sanz single cover art.jpg
Single by Shakira featuring Alejandro Sanz
from the album Fijación Oral Vol. 1
Released 12 April 2005 (2005-04-12)
Format Digital download
Length 3:34
Label Epic
  • Shakira
  • Luis F. Ochoa
Shakira singles chronology
"Que Me Quedes Tú"
"La Tortura"
"Que Me Quedes Tú"
"La Tortura"
Alejandro Sanz singles chronology
"Try To Save Your S'ong"
(2004) Try To Save Your S'ong2004
"La Tortura"
(2005) La Tortura2005
"A la Primera Persona"
(2006) A la Primera Persona2006

"La Tortura" (English: "The Torture") is a song by Colombian singer Shakira, featuring Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz, from Shakira's sixth studio album Fijación Oral, Vol. 1 (2005). It was released on 12 April 2005, by Epic Records as the lead single from the album, the song was written and produced by Shakira, with additional writing and production from longtime collaborators Luis Fernando Ochoa and Lester Mendez respectively. "La Tortura" is a Latin pop song with prominent influences of reggaeton, and lyrically tells the story of a woman who has been emotionally "tortured" because her boyfriend cheated and eventually left her for another, and has now returned begging forgiveness.

After its release, the song received generally positive reviews by music critics, who agreed that the song was a prominent part of Fijación Oral, Vol. 1. "La Tortura" was also well received commercially, leading the lists of the US Hot Latin Songs, Latin Pop Songs and Tropical Songs, in the United States. In the rest of the world, the song topped the charts in Venezuela, Spain and Hungary. An accompanying music video was released for the promotion of the single, and was directed by Michael Haussman.

The song received multiple awards and nominations, including two awards at the Latin Grammy Awards at the 2006 Ceremony for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. "La Tortura" is one of the best selling singles of all time, with more than 12 million copies sold worldwide, being certified gold in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for 500,000 digital copies sold, and the certification has been updated to 32 times platinum (1,920,000 units sold). It was also recognized as the best-selling Spanish song worldwide at all the times, with almost three million digital sales and ringtones combined sold to date. To promote "La Tortura", Shakira made a number of live performances in several television and award shows.

Background and composition[edit]

The single is a duet between Shakira and Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz, both of whom also composed it alongside Luis Fernando Ochoa, it was mixed by Gustavo Celis.

"La Tortura" is a reggaeton-inspired track which lyrically tells the story of a woman who has been emotionally "tortured" because her boyfriend cheated and eventually left her for another, and has now returned begging forgiveness. He apologises extravagantly, but is ultimately of the thinking that infidelity is natural for men and for the woman not to forgive him would be tiresome and unreasonable. However, at the end of the song, Shakira's character humiliates him and says that she is not going to cry over him.[1]


The single and the album also included a remix of the song by Gustavo Celis entitled "The Shaketon Mix", merging a reggaeton rhythm. A separate music video (also directed by Michael Haussman) was also made for this remix, this video also entered on TRL's countdown.

There is another official reggaeton remix called "Eddie Arroyo Reggaeton Remix". Another official mix has surfaced, the "Tracy Young Special According Mix" and other remixes have also been made by independent DJs. An alternative version of this song, is featured as a bonus track in the re-release of Oral Fixation Vol. 2, with the chorus sung partially in the English-language.

Critical reception[edit]

The song received positive reviews from most music critics. Matt Cibula from PopMatters wrote an extense review, saying that "The big single isn't quite reggaetón, although it makes full use of the reggaetón beat. What really matters are these two overheated voices working with and against each other, and the way that undeniable beat really comes alive when there is actually a beautiful melody underneath it."[2] Spencer D. from IGN wrote that "the more 'ethnic' musical implements on "La Tortura" (accordion, Spanish guitar flutters, jostling rhythms, and the complimentary male vocals of Alejandro Sanz) make for one of the more enjoyable and distinct inclusions on the album; a slice of Shakira being Shakira and eschewing the affectation of anybody else's vocal stylings."[3]

Commercial performance[edit]

Since its release as a single, the song has become one of the most important Latin songs to move into the mainstream English-speaking culture in the US and Canada.[1] "La Tortura" reached a position of number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 in less than twenty weeks after its release and was ranked number 60 in the Year-End Chart. The song was certified Gold by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for over 500,000 digital sales. The song also held the record for the longest-run on the Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks chart a total of 25 non-consecutive weeks until it was broken by Enrique Iglesias's song "Bailando" in 2014.[4] At Billboard magazine's year-end chart (that shows the hottest songs of the year); "La Tortura" was the number-one song on the Hot Latin Tracks chart and ranked third at the Hot Latin Songs 25th Anniversary chart.[5]

The track was also successful in Europe, reaching the top ten in almost all countries it charted, it debuted at number one on the Spanish Singles Chart, while in Switzerland, the song was in the top five for fifteen consecutive weeks, although it never reached the top position. In Hungary, the song spent eight consecutive weeks at number-one position. "La Tortura" was not released as an official single in the United Kingdom until December 2006, bundled with the release of "Illegal" and charted at 34 on the UK Singles Chart. As a result, it was featured in the 2007 edition of Guinness World Records. "La Tortura" was chosen as the fifth favorite song of the world in a global survey made by Sony Ericsson, in which 700,000 music fans of 66 countries contributed.

Music video[edit]

Shakira and Alejandro Sanz in the music video for "La Tortura".

The accompanying music video for "La Tortura" was directed by Michael Haussman, it has a simple plot: from his new girlfriend's apartment, Sanz spies on Shakira as she is walking down the street holding a bag of onions on her way to her own apartment, which is on the other side of the street from Sanz' girlfriend's apartment. When Shakira enters her apartment, she changes clothes, from that moment on, Sanz remembers things the two had done in the past as a couple, while Shakira reveals her alter-ego dancing erotically on the building's roof, covered with black paint. The choreography of the music video was made by Jamie King and Shakira herself.

The music video is notable for being the first Spanish-only video to be aired on MTV, the channel also showed a whole episode of their Making the Video series in Spanish, with English subtitles.[6] The remix version of the song, known as "La Tortura (Shaketon Remix)", has its own video (also directed by Haussman) featuring some previously unseen scenes, this video can be seen on Oral Fixation Volumes 1 & 2 bonus DVD. The video was marked "Vevo Certified" by joint venture music video website Vevo for reaching more than 100 million views on YouTube,[7] the music video of the song was nominated for Best Female Video, Best Dance Video and Viewer's Choice Award on the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards.

Track listing[edit]

  • Maxi CD
  1. "La Tortura" [Album version] - 3:36
  2. "La Tortura" [Shaketon Reggaeton Remix] - 3:12
  3. "La Pared" [Acoustic Version] - 2:39


2005 MTV Video Music Awards
  • Viewer's Choice (nominated)
  • Best Female Video (nominated)
  • Best Dance Video (nominated)
2006 Latin Grammy Awards
2005 MTV Video Music Awards Latinoamerica
  • Video of the Year (won)

2005 NRJ Awards

  • International Song Of The Year (won)

2005 Billboard Music Awards

  • Hot Latin Song Of The Year (won)
2005 Latin Billboard Music Awards
  • Song of the Year (won)
  • Song of the Year, Vocal Duet (won)
  • Ringtone of the Year (won)



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Austria (IFPI Austria)[47] Gold 15,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[48] Gold 15,000^
Germany (BVMI)[49] Gold 150,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[50] Gold 50,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[51] Gold 20,000^
United States (RIAA)[52] 32× Platinum (Latin) 1,920,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[53] Platinum 1,000,000
Worldwide 6,000,000[54]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Invited artist: Alejandro Sanz (appears courtesy of Warner Music Benelux, BV)
  • Lyrics: Shakira
  • Music: Shakira, Luis F. Ochoa
  • Vocals: Shakira, Alejandro Sanz
  • Vocal arrangements: Shakira, Alejandro Sanz


  • Producer: Shakira
  • Executive producer: Rick Rubin
  • Co-producer: Lester Mendez for Living Stereo
  • Additional production: José "Gocho" Torres, Santana "The Golden Boy"
  • Remixer: José "Gocho" Torres ("Shaketon Mix")


  • Recording engineers: Gustavo Celis, Rob Jacobs, Kevin Killen
  • Assistant engineers: Bryan Gallant, Juan Camarano, Felipe Alvarez
  • Programming: Pete Davis
  • Mix engineer: Gustavo Celis


See also[edit]


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  3. ^ D., Stephen (8 June 2005). "Shakira - Fijacion Oral - Music Review at IGN". IGN. Archived from the original on 16 January 2006. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Mendizabal, Amaya (29 October 2014). "Exclusive: Enrique Iglesias Talks Record-Breaking No. 1 Run for 'Bailando'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Trust, Gary (October 4, 2011). "Hot Latin Songs Top 25 – The Biggest Hits of the Last 25 Years". Billboard. Macromedia Corporation. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  6. ^ Cobo, Leila (28 May 2005). "Shakira×2". Billboard. 117 (51): 23. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 18 June 2017. 
  7. ^ Whitaker, Dave (February 7, 2013). "VEVO's Certified Award for Videos with 100 Million Views". Dave's Music Database. Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
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  17. ^ "Shakira feat. Alejandro Sanz: La Tortura" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  18. ^ " – Shakira feat. Alejandro Sanz Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  19. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
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  32. ^ "Los discos más escuchados y vendidos en América Latina, EU y Europa" (in Spanish). La Crónica de Hoy. August 4, 2005. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  33. ^ "2005 Austrian Singles Chart" (in German). Austriancharts. Archived from the original on 2010-09-12. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  34. ^ "2005 Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  35. ^ "2005 Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  36. ^ 2005 French Singles Chart Archived 2012-04-04 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2010-12-29
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  38. ^ [1] Retrieved 2010-12-29
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  41. ^ "Lista Anual Singles 2005" (PDF). Promusicae. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-03. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  42. ^ "Swiss Year end Chart". Archived from the original on 2006-02-13. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
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  47. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Shakira – La Tortura" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved 13 August 2013.  Enter Shakira in the field Interpret. Enter La Tortura in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
  48. ^ "Danish single certifications – Shakira – La Tortura". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved 13 August 2013.  Click on næste to go to page if certification from official website
  49. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Shakira; 'La Tortura')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  50. ^ "Certificaciones" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Retrieved 13 August 2013.  Type Shakira in the box under the ARTISTA column heading.
  51. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Shakira; 'La Tortura')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
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  53. ^ "American Matertone certifications – Shakira – La Tortura". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 13 August 2017.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select ', then click SEARCH
  54. ^ "SHAKIRA : LA TORTURA (MAXI SINGLE)". FoorZik2. 

External links[edit]