Shakira Has Become A Meme After ‘Tongue Thing’ During Super Bowl

by : Lucy Connolly on : 03 Feb 2020 09:22
Shakira Has Become A Meme After 'Tongue Thing' During Super BowlShakira Has Become A Meme After 'Tongue Thing' During Super BowlPA Images

If you’re in the music industry, I can imagine there are certain points in your career when you just know you’ve made it: getting your first No. 1 hit; performing at the Super Bowl halftime show; and becoming a viral meme are all up there in my opinion.

In which case, after last night’s performance with Jennifer Lopez, Shakira has officially made it because she ticked off the final two requirements when she made a strange noise and wiggled her tongue around halfway through one of her songs, becoming an instant meme.

Yes, I know. Of all the things Shakira did amazingly during her performance – those vocals, rocking the electric guitar, and not to mention that belly dancing to name just a few – her tongue of all things was the one that got people talking.


Ah well, you win some you lose some. Check it out below:

As you can see in the above clip, in the middle of the iconic performance, Shakira turned to the camera and made a high-pitched noise while sticking her tongue in and out.

That one small action was all the the Internet needed for the Waka Waka singer to become an instant meme, with many wondering what the motion was and why she did it.


Mostly though, people just wanted to make a meme out of it:


Sorry to ruin the fun though folks, because it turns out the tongue call is actually a traditional Arabic celebration chant that’s referred to as ‘Zaghrouta’, and is a way to express joy.

It’s also part of the dance Son de Negros at the Carnaval de Barranquilla, a huge celebration which takes place in Shakira’s hometown in Colombia.

According to the American Tunisian Association, Zaghrouta is a ‘long, wavering high-pitched vocal soul representing trills of joy,’ usually performed during joyful events like weddings and parties.

Shakira performs at super bowlShakira performs at super bowlPA Images

Shakira has previously spoken of her pride in her Arabic heritage, often honouring her roots in her music, so it’s no surprise she would want to celebrate in the traditional way at one of the biggest performances of her life.

Her performance, which featured songs like She Wolf and Hips Don’t Lie, comes after Spanish officials said the singer ‘committed tax fraud of £12.2 million’ in Spain between 2012 and 2014.

Prosecutors, who accused her of tax evasion last year, argued that she avoided taxes by claiming to live in the Bahamas when she was resident in Catalonia.


Shakira’s PR company said in a statement she had appeared in court to ‘help clarify the facts over her tax situation in Spain’, as per the Mirror. It said the singer had always met her tax obligations in every country where she had worked and did not own taxes to the Spanish state.

Shakira performs at super bowlShakira performs at super bowlPA Images

‘As soon as she learned how much she owed the Spanish tax authorities – and before a complaint was filed – Shakira paid the full amount,’ the statement read.

Shakira is yet to comment on the accusations.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Music, Kansas City Chiefs, meme, Shakira, Sound, Sport, Super Bowl, Super Bowl LIV, Viral


Yahoo Sports/Twitter and 2 others
  1. Yahoo Sports/Twitter


  2. American Tunisian Association

    “Lolololololeeesh” (Zaghrouta), the Arab Way to Express Happy Emotions

  3. The Mirror

    Shakira 'committed tax fraud of £12.2 million', say Spanish officials