Tower Records Argentina is refusing to sell albums by Epic artist Shakira, in protest of the appearance of her boyfriend, Antonio de la Rua, in her latest video, “Underneath Your Clothes,” Billboard Bulletin reports. De la Rua is the son of former Argentine president Fernando de la Rua, who resigned in December in the midst of profound economic and political turmoil in the country. Antonio de la Rua was his father’s closest advisor; his inclusion in Shakira’s video has caused a stir in the local media.
Tower Records marketing manager Maroa Ferrero says the decision to ban Shakira’s albums was made by Tower Records Argentina president Pablo di Paola as a direct protest against Antonio De la Rua — not Shakira. Luana Pagani, Sony senior VP of marketing for Latin America, says, “It’s surprising to us that Tower Records Argentina — which is a licensee — would wage a negative campaign against such a respected artist.”
Tower Records Argentina’s four stores sell an average of 1,000 Shakira albums per month — a significant amount in a country mired in economic woe. Her current album, “Laundry Service,” has sold 75,000 copies in Argentina, where 20,000 are needed for gold status. In the U.S., the set has moved 1.7 million copies, according to SoundScan. The single “Suerte” is No. 2 in its 26th week on Billboard’s Hot Latin Tracks chart and No. 4 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Pop Airplay tally.
— Marcelo Fernandez Bitar, Buenos Aires