Noughties Pop Star Shakira Covers Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ At Super Bowl Halftime Show

Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press

Robert Plant once stated that Led Zeppelin‘s music had been “hawked and whored” to such a degree that he started to wonder what in God’s name was going on.

He’s is not wrong, but with the guardians of the Zep legacy taking a much looser approach to the use of the band’s music in recent years,  the cat is, as they say, well and truly out of the bag.

During The Pepsi Super Bowl’s Halftime Show, one of popular music’s most prestigious marketing platforms, noughties pop star Shakira gyrated before millions of hooting football fans.

The performance seemed like business as usual but for a brief but brilliant segue between songs.

Here Shakira’s backing outfit gloriously bursts into one of Led Zeppelin‘s most monolithic numbers ‘Kashmir‘.

(This can be heard at the one minute and 51-second mark of a recap video since released by the Super Bowl.)

Inspired by a trek to Mumbai Robert Plant and Jimmy Page had taken in 1972, the eight-and-a-half minute ‘Kashmir’ first appeared on Zeppelin’s 1975 album Physical Graffiti.

While never released as a single it has cast its presence across popular music ever since.

Shakira has never spoken publicly about whether or not she bears a special affection Zeppelin, although the nod is given to ‘Kashmir’ no doubt bought a jolt of excitement to many thousands of Zeppelin’s fans.

The song may have added that extra kick to the Columbian pop star’s performance, giving it the edge many pundits believe allowed Shaikara’s earlier appearance upstage that of co-performer, another fixture of earlier 2000s pop culture, Jennifer Lopez.

To conclude with Robert Plant’s opening remarks on the Led Zeppelin legacy, the singer contends that despite the commerciality which has befallen the beloved Zepplin catalog, the songs still stand up.

When you hear it, in isolation,” he shared in the same aforementioned interview, ” in one minute of quiet calm, you remember what the actual spell was and how it was cast.”



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