Shakira: Sara Jaye/
Gary Susman
April 28, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Has Shakira dethroned Madonna as pop’s premier provocateur? These days, it’s Shakira’s shimmy that shakes up the pop charts, while Madonna shows some restraint, most notably with her last-minute decision not to release her war-themed ”American Life” video. And Shakira, for one, is disappointed.

”I’d expect a little more backbone from Madonna,” Shakira said last week, according to ”Good pop music is always political in times of crisis.” On her own recent tour, the belly-baring Colombian showed an antiwar video depicting Saddam Hussein and President Bush as puppets manipulated by the Grim Reaper. (And yet, there were no calls for boycotts, no tractors crunching piles of Shakira CDs.)

If Madonna showed discretion by not releasing the ”American Life” video that depicted her throwing a cigarette lighter shaped like a hand grenade into the lap of a Bush lookalike, she certainly hasn’t been shy about promoting the album of the same name. After a weeklong TV blitz in support of last Tuesday’s release, ”American Life” is expected to debut atop the Billboard album chart later this week.

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