"The Voice," like most music competition shows, uses its celebrity panel to reflect the demographics it wants to capture. In the case of the NBC series, that’s male, female, black and white. Jennifer Lopez led the Latin charge on "American Idol," but Shakira, whose native language isn’t English? That was different.

“I thought it was a very progressive idea,” says Shakira. “The world is going that direction. The fastest-growing minority in the U.S. is the Hispanic community. Having me there recognizes that.”

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