Following the leads of Madonna and Jay-Z, Latin superstar Shakira, currently one of the best-selling international artists in the world, is about to sign with the Artist division of Live Nation, according to Live Nation executives who have spoken to TicketNews.

However, little else has been divulged. The New York Post is reporting today, July 1, that the deal is worth upwards of $70 million although there had been speculation before that it could be closer to Jay-Z’s reported $150 million. The contract will include touring, records, merchandise and other revenue sources in a similar “360 degree” deal format as the Madonna and Jay-Z deals. Negotiations have reportedly lasted 10 months; the length of the deal is unknown but both the Madonna and Jay-Z deals are for 10 years.

Such 360-degree deals, and their largess, were at the crux of the feud between Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino and former Chairman Michael Cohl, before Cohl gave up his chairmanship and Live Nation Artists CEO roles last month. The Shakira signing had no bearing on Cohl’s departure, however, because the deal was long in the works.

Shakira still owes her current recording company, Sony/BMG’s Epic Records, one English-speaking studio album due next spring and a greatest hits disk. She is best known for her hit “Hips Don’t Lie.”

The signing would open the Latin and South American markets for Live Nation, where Shakira is a huge concert attraction and routinely sells out stadiums. Last year, Live Nation opened a Latin American division, primarily focusing on Mexico and Brazil, the two biggest concerts markets in the Spanish-speaking world.

Shakira is the highest-selling Columbian artist of all time, selling more than 50 million albums worldwide, according to the RIAA, and placed #4 on Forbes magazine’s first-ever “Cash Queens of Music” top female money-earners list. Between June 2006 and June 2007, Shakira reportedly earned $38 million, behind Madonna ($72 million), Barbra Streisand ($60 million), and Celine Dion ($45 Million).

Last Updated on May 4, 2010