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Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll (/ʃəˈkiːrə/; Spanish: [ʃaˈkiɾa]; born 2 February 1977), better known professionally as Shakira, is a Colombian singer, songwriter, dancer, record producer, businesswoman, philanthropist and goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Born and raised in Barranquilla, she began performing in school, demonstrating Latin American, Arabic, and rock and roll influences and belly dancing abilities. Shakira's first studio albums, Magia and Peligro, failed to attain commercial success in the 1990s; however, she rose to prominence in Latin America with her major-label debut, Pies Descalzos (1996), and her fourth album, Dónde Están los Ladrones?(1998). As of 2001, she had sold over 10 million albums alone in Latin America.

Shakira entered the English-language market with her fifth album, Laundry Service in 2001. Its lead single, "Whenever, Wherever", became one of the most successful singles of 2002. Her success was solidified with her sixth and seventh albums Fijación Oral, Volumen Uno and Oral Fixation, Volume Two (2005), the latter of which spawned the best selling single of the 2000s, "Hips Don't Lie". Shakira's eighth and ninth albums, She Wolf (2009) and Sale el Sol (2010), received critical praise. Her official song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)", became the biggest-selling World Cup song of all time with 10 million downloads. With over 1.8 billion views, it is one of the most viewed music videos on YouTube. She has four of the twenty top-selling hits of the 2000s, more than any other artist. Shakira served as a coach on the fourth and sixth seasons of the American version of The Voice in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Her tenth album, Shakira (2014), was preceded by its lead single, "Can't Remember to Forget You".

Shakira has received numerous awards, including 3 Grammy Awards, 13 Latin Grammy Awards, 5 MTV Video Music Awards, 7 Billboard Music Awards, 39 Billboard Latin Music Awards and has been Golden Globe-nominated. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and sold an estimated 125 million records worldwide as of 2012 (over 50 million albums sold in 2007 according to BMI, over 70 million albums sold in 2018) with over 33.5 million estimated records sold in the United States (as of 2018). She performs charity work, most notably through her Pies Descalzos Foundation. In 2011, she was appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics – a four-person group that advises the president and Education Secretary. From 2012 to 2015, she was listed among world's top 100 most powerful women in the world by Forbes. In 2017, she was the only artist listed as one of the world's greatest leaders by Fortune, ranked at 27th.

Artistry[]

On her music, Shakira has said that, "my music, I think, is a fusion of many different elements. And I'm always experimenting. So I try not to limit myself, or put myself in a category, or... be the architect of my own jail." Shakira has frequently stated she is inspired by oriental music and Indian music, which influenced many of her earlier works. She has also been influenced by her Arabian heritage, which was a major inspiration for her breakthrough world hit "Ojos Así". She told Portuguese TV, "Many of my movements belong to Arab culture." She also cites her parents as having been major contributors to her musical style. She is also strongly influenced by Andean music and South American folk music, using her native instrumentation for her Latin dance-pop songs.

Her earlier Spanish albums, including Pies Descalzos and Dónde Están los Ladrones? were a mix of folk music and Latin rock. Her cross-over English album, Laundry Service and later albums were influenced by pop rock and pop Latino. "Laundry Service" is primarily a pop rock album, but also draws influences from a variety of musical genres. The singer credited this to her mixed ethnicity, saying: "I am a fusion. That's my persona. I'm a fusion between black and white, between pop and rock, between cultures – between my Lebanese father and my mother's Spanish blood, the Colombian folklore and Arab dance I love and American music."

The Arabian and Middle Eastern elements that exerted a high influence on Dónde Están los Ladrones? are also present in Laundry Service, most prominently on "Eyes Like Yours"/"Ojos Así". Musical styles from different South American countries surface on the album. Tango, a style of fast-paced ballroom dance that originated in Argentina, is evident on "Objection (Tango)", which also combines elements of rock and roll. The uptempo track features a guitar solo and a bridge in which Shakira delivers rap-like vocals.

She Wolf is primarily an electropop album that combines influences from the musical styles of various countries and regions, like Africa, Colombia, India, and the Middle East. Shakira termed the album as a "sonic experimental trip", and said that she researched folk music from different countries in order to "combine electronics with world sounds, tambourines, clarinets, oriental and Hindu music, dancehall, etc." Her 2010 album, Sale el Sol, is a return to her beginnings containing ballads, rock songs, and Latin dance songs like "Loca".

Shakira stated that John Lennon was her number one and biggest music influence. As a child, Shakira was influenced by rock music, listening heavily to rock bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Nirvana, The Police and U2, while her other influences included Gloria Estefan, Madonna, Sheryl Crow, Alanis Morissette, Marc Anthony, Meredith Brooks and The Cure. Shakira is well known for her dancing in various music videos and in concert. Her moves are based on the art of belly dancing, a part of her Lebaneseheritage. She often performs barefoot; Shakira says she learned this form of dance as a young teen to overcome her shyness. She also mentioned in a MTV interview that she learned how to belly dance by trying to flip a coin with her belly.

Achievements[]

Estatua de shakira barranquilla

Statue of Shakira at Barranquilla, Colombia in March 2008

Shakira has received numerous awards and recognition for her work. According to Sony, Shakira is the highest-selling Colombian artist of all time, having sold between 50 and 60 million records.

According to Yahoo!, her single "Hips Don't Lie" is the best-selling single of the last decade (2000's). Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems said that "Hips Don't Lie" was the most-played pop song in a single week in American radio history. It was played 9,637 times in one week. Shakira became the first artist in the history of the Billboard charts to earn the coveted number one spots on both the Top 40 Mainstream and Latin Chart in the same week doing so with "Hips Don't Lie". Additionally, she is the only artist from South America to reach the number-one spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, the Australian ARIA chart, and the UK Singles Chart.

Her song "La Tortura" at one time held the record for Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks chart, appearing at number-one more than any other single with a total of 25 non-consecutive weeks, a record currently held by the Enrique Iglesias song "Bailando" with 41 weeks. Nokia stated in 2010, that there were more Shakira music downloads in the prior year than for any other Latino artist in the last five years, and She Wolftopped the Top 10 Latino downloads. In 2010, she was ranked number five on the 'Online Video's Most Viral Artists of 2010' with 404,118,932 views. She has become a YouTube sensation having surpassed 12 billion views on the website with "Chantaje accounting for over 1.9 billion views and "Waka Waka" accounting for over 1.6 billion views, and her channel is currently the 35th most subscribed on YouTube.

In 2011, Shakira was honored at the Latin Grammys as 2011's Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year. She also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6270 Hollywood Blvd. Originally, she was to be given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004, but she turned the offer down. In 2012, she received the honor of Chevalier De L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2014, Shakira became the first musical act to perform three times at the FIFA World Cup.

Activism[]

In 1997, Shakira founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation, a Colombian charity with special schools for poor children all around Colombia. It was funded by Shakira and other international groups and individuals. The name of the foundation was taken from Shakira's third studio album, Pies Descalzos, which she released in 1995. The foundation's main focus is on aid through education, and the organization has five schools across Colombia that provide education and meals for 4,000 children. On 27 April 2014 Shakira was honored with the Hero Award at the Radio Disney Music Awards for her Fundación Pies Descalzos work.

Shakira is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and is one of their global representatives. On 3 April 2006, Shakira was honored at a UN ceremony for creating the Pies Descalzos Foundation. In March 2010, she was awarded a medal by the UN International Labour Organization in recognition of being, as UN Labour Chief Juan Somavia put it, a "true ambassador for children and young people, for quality education and social justice". In November 2010, after performing as the opening act of the MTV European Music Awards, the Colombian singer also received the MTV Free Your Mind award for her continuing dedication to improve access to education for all children around the world.

In February 2011, the FC Barcelona Foundation and Pies descalzos reached an agreement for children's education through sport. Shakira was honored at the Latin Grammys as the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year on 9 November 2011, for her philanthropy and contributions to Latin Music.

Personal life[]

Shakira began a relationship with Argentine lawyer Antonio de la Rúa in 2000. In a 2009 interview, Shakira stated their relationship already worked as a married couple, and that "they don't need papers for that".

After 11 years together, Shakira and de la Rúa separated in August 2010 in what she described as "a mutual decision to take time apart from our romantic relationship". She wrote that the couple "view this period of separation as temporary", with de la Rúa overseeing Shakira's "business and career interests as he has always done". As first reported in September 2012, de la Rúa sued Shakira in April 2013, asking for $100 million he believed he was owed after Shakira suddenly terminated her business partnership with him in October 2011. His lawsuit was dismissed by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge in August 2013.

Shakira entered a relationship with the Spanish football player Gerard Piqué, centre back for FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team in 2011. Piqué, who is exactly ten years her junior, first met Shakira in the spring of 2010, when Piqué appeared in the music video for Shakira's song "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)", the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Shakira gave birth to the couple's first son, Milan Piqué Mebarak, on 22 January 2013 in Barcelona, Spain, where the family had taken up residence. Shakira gave birth to their second son, Sasha Piqué Mebarak, on 29 January 2015.

Discography[]

  • Magia (1991)*
  • Peligro (1993)*
  • Pies Descalzos (1995)
  • Dónde Están los Ladrones? (1998)
  • Laundry Service (2001)
  • Fijación Oral, Vol. 1 (2005)
  • Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 (2005)
  • She Wolf (2009)
  • Sale el Sol (2010)
  • Shakira (2014)
  • El Dorado (2017)
  • United As One (2018)

*not considered as official releases

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