Shakira in 2011
|Birth name||Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll|
|Born||(1977-02-02) February 2, 1977 (age 36)|
|Genres||Pop, Latin pop, rock en Español, dance, folk, world music|
|Occupations||Singer-songwriter, record producer, dancer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, harmonica, drums, percussion|
|Labels||Epic, Live Nation, RCA, Sony Music Latin|
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll ([ʃaˈkiɾa isaˈβel meˈβaɾak riˈpoʎ]; born February 2, 1977), known mononymously as Shakira ( /ʃəˈkɪərə/, [ʃaˈkiɾa]), is a Colombian singer-songwriter, dancer, record producer, choreographer, and model. Born and raised in Barranquilla, she began performing in school, demonstrating Latin, Arabic, and rock and roll influences and belly dancing abilities. In the early 1990s, Shakira emerged in the music industry of Colombia, though she was little-known outside of the country; her first two studio efforts were met with a poor critical reception.[clarification needed] She rose to prominence in Latin America with her official debut studio album Pies Descalzos (1995). Her second album Dónde Están los Ladrones? (1998) sold over 7 million copies worldwide.[clarification needed]
In 2001, Shakira crossed into the English market with her third album Laundry Service, which sold over 15 million copies worldwide; her first English single "Whenever, Wherever" became the best selling single of 2002. Her success was solidified with her fourth and fifth albums Fijación Oral Vol. 1 and Oral Fixation Vol. 2 (2005), the latter of which spawned the best-selling song of the 2000s, "Hips Don't Lie". Shakira's sixth album She Wolf (2009) gained critical praise for her writing skills, and sold 2 million copies internationally. Her seventh album Sale el Sol (2010) returned to styles of her Latin heritage, and sold 4 million copies worldwide. However, Shakira suffered from a strained relationship with her label Epic Records since 2009, which resulted in a lack of promotion and investment towards both of the latter releases. 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. On YouTube, the English version of the music video is the 7th most watched video of all time with over 500 million views. Since 2013, Shakira has served as a coach on the fourth season of the American version of The Voice.
Shakira has won many awards including five MTV Video Music Awards, two Grammy Awards, eight Latin Grammy Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards, twenty-eight Billboard Latin Music Awards and has been Golden Globe-nominated. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and she is the highest-selling Colombian artist of all time, having sold over 70 million albums. Her U.S. album sales stand at 9.9 million. Outside of her work in the music industry, Shakira is also involved in philanthropic activities through charity work and benefit concerts, notably her Pies Descalzos Foundation, her performance at the "Clinton Global Initiative" created by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and her invitation to the Oval Office by President Barack Obama in February 2010 to discuss early childhood development.
Shakira was born on February 2, 1977 in Barranquilla, Colombia. She is the only child of Nidia Ripoll and William Mebarak Chadid. Her paternal grandparents emigrated from Lebanon to New York City, where her father was born. From her mother, Nidia Ripoll, she has Spanish (Catalan and Castilian) and Italian descent. She has eight older half-siblings from her father's previous marriage. Shakira spent much of her youth in Barranquilla, a city located in northern Colombia. Shakira wrote her first poem, titled "La Rosa De Cristal" ("The Crystal Rose") when she was only four years old. As she was growing up, she was fascinated watching her father writing stories on a typewriter, and asked for one as a Christmas gift. She got her wish at age seven and continued writing poetry. These poems eventually evolved into songs. When Shakira was two years old, an older half-brother was killed in a motorcycle accident and at the age of eight, Shakira wrote her first song, titled "Tus gafas oscuras" ("Your dark glasses"), which was inspired by her father, who for years wore dark glasses to hide his grief.
When Shakira was four, her father took her to a local Middle Eastern restaurant, where Shakira first heard the doumbek, a traditional drum used in Arabic music and which typically accompanied belly dancing. Before she knew it, Shakira was dancing on the table, she then knew she wanted to be a performer. She enjoyed singing for schoolmates and teachers (and even the nuns) at her Catholic school, but in the second grade was rejected for the school choir because her vibrato was too strong. The music teacher told her that she sounded "like a goat". At school, she says she had been known as "the belly dancer girl", as she would demonstrate every Friday at school a number she had learned. "That's how I discovered my passion for live performance," she says. To instill gratitude for her upbringing in Shakira, her father took her to a local park to see orphans who lived there. The images stayed with her and she said to herself "one day I’m going to help these kids when I become a famous artist."
Between the ages of ten and thirteen, Shakira was invited to various events in Barranquilla and gained some recognition in the area. It was at about this time that she met local theater producer Monica Ariza, who was impressed with her and as a result tried to help her career. During a flight from Barranquilla to Bogotá, Ariza convinced Sony Colombia executive Ciro Vargas to hold an audition for Shakira in a hotel lobby. Vargas held Shakira in high regard and, returning to the Sony office, gave the cassette to a song and artist director. However, the director was not overly excited and thought Shakira was something of "a lost cause". Vargas, not daunted, was still convinced that Shakira had talent, and set up an audition in Bogotá. He arranged for Sony Colombia executives to arrive at the audition, with the idea of surprising them with Shakira's performance. She performed three songs for the executives and impressed them enough for her to be signed to record three albums.
Shakira's debut album, Magia, was recorded with Sony Music Colombia in 1990 when she was only thirteen years old. The songs are a collection made by her since she was 8, mixed pop-rock ballads and disco uptempo songs with electronic accompaniment, however it was hampered by a lack of recording and production cohesion. The album was released in June 1991 and featured "Magia" and three other singles. Though it fared well on Colombian radio and gave the young Shakira much exposure, the album did not fare well commercially as only 1,200 copies were sold worldwide. After the poor performance of Magia, Shakira's label urged her to return to the studio to release a follow-up record. Although little known outside of her native Colombia, Shakira was invited to perform at Chile's Viña del Mar International Song Festival in February 1993. The festival gave aspiring Latin American singers a chance to perform their songs, and the winner was then chosen by a panel of judges. Shakira performed the ballad "Eres" ("You Are") and won the trophy for third place. One of the judges who voted for her to win was then 20-year-old Ricky Martin.
Shakira's second studio album Peligro was released in March, but Shakira was not pleased with the final result, mainly taking issue with the production. The album was better received than Magia, though it was also considered a commercial failure due to Shakira's refusal to advertise it. Shakira then decided to take a hiatus from recording so that she could graduate from high school. In the same year, Shakira starred in the Colombian TV Series "The Oasis", loosely based on the Armero tragedy in 1985. Since then, the albums have been pulled from release and are not considered official Shakira albums but rather promotional albums.
Shakira originally recorded the song "¿Dónde Estás Corazón?" (later released on her album Pies Descalzos) for the compilation album Nuestro Rock in 1995, released exclusively in Colombia. “Pies Descalzos” album brought her great popularity in Latin America by the hit singles "Estoy Aquí," "Pies Descalzos, Sueños Blancos" and "Dónde Estás Corazón." Shakira also recorded three tracks in Portuguese titled “Estou Aqui”, “Um Pouco de Amor”, and “Pés Descalços”.
Shakira returned to recording music under Sony Music along with Columbia in 1995 with Luis F. Ochoa, using musical influences from a number of countries and an Alanis Morissette-oriented persona which affected two of her next albums. These recordings spawned her third studio album but first official, Pies Descalzos. Recording for the album began in February 1995, after the success of her single "¿Dónde Estás Corazón?". Sony gave Shakira $100,000 to produce the album since they predicted that the album would not sell past 100,000 copies. Starting with this album, Shakira began producing her own music, perfecting her vocals and most of all, practicing creative control over her music. Highly influenced by the American alternative market and British groups such as The Pretenders, the album's songs are melodic, musically surprising and gritty, with intellectual lyrics and an electronic/acoustic blend that effectively broke the formulaic mold of Latin pop with an authentic sound that had not been heard before.
The album, Pies Descalzos, was released in October 1995 in South America and in February 1996 internationally. It debuted at number one in eight different countries. However, it only managed to reach number one-hundred-eighty on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 but reached number five on the U.S. Billboard Top Latin Albums chart. The album spawned six hit singles, "Estoy Aquí" which reached number two on the U.S. Latin chart, "¿Dónde Estás Corazón?" which reached number five on the U.S. Latin chart, "Pies Descalzos, Sueños Blancos" which reached number eleven on the U.S. Latin chart, "Un Poco De Amor" which reached number six on the U.S. Latin chart, "Antología" which reached number fifteen on the U.S. Latin Pop Songs chart and "Se quiere, Se Mata" which reached number eight on the U.S. Latin chart. In August 1996, RIAA certified the album platinum status.
In March 1996, Shakira went on to her first international tour named simply the Tour Pies Descalzos. The tour consisted of 20 shows and ended in 1997. Also in that year, Shakira received three Billboard Latin Music Awards for Album of the Year for Pies Descalzos, Video of the Year for "Estoy Aqui" and Best New Artist. Pies Descalzos later sold over 5 million copies, prompting the release of a remix album, simply titled The Remixes. The Remixes also included Portuguese versions of some of her well known songs, which were recorded as a result of her success in the Brazilian market, where Pies Descalzos sold nearly one million copies.
Her second official studio album, Dónde Están los Ladrones?, produced entirely by Shakira herself and Emilio Estefan, Jr. as the executive producer, was released in September 1998. The album, inspired by an incident in an airport in which a suitcase full of her written lyrics was stolen, became a bigger hit than Pies Descalzos. The album has reached a peak position of number one-hundred-thirty-one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and held the top spot on the U.S. Latin Albums chart for eleven weeks. It has since sold over seven million copies worldwide and 1.5 million copies in the U.S. alone, making it one of the best selling Spanish albums in the U.S. Eight singles were taken from the album including "Ciega, Sordomuda", "Moscas En La Casa", "No Creo" which became her first single to chart on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, "Inevitable", "Tú", "Si Te Vas", "Octavo día", and the "Ojos Así". The latter two songs won Shakira one Latin Grammy each with six of the eight singles reaching the top 40 on the U.S. Latin chart.
Shakira also received her first Grammy Award nomination in 1999 for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album. Shakira's first live album, MTV Unplugged was recorded in New York City on August 12, 1999. Highly acclaimed by American critics, it is rated as one of her best-ever live performances. The live album earned the Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album in 2001 and gained sales of five million worldwide. In March 2000, Shakira embarked on her Tour Anfibio, a two-month tour of Latin America and the United States. In August 2000, she won an MTV Video Music Award in the category of People's Choice — Favorite International Artist for "Ojos Así". In September 2000, Shakira performed "Ojos Así" at the inaugural ceremony of the Latin Grammy Awards, where she was nominated in five categories: Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for MTV Unplugged, Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Octavo Día", Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Short Form Music Video for the video for "Ojos Así",. She won two Grammy awards.
Upon the success of Dónde Están los Ladrones? and MTV Unplugged, Shakira began working on an English crossover album. She worked for over a year on new material for the album. "Whenever, Wherever" ("Suerte" in Spanish countries) was released as the first and lead single from her first English album and third studio album throughout the period of August 2001 and February 2002. The song took heavy influence from Andean music, including the charango and panpipes in its instrumentation. It became an international success by reaching number one in most countries. It was also her first success in the U.S., by reaching number six on the Hot 100. In 2003, Shakira wrote a song called "Come Down Love" with Tim Mitchell for the Hollywood movie The Italian Job starring South African actress Charlize Theron and Mark Wahlberg, but the song was not included on the soundtrack of the movie.
Shakira's third studio album and first English language album Laundry Service (Servicio De Lavanderia in Latin America and Spain) was released on 13 November 2001. The album debuted at number three on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart selling over 200,000 records in its first week. The album was later certified triple platinum by the RIAA in June 2004 as well. It helped to establish Shakira's musical presence in the mainstream North American market. Seven singles were taken from the album such as "Whenever, Wherever" / "Suerte", "Underneath Your Clothes", "Objection (Tango)" / "Te Aviso, Te Anuncio (Tango)", "The One", "Te Dejo Madrid", "Que Me Quedes Tú" and "Poem to a Horse".
Because the album was created for the English language market, the rock and Spanish dance-influenced album gained mild critical success with some critics claimed that her English skills were too weak for her to write songs for it with Rolling Stone stating "she sounds downright silly" or "Shakira's magic is lost in translation." Shakira also was criticized by her Latin fans for seemingly abandoning her folk and rock roots in favor of contemporary American pop music. Despite this fact, the album became the best selling album of 2002, selling more than 20 million copies worldwide. and became the most successful album of her career to date. Around this time, Shakira also released four songs for Pepsi for her promotion in the English markets: "Ask for More", "Pide Más", "Knock on My Door" and "Pídeme el Sol".
In 2002, at Aerosmith's MTV Icon in April 2002, Shakira performed "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)". She also joined the likes of Cher, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige, Anastacia, and the Dixie Chicks for VH1 Divas Live Las Vegas. In September, she won the International Viewer's Choice Award at the MTV Video Music Awards with "Whenever, Wherever". She also won the Latin Grammy Award for the category of Best Short Form Music Video for the Spanish version of the video. In October, she won five MTV Video Music Awards Latin America for Best Female Artist, Best Pop Artist, Best Artist – North (Region), Video of the Year (for "Suerte"), and Artist of the Year. In November, she embarked on the Tour of the Mongoose with 61 shows occurring by May 2003. The tour was also her first worldwide tour, as legs were played in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Shakira’s label Sony BMG also released her Spanish greatest hits compilation Grandes Éxitos. A DVD and ten-track live album, called Live & Off the Record, was also released in 2004, reaching sales of 3 million worldwide, and commemorating the Tour of the Mongoose.
Shakira's fourth studio album, Fijación Oral Vol. 1, was released in June 2005. The lead single from the album, "La Tortura" reached the top 40 of on the Hot 100. The song featured the Spanish balladeer Alejandro Sanz. Shakira became the first artist to perform a Spanish language song at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2005. Contrary to low expectations, the album was extremely well received. It debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 157,000 copies in its first week. It has since sold over two million copies in the U.S., earning a 11× Platinum (Latin field) certification from the RIAA. Due to its first week sales, the album became the highest debut ever for a Spanish language album. After only a day of release in Latin America, the album earned certifications. In Venezuela, it earned a Platinum certification, in Colombia, a triple Platinum certification while in Mexico, the album exceeded shipments and was unavailable after only one day of release. The album sold over one million copies in three days worldwide. Four other singles were also released from the album. "No", "Día de Enero", "La Pared" and "Las de la Intuición", with each single reaching number one in countries worldwide. Fijación Oral Vol. 1 has since sold over 4 million copies worldwide.
On February 8, 2006, Shakira won her second Grammy Award with the win of Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album for Fijación Oral Vol. 1. She received four Latin Grammy Awards in November 2006, winning the awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year for "La Tortura", Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for Fijación Oral Vol. 1.
The lead single for Shakira's next album, Oral Fixation Vol. 2, "Don't Bother", failed to achieve chart success in the U.S. by missing the top 40 on the Hot 100. It did, however, reach the top 20 in most countries worldwide. Shakira's second English studio album and fifth studio album, Oral Fixation Vol. 2 was released on 29 November 2005. The album debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, selling 128,000 copies in its first week. The album has gone on to sell 1.8 million records in the U.S., and over 8 million copies worldwide.
Despite the commercial failure of the album's lead single in the U.S., it went on to spawn two more singles. "Hips Don't Lie", which featured Wyclef Jean, was released as the album's second single in February 2006. The song went on to become the highest selling single of the 21st century and became Shakira's first number one single on the Billboard Hot 100, in addition to reaching number one in over fifty-five countries. Shakira and Wyclef Jean also recorded a Bamboo version of the song to serve as the official theme of the FIFA World Cup 2006. Shakira later released the third and final single from the album, "Illegal" which featured Carlos Santana, in November 2006. She then embarked on the Oral Fixation Tour, in June 2006. The tour consisted of 125 shows between June 2006 and July 2007 and visited all six continents. One show in Mexico City was performed for free, and earned an audience of over 200,000. This concert sets the record for the highest attendance of any concert in Mexican history. In February 2007, Shakira performed for the first time at the 49th Grammy Awards and earned the nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "Hips Don’t Lie" with Wyclef Jean.
In late 2006, Shakira and Alejandro Sanz collaborated for the duet Te lo Agradezco, Pero No, which is featured on Sanz' album El Tren de los Momentos. The song was a top ten hit in Latin America, and topped the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart. Shakira also collaborated with Miguel Bosé on the duet "Si Tú No Vuelves", which was released in Bosé's album Papito. In early 2007, Shakira worked with American R&B singer Beyoncé for the track "Beautiful Liar", which was released as the second single from the deluxe edition of Knowles' album B'Day. In April 2007, the single jumped ninety-one positions, from ninety-four to three, on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, setting the record for the largest upward movement in the history of the chart at the time. It was also number one on the official UK Singles Chart. The song earned them a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Shakira was also featured on Annie Lennox's song "Sing", from the album Songs of Mass Destruction, which also features other twenty-three other female singers. In late 2007, Shakira and Wyclef Jean recorded their second duet "King and Queen". The song was featured on Wyclef Jean’s 2007 album Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant.
Shakira wrote the lyrics and co-wrote the music for two new songs that are featured in the movie Love in the Time of Cholera, based on the acclaimed novel by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez. García Marquez himself asked Shakira to write the songs. The songs that Shakira lent to the soundtrack were "Pienso en ti", a song from Shakira's breakthrough album Pies Descalzos, "Hay Amores" and "Despedida". "Despedida" was nominated for Best Original Song at the 65th Golden Globe Awards.
In early 2008, Forbes named Shakira the fourth top-earning female artist in music industry. Then, in July, Shakira signed a 10-year contract with Live Nation, an international touring giant. The touring group also doubles as a record label which promotes but does not control the music their artists release. Shakira's contract with Epic Records called for three more albums as well – one in English, one in Spanish, and a compilation, but the touring and other rights of the Live Nation deal were confirmed to begin immediately.
In January 2009, Shakira performed at the Lincoln Memorial "We Are One" festivities in honor of the inauguration of President Barack Obama. She performed "Higher Ground" with Stevie Wonder and Usher. In March, Shakira appeared on the album Cantora 1 by the Argentinian folk singer Mercedes Sosa on the song "La Maza", which both singers sang at the ALAS concert in Buenos Aires in May 2008.
"She Wolf", the lead single from Shakira's sixth studio album, premiered on July 13, 2009. Shakira wrote and produced the song with John Hill, and Sam Endicott (lead singer and songwriter of The Bravery). The Spanish version, titled "Loba", premiered on the same day as well. "She Wolf" and "Loba" then became available for digital download the following day. The video for "She Wolf" premiered on MTV on July 30, 2009. The single was successful worldwide, reaching number one in Latin America, number two in Germany, Ireland, Italy, Estonia and Spain, number three in Switzerland and Austria, number four in the UK, France and Greece, number five in Canada and Belgium, number six in Finland, number nine in Japan, and number eleven in the US.
The album, She Wolf was released in October 2009 internationally and on November 23, 2009 in the U.S. The album received mainly positive reviews from critics, but only managed to sell 89,000 copies in its first week in the U.S., earning the number fifteen spot on the Billboard 200. It has gone on to sell only 300,000 records in the U.S., becoming her least successful album there. However, the album has been moderately successful worldwide, having been certified Gold in Russia, Ireland, Switzerland, Poland, France, Argentina, Greece, and Hungary, Platinum in Spain, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East, 2x Platinum in Colombia and Mexico, and 3x Platinum in Taiwan. To date the album has sold 2 million copies worldwide, becoming Shakira's least successful studio album to date in terms of sales.
The album's second single, "Did It Again", was released in October 2009 and was originally due for a U.S. release, though this was later canceled. The single reached the top 40 in most countries worldwide. "Give It Up to Me", which featured Lil Wayne was released as the album's second U.S. single in November 2009 and reached the top 40 in Canada and in the U.S. The album's U.S. release was delayed in order for Shakira to record the song, which was originally due to be featured on its producer Timbaland's album, Timbaland Presents Shock Value II and would have featured Shakira. However, she chose to record it for her album with Timbaland's rap verse being scrapped in favor of a verse from Flo Rida. Plans for the single changed again when Lil Wayne requested to be featured on the song, with this later happening. The album's third and final single, "Gypsy", was released in February 2010 and reached the top 40 in Europe but failed to reach the top 40 in the U.S. or in South America, becoming a mildly successful single. In May, Shakira collaborated with the South African group Freshlyground to create the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)", which is based on a traditional Cameroonian soldiers' Fang song named "Zangalewa" by the group Zangalewa or Golden Sounds. The single later reached the top 20 in Europe, South America and Africa and the top 40 in the U.S. and was performed by Shakira at the World Cup kick-off and closing.
In October 2010, Shakira released her seventh studio album, Sale el Sol. The album debuted at number-seven on Billboard 200 in its first week, and at the top spot on the Billboard Top Latin Albums. The lead single "Loca" was number one in many countries. The album had sold over 1 million copies worldwide in 6 weeks, and over 4 million since its release. In September, Shakira embarked on The Sun Comes Out World Tour, in support of her two most recent albums. The tour visited countries in North America, Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa with 107 shows in total. The tour was met with positive reactions from critics, who praised Shakira's stage presence and energy during her performances. On 9 November 2011, Shakira was honored as Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year and performed a salsa song "En Barranquilla Me Quedo" at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
In November 2011, Shakira said about her eighth album: "I already started to write new material. I've begun to explore in the recording studio whenever I have time in Barcelona and here in Miami. I'm working with different producers and DJs, and I try to feed off from that and find new sources of inspiration and new musical motivation. I'm anxious to return to the studio. My body is asking for it". She already worked with producers, song-writers, artists and DJs such as Dominican DJ Venus X, Benny Blanco, Tïesto, RedOne, Max Martin, Dr. Luke, LMFAO, Akon, Fernando Garibay, Sia, Ester Dean, Skrillex, The Runners, The Dream, Shea Taylor and Billboard. She also collaborated with rapper Pitbull for the song "Get It Started" which is the lead single from Pitbull's upcoming album Global Warming. The single was released on June 28, 2012. She was also signed to Roc Nation under management purposes for her upcoming studio album. The first single from her upcoming album is expected to be "Truth or Dare". The music video was filmed in Lisbon on June 29, 2012. The second single will be a song titled "Beautiful Disaster".
Shakira is substituting for Christina Aguilera as one of the regular coaches for this season of the American reality talent-show The Voice, along with American recording artist Usher, who is substituting for Cee Lo Green.
In late March 2013, Shakira stated that as soon as her obligations as a coach on The Voice end, she will return to Spain in either July or August 2013. Once she's in Spain, she will spend more time with her son Milan and then will get back to the studio to record more songs for her eighth album.
Shakira is known to have adopted many genres, including folk, mainstream pop and rock. In an interview with Rolling Stone she said: "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". Her earlier Spanish albums, including Pies Descalzos and Dónde Están los Ladrones? were a mix of folk music and Latin rock, while her cross-over English album, Laundry Service and her later albums were influenced by pop rock and pop Latino. Her 2009 album, She Wolf is more like electropop and dance music. Her 2010 album, Sale el Sol, is a return to her beginnings containing ballads such as "Lo Que Más" and "Antes de las Seis", rock songs like "Tu Boca" and "Devoción", and Latin dance songs like "Loca". Shakira possesses a contralto vocal range.
Shakira has told many interviewers that she has grown fond of listening to oriental music, which influenced many of her earlier works. For example, Shakira used the Indian theme for her performance of "Hips Don’t Lie" at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards in New York City. She has also been influenced by her Arab 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 major contributors to her musical style.
In childhood, Shakira preferred rock and roll music, listening heavily to her favorite rock bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Nirvana, The Police and U2. She lists John Lennon as her No.1 musical influence. She was also deeply influenced by Prince, The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, The Who, The Pretenders, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Cure, Tom Petty, Depeche Mode, The Clash, Ramones, whose influence can be heard on her many prominent songs. In a recent interview to Elenco magazine, she noted that in her opinion the perfect songs are "Imagine" by John Lennon and "No Woman, No Cry" by Bob Marley.
Shakira made several covers of prominent artists such AC/DC and Aerosmith, using them to sing in her tours, resulting in performances of "Back in Black" and "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" during her Tour of the Mongoose. She also sang the classic Elvis Presley song "Always on My Mind" at the VH1 Divas Live. In her 2010–2011 tour called The Sun Comes Out World Tour, she sings "Nothing Else Matters" by the heavy metal band Metallica in an oriental style. She is also strongly influenced by Andean music and South American folk music, using her native instrumentation for the Latin dance-pop "Whenever, Wherever" and "Despedida". Shakira recently[when?] performed two songs for two separate Haiti benefit events: "I'll Stand By You", by The Pretenders, and "Sólo le pido a Dios" by León Gieco.
In terms of Spanish language rock Shakira is indebited to the Argentine rock power trio Soda Stereo and to the Mexican American band Santana.I have been a Cerati fan all my life when he was part of Soda Stereo and before knowing him I had already gone to three of his concerts. Both Gustavo [Cerati] and Santana have enriched me, they are my small wonders.—Shakira, 2006
According to Sony, Shakira is the highest-selling Colombian artist of all time, having sold between 50 to 60 million albums. According to Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, "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". Her song "La Tortura" broke the record on the Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks chart, appearing at number-one more than any other single with a total of 25 non-consecutive weeks.
According to Yahoo!, her song "Hips Don't Lie" is the best-selling single of the last decade. According to Forbes Magazine, Shakira was the fourth highest-earning woman in music for 2008 behind Madonna, Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion. According to Nokia in 2010, there were more Shakira music downloads in the prior year than for any other Latino artist in the last five years, and She Wolf topped the Top 10 Latino downloads. 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. 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 1 billion views on the website with Waka Waka accounting for over 500 million views. She is the third person ever to have done this, after Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.
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.
Shakira appeared in the Colombian telenovela El Oasis in 1994, playing the character of Luisa Maria. In December 2009, Shakira appeared as herself in the Ugly Betty episode "The Bahamas Triangle". In 2010, Shakira appeared as a fictional version herself in an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place. She was also mentioned several times on the George Lopez TV series. She was invited personally by Gabriel Garcia Marquez to play a role in Love in the Time of Cholera, but declined due to the nudity involved.
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 Lebanese heritage. 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. The intense training has afforded her a fluidity in her body movement most seen in the videos to her hits "Ojos Así", "La Tortura", "Hips Don't Lie", "Whenever, Wherever / Suerte", "Beautiful Liar" and "She Wolf / Loba". She has had several belly dance choreographers, including award-winning Bellydance Superstar Boženka. As the MTV Making the Video for "La Tortura" reveals, she worked with Jamie King on the choreography, but ended up creating most of it herself.
Shakira became the 2010 celebrity spokesperson for the Freixenet traditional Christmas TV commercial. Each year, this Cava company taps into a world-famous celebrity to be the face of its much-awaited holiday TV spot. For her latest venture, Shakira dressed up as a golden sparkling wine bubble, "This year, let's toast so that the sun shines more than ever. The best is yet to come. Merry Christmas." Shakira says in the ad. In a press conference in Barcelona, Shakira presented the Christmas commercial, which will start airing in Spain on December 9. The singer also took the opportunity to announce that she used the $500,000 EUR ($662,085 USD) honorarium given to her by the Spanish bubbly to finance two schools run by her foundation, Pies Descalzos. The partnership between Shakira and Freixenet also includes a Pies Descalzos Foundation promotional video, directed by longtime Shakira collaborator and fellow Catalan Jaume Delaiguana.
Shakira began her own beauty line, "S by Shakira," with parent company Puig, in 2010. The brand has released two perfumes, "S by Shakira" and "S by Shakira Eau Florale," along with lotions and body sprays. She made her first terminal tattoo, which she dedicated to Pique, to promote a healthy way of making tattoos. At a release event for the first fragrance, Shakira stated: "The type of women who feel a connection with this fragrance would be independent and strong, but also a woman with a great capacity to love and a strong sense of who they are. It's for a woman who believes in herself." In 2012, she released a new fragrance "Elixir by Shakira".
Shakira is a native Spanish speaker who speaks fluent English and Portuguese, as well as some Italian, French, and Catalan. Shakira is a Roman Catholic, and met Pope John Paul II in 1998. She is interested in world history, and she frequently studies the history and languages of the countries she visits. After her Oral Fixation tour ended in the summer of 2007, Shakira attended a summer school class in Los Angeles at UCLA Extensions, where she took courses in History of Western Civilization. She used her middle and last names, Isabel Mebarak, and told the professor she was visiting from Colombia so as to avoid being recognized as a celebrity. Shakira is a cousin of model and 2005–2006 Miss Colombia, Valerie Domínguez. In an interview on The Paul O'Grady Show, she referred to herself as a mutt due to her diverse ancestry, which she noted as a theme behind her song "Gypsy".
Shakira began dating Argentinian 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." On January 10, 2011, Shakira announced on her website that after 11 years together, she and de la Rúa had separated in August 2010 after making "a mutual decision to take time apart from our romantic relationship." She wrote that the couple "view this period of separation as temporary and as a time of individual growth as we continue to be partners in our business and professional lives", with de la Rúa overseeing Shakira's "business and career interests as he has always done." In September 2012, it was reported that de la Rúa planned to sue Shakira for $250 million, seeking monetary compensation for his work as her business manager as well as ownership of properties jointly held by the former couple. de la Rúa eventually filed a lawsuit in California in April 2013, asking for $100 million he believes he is owed after Shakira suddenly terminated her business partnership with him in October 2011, ten months after they announced the end of their romantic relationship.
Shakira is currently in a relationship with the Spanish football player Gerard Piqué, centre back for FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team. They met in spring 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 officially confirmed their relationship on March 29, 2011 via Twitter and Facebook, posting a picture of the two with a caption reading, "I present to you my sunshine." It was the first time she had ever spoken of the relationship after several months of media speculation. In September 2012, Shakira confirmed that she and Piqué were expecting their first child together. Shakira gave birth to the couple's son, Milan Piqué Mebarak, on January 22, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain, where the family resides.
In 1997, Shakira founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation. It is 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 is taken from Shakira's third studio album called Pies Descalzos, released in 1995. During her career, Shakira has performed at a large number of benefit concerts. In 2002 she sang at a Party in the Park concert fundraising for the Prince's Trust. That same year she performed at Divas Live which supports VH1's Save the Music Foundation. On July 2, 2005, she performed "Whenever, Wherever" and "La Tortura" on the Live 8 benefit concert at the Palace of Versailles, near Paris. On July 7, 2007, the singer opened the German leg of Live Earth in Hamburg. Her set included "Don't Bother", "Inevitable", "Día Especial" (with Gustavo Cerati) and "Hips Don't Lie". Shakira also performed at the "Clinton Global Initiative", where she performed her hits "Underneath Your Clothes", "Inevitable" and "Hips Don't Lie". On May 17, 2008, Shakira and twenty other Latin American and Spanish artists performed in Buenos Aires and Mexico City to raise money for Shakira's Latin America in Solidarity Action "America Latina en Accion Solidaria" (ALAS Foundation) charity. This concert attracted 150,000 people in Buenos Aires. Although tickets were free, the demand exceeded the supply; some fans who were fortunate enough to secure free tickets resold them.
She has agitated against the implementation of the Arizona statute SB1070 against illegal immigration, saying that it goes against civil rights. Shakira is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and is one of their global representatives. "Shakira, like all our Goodwill Ambassadors, was chosen based on her compassion, her involvement in global issues, her deep commitment to helping children, and her appeal to young people around the world. We're very pleased to have Shakira join the UNICEF family. I know she'll help bring UNICEF's mission to the audience who will have the most impact on our future – young people themselves", said UNICEF's Executive Director Carol Bellamy.
On April 3, 2006, Shakira was honored at a UN ceremony for creating the Pies Descalzos Foundation. At the event, the singer said, "Let's not forget that at the end of this day when we all go home, 960 children will have died in Latin America." On September 28, 2007, at the Clinton Global Initiative, it was revealed that Shakira received a commitment of $40 million from the Spanish government to help the victims of natural disasters. An additional $5 million was to be donated to four Latin American countries, to be spent on education and health. As part of the May 2007 concerts, her ALAS Foundation was able to solicit commitments of US$ 200 million from philanthropists Carlos Slim, Mexico’s richest man, and Howard Buffett, son of U.S. investment guru Warren Buffett, the singer announced on April 15, 2008. In December 2007, Shakira visited Bangladesh to appeal for the victims of Cyclone Sidr. She spent 3 days with the victims and visited children affected by the disaster in schools built by UNICEF and participated in the distribution of family kits and warm clothes. She said that little was left of the school she visited in the village of Mirzapur, but it still provided an "oasis" for the children. "I am more convinced than ever that education is the key to so many of the difficulties that our children face in countries like mine or in developing countries like this one. It's the key to a better and safer world," she said.
Shakira served as the Honorary Chairperson for "Action Week" 2008 (April 21–27). The event is sponsored by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE), to generate awareness about the Education for All Act. She spoke to the U.S. Congress, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and World Bank President Robert Zoellick to promote a move towards Global Education. Angelina Jolie served as last year's chair. People En Español announced in their December 2008/January 2009 issue that Shakira is the "Humanitarian of the Year" as part of their "Las Estrellas del Año" (Stars of the Year) awards. Shakira was also ranked at number 48 on the list of Top 50 Most Charitable Celebrities by OK! magazine. It reported that she donates approximately $55,000 to charity yearly. On her 32nd birthday, Shakira opened a new $6-Million school in her hometown Barranquilla, which was sponsored by herself and her Pies Descalzos Foundation.
On December 7, 2009, Shakira was honored as a guest at the University of Oxford to give a speech about her work with children and education. She was chosen by the Oxford Union and joined the ranks of Albert Einstein, several US Presidents, Mother Teresa, and the Dalai Lama XIV, as a chosen speaker. During the speech, Shakira said, "That is how I want the youth of 2060 to see us: That our mission for global peace consisted of sending 30,000 educators to Afghanistan, not 30,000 soldiers. That in 2010, world education became more important than world domination."
In March 2010, she was awarded a medal by the UN International Labor Organization in recognition of being, as UN Labor 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.
On October 5, 2011, US President Barack Obama announced that Shakira was appointed as a member of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
Shakira was honored at the Latin Grammys as the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year on November 9, 2011, for her philanthropy and contributions to Latin Music.
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