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Shakira Biography


Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll's musical journey began just a few short years after her birth on February 2, 1977, in Barranquilla, Atlantico, Colombia. Growing up, Shakira enjoyed watching her father create poetry on the family typewriter, and at age 4, she wrote her first one, "La Rosa de Cristal." Following the sudden death of her brother, Shakira penned her first song at age 8 and eventually turned to performing. She remembers her first performance as an impromptu dance on a restaurant table as a child, much to the delight of her family and fellow patrons.

Shakira began singing for her classmates at school, but her unique voice kept her out of the school choir. Upon entering her teen years, she was introduced to Monica Ariza, a producer who set up an audition with Sony. The studio wasn't impressed, but a second audition won them over and Shakira signed a three-album contract. Unfortunately, her first two albums, 1991's Magia and 1993's Peligro, were met with mixed reviews and disappointing results, so Shakira focused on high school instead.

shakira releases laundry service and oral fixation
Shakira's contribution to the Nuestro Rock album gave her a big hit in Colombia and a third album followed in 1995. The result was Pies Descalzos, which sold five million copies and paved the way for 1998's ¿Dónde Están Los Ladrones?, netting her worldwide exposure and offering eight singles including "No Creo" and "Inevitable." In 2000, a Grammy-winning MTV Unplugged album followed, as did an MTV Video Music Award.

Shakira had yet to record an English-language album, so she made this her next goal, with the help of Gloria Estefan. To challenge herself, Shakira insisted on writing her first English album from scratch without translating her existing material. The subsequent release was Laundry Service, led by the single "Objection," and the album sold 13 million copies, including a third of them in North America. More fame and fortune followed with the release of Oral Fixation, a two-volume set with one album of Spanish and the other in English. Collectively, they earned her another Grammy and three Latin Grammys.

shakira is named no. 38 in 2008 top 99
In 2006, Shakira enjoyed tremendous success with "Hips Don't Lie," a single from Oral Fixation Vol. 2 featuring Wyclef Jean. The song was one of the most successful dance releases in years, and it proved to be Shakira's first chart-topper in the U.S. and the UK, leading to a worldwide tour that lasted over a year and covered four continents. With her fans anxious for more, Shakira also released an accompanying tour DVD.

Since then, Shakira has been busy with more collaborations. Most notably, she has worked with Carlos Santana on "Illegal," shared the stage with Lil Wayne and sung with Beyonce for the Top 5 single "Beautiful Liar." In 2007, Shakira also penned two songs for the soundtrack to Love in the Time of Cholera, earning a Golden Globe nomination for one of them, "Despedida." From there she went on to our Top 99 list of 2008, of course. Shakira's a sassy songbird with endless potential and, as the song says, her hips don't lie.

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