Genre: Latin Pop, World, Pop, Dance
Hometown: Barranquilla, Colombia
Albums: Pies Descalzos (1996); 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)
Awards: 7 Latin Grammy Awards, 2 Grammy Awards
Hits: "Whenever, Wherever," "Underneath Your Clothes," "Objection (Tango)," "Hips Don't Lie," "She Wolf"
Other: The 3rd person to accumulated over 1 billion views on YouTube.
Although she might not have reached the peak of her career until the millennium, Shakira has been a well-known icon in the Latin music scene since the early 90s. Hailing from Columbia, she is perhaps best known for her vocal abilities and her compositions of pop music, as well as her own original twist on the concept of belly dancing with a little bit of Middle Eastern influence. Steeping her music in various international themes, Shakira fluently speaks English, Portuguese, Italian, French and Arabic.
Shakira's talents began to arise at an early age, as she wrote her first poem when she was merely four years old. As she got older and continued writing poetry, the verses began to evolve into songs. The first time her Lebanese father took her to a Middle Eastern restaurant, she immediately began dancing on the table. This was the moment when she knew that she was destined for greater things.
After gaining some local recognition, a Colombian Sony executive noticed Shakira and asked her to audition in Bogotá. She actually impressed them enough to be signed for three albums in 1990. At this time, though she was not well recognized around the globe, she gained a lot of esteem for having so many accomplishments at such a young age. Although her first two albums were commercial flops, she earned enough respect to obtain her own resources. After the release of her third album, she decided to produce her own brand of music, which led to the 1995 release of the album that made her famous in Spain and Latin America.
In 2001, Shakira released her first English single "Whenever, Wherever", which became the best-selling single of the year. From then on, she continued to produce both English and Spanish albums. Throughout her glorious career, she has won two Grammy Awards, seven Latin Grammy Awards and twelve Billboard Latin Music Awards. She is also known as the second highest-selling Colombian artist ever, beaten only by Gloria Estefan.
Many people simply may not realize the extent of Shakira's vibrant personality. In 1995, she founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation, which is a Colombian charity that funds special schools for poor children. Putting on a number of benefit concerts, this talented artist knows exactly how to spread the wealth and do right by her skills.
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