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in full Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll

Singer, songwriter. Born Shakira Isabel Mebarak

Ripoll on February 2, 1977, in Barranquilla,
Colombia. With a Lebanese father and Colombian
mother, Shakira honors her Latino and Arabic
heritage in her music. She wrote her first song at
the age of 8 and signed her first record deal at

After her first two albums flopped, Shakira took

the reins of her third album, becoming involved in
every aspect of its production. Released in 1996, Pies Descalzos, meaning
"bare feet," sold more than three million copies. The album featured her
trademark sound, a blending of Latin, rock, and Arabic musical styles. It sold
more than three million copies and the follow-up record, Dónde Están Los
Ladrones? (1998), which translates as "Where are the thieves?," reached the
top of Billboard's Latin charts. Based on the success of her albums, Shakira
became a music superstar in the Spanish-language markets, known for her
strong vocals and incredible hip-shaking belly dance moves.

While hugely popular in much of the rest of the world, Shakira had not yet
achieved a major record on the U.S. pop charts. She moved to Miami with
her family to further her goal and taught herself to write songs in English.
She enlisted Emilio Estefan, of Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine
fame, to act as her manager and producer. Her first English-language album,
Laundry Service (2001), provided Shakira with the success in the United
States that she longed for — the album was number three on the charts,
selling more than 200,000 copies in the first week. The songs "Whenever,
Wherever" and "Underneath Your Clothes" were both big hits.

Shakira returned to the top 10 of the albums chart in 2005 twice. She first
released the Spanish-language Fijación Oral, Vol. 1 in June, which was
followed in November by English-language Oral Fixation, Vol. 2. She received
the Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album for Fijación Oral,
Vol. 1, her second time winning such an honor. Previously, she had won a
Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album for 2000's Shakira: MTV Unplugged.

Touring extensively, Shakira released two concert albums: 2007's Live and
2008's Oral Fixation Tour. She has also found time to record. In July 2009,
Shakira released the new single, "She Wolf," from her upcoming new studio

Besides her busy career, Shakira created the Pies Descalzos Foundation to
help children in her native Colombia in 1997.

Fun Facts about Shakira

• Her name is Arabic for "woman full of grace".

• Sony/Colombia signed her to a record deal at age 13, recorded
• Released her 2nd album "Peligro" at age 15.
• "Donde Estan Los Ladrones" reached Platinum in the following:
• 8x U.S. - 5x Argentina - 4x Central America - 3x Columbia/Chile - 2x
Mexico & 1x Spain.
• Had an acting gig on the novela El Oasis, played Luisa Mariacute.
• The song "Ojos asi" has a verse in Arabic.
• Shakira Doesn't eat candy
• Shakira doesn't drink alcohol or drink coffee
• Shakira doesn't smoke
• Shakira's favorite thing to paint is "fried eggs".
• Shakira's father is originally from Lebanon
• Has an IQ of 140!
• Fluent in Portuguese, Italian, and English, in addition to Spanish and
• Hates to wear jewelry.
• (May 2002) Was attacked by a crazed man in Australia with a bag of
cement. She was unharmed when he threw the bag at her.
• Shakira's Lebanese grandmother taught her the art of Arabian Belly
Dancing so she can stay true to her middle eastern roots.

Quotes by Shakira

“I am a person who has many dreams. But as soon as I accomplish one I

move on to the next. That's my fatal, absurd nature. Human beings are
slaves to our dreams and I am, too.”

“I thank God.. that I'm a product of my parents. That they infected me with
their intelligence and energy for life, with their thirst for knowledge and their
love. I'm grateful that I know where I come from.”

“The calling I have is the same reason why a dog barks. I always knew I
would be a big performer and a public figure.”