Shakira

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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 inher music. She wrote her first song at the age of 8 and signed her first record deal at 13.

After her first two albums flopped, Shakira took the reins of her third album, becoming involved in everyaspect 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 Arabicmusical styles. 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, Shakirahad 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 GloriaEstefan 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 shelonged for—the album was No. 3 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 returnedto 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. Shereceived 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...
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