February 2, 1977 - Baranquilla, Colombia.
Quote From Shakira:
"Writing songs has a therapeutic effect, and it either kills off love or wins the heart of the lover."
Shakira ("Woman of grace" in Arabic) Mebarak was born to an American father of Lebanese descent and a Colombian mother of Spanish and Italian descent. As a child she was influenced by music from the cultures of her parents as well as English-language rock music. She has cited bands such as Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, and Nirvana as major influences. Shakira wrote her first song at age 8 and recorded her first album at age 13 after turning away from a modelling career.
Shakira's first album, titled Magia and released in 1991, was composed of songs she had written in the previous few years. It didn't sell well internationally but gained attention at home in Colombia. After her next album, Peligro, Shakira briefly tried an acting career. She returned to music in 1995 exerting stronger control over her own recordings and incorporating more rock and Arabic influences. The fruit of her efforts was the album Pies Descalzos.
Trivia Fact About Shakira:
Shakira was a cast member of the Colombian soap opera El Oasis in 1994.
The sales of Shakira's music continued to be slow until the single "Estoy Aqui" from Pies Descalzos began to take off and climb the singles charts in Spanish speaking countries around the world. It was followed by several more singles from the album. With the release of the album Donde Estan los Ladrones? in 1998, Shakira became an even bigger star and she began to crack the American music market. Her album spent 11 weeks at the top of the Billboard Latin album chart.
Worldwide Pop-Rock Star:
With a taste of success in the U.S., Shakira set her sights firmly on the American market. She performed on MTV's Unplugged television series and her performance was released as an album in 2000. She concentrated on learning English well enough to write her own lyrics in English, and in 2001 she recorded the mostly English album Laundry Service. The album's first single "Whenever, Wherever" turned into a smash hit and landed in the top 10 of the pop singles chart. Laundry Service debuted at #3 on the album chart and eventually sold 13 million copies worldwide.
Shakira spent the next 2 years touring in support of Laundry Service. She released a live album and a Spanish language compilation album, but no new studio recordings appeared until 2005. Upon finally returning to writing songs, Shakira soon found herself with 60 songs, some in Spanish and some in English. She decided to put together one album in Spanish and another in English. The Spanish language album Fijacion Oral, vol. 1 appeared in June 2005. It reached #4 on the album chart and sold the most copies in one week ever by a Spanish language album in the U.S. The album included the hit single "La Tortura" featuring contributions from Alejandro Sanz. The followup English language album Oral Fixation, vol. 2 was released in November 2005.
"Hips Don't Lie," a single recorded with Wyclef Jean of the Fugees, became a worldwide smash hit single in the spring of 2006. It hit #1 in countries around the world including the US and UK. Shakira returned with her first new studio material in three years, the single "She Wolf," in July 2009. Her third English language studio album, also titled She Wolf, is due in stores in October.