“My brain, I believe, is the most beautiful part of my body.”
“The leaders are lacking love, and love is lacking leaders.”
Who Is Shakira?
February 2, 1977 (age 43)
PLACE OF BIRTH
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll
Early Life and Career
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born on February 2, 1977, in Barranquilla, Colombia. With a Lebanese father and Colombian mother, Shakira honors both 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 13.
“Sometimes I look at my reflection and I see garbage and I guess I was worried about the size of my breasts for a long time but now I think I have finally reached an age where I have accepted myself for who I am.”
Breakthrough: 'Pies Descalzos'
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 3 million copies. The album featured her trademark sound, a blend of Latin, rock and Arabic musical styles.
Her follow-up record, Dónde Están Los Ladrones? (1998), which translates as "Where are the thieves?", reached the top of Billboard's Latin charts. Not long after, Shakira won her first Grammy Award (best Latin pop album) for Shakira: MTV Unplugged (2000).
With 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.
HIPS DO NOT LIE, DON'T THEY!?
“The pop life is boring when you have nothing to say.”
International Stardom: 'Laundry Service'
While hugely popular throughout much of the rest of the world, Shakira had not yet achieved a major record on the U.S. pop charts.
In 2001, Shakira released her first English-language album, Laundry Service, which quickly brought her the success in the United States she had been waiting for.
The album reached No. 3 on the charts, selling more than 200,000 copies in its first week of release. Laundry Service's big hits included "Whenever, Wherever" and "Underneath Your Clothes."
In an attempt to increase her American fan base, in 1997, at the age of 20, the singer moved with her family to Miami, Florida, and taught herself to write songs in English. There, she enlisted Emilio Estefan, of Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine fame, to act as her manager and producer.
“Of course I am trying to make my accent not bother anybody but I am not going to drive myself crazy trying to pretend I am American girl when I am from Colombia.”
“Writing songs has a therapeutic effect, and it either kills off love or wins the heart of the lover.” —Shakira
Touring extensively, Shakira went on to release two concert albums: 2007's Live and 2008's Oral Fixation Tour.
In July 2009, she put out a new single, "She Wolf," from her studio album of the same name. The album hit No. 15 on the Billboard charts in 2009, and went platinum in 2010.
Around the same time, her hit "Waka Waka" from 2010's Sale el Solbecame the theme song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Shortly thereafter, the now-global superstar headed on tour to promote her album. By January 2016, the video for "Waka Waka" had been viewed more than a billion times.
By 2012, Shakira's U.S. album sales had reached nearly 10 million and her worldwide album sales had reached more than 70 million, making her the highest-selling Colombian artist of all time, and the second most successful female Latin singer after Gloria Estefan.
In late 2012, Shakira was confirmed as a judge/coach on NBC's popular singing-competition show The Voice.
Along with R&B singer-songwriter Usher, Shakira made her Voice debut on the show's season 4 premiere, which aired on March 25, 2013.
Replacing ChristinaAguilara and CeeLo Green, Shakira and Usher joined returning judges/coaches Adam Levine and Blate Shelton. "Usher and Shakira are coming into it as a big frickin' institution," Levine said in late 2012, according to The Huffington Post. "So it's different, but it still feels good, because they're legitimate artists."
Super Bowl Halftime Show
In September 2019, it was announced that Shakira would be joining forces with Jennifer Lopez for the Super Bowl 2020 halftime show in Miami, Florida. "I feel incredibly honored and humbled to be, in a way, next to J.Lo, representing the Latino community that is such an important force in the United States," Shakira said.
Taking the stage first for the performance, Shakira showcased her hip-shaking moves while speeding through a medley of her hits, finding the time to squeeze in a few guitar licks, handle the drums and send social media users into a tizzy with her tongue-wagging ululation.
Outside of her busy career, Shakira created the Pies Descalzos Foundation to help children in her native Colombia receive a quality education. She is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and was honored by the United Nations' International Labor Organization for her philanthrophic efforts in 2010.
Shakira is in a relationship with Spanish soccer player Gerard Piqué. The couple welcomed their first child together on January 22, 2013. They named their son Milan, which means "dear, loving and gracious" in Slavic; "eager and laborious" in Ancient Roman; and "unification" in Sanskrit, according to a statement on Shakira's Website.
In August 2014, the couple announced she was pregnant again. Their second son, Sasha, was born on January 29, 2015.
Shakira previously dated Antonio de la Rua, son of former Argentine President Fernando de la Rua. In April 2013, de la Rua made headlines when he sued the Latin songstress for $250 million, charging that he had helped create some of his ex's hit songs as well as the "Shakira brand."
After dealing with that rollercoaster of a breakup, Shakira has been vocal about how her current boyfriend Gerard Piqué helped her see the light again.
She told Elle in 2013, "I even had lost my faith for a while. I was becoming as agnostic... I was not feeling the love like it was supposed to be, I started to think that there was no God. And suddenly I meet Gerard and the sun comes out." That's quite the compliment, huh?