Biographic by Steve McGarry for March 24, 2013
Biographic Steve McGarry Shakira Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born on February 2, 1977, in Barranquilla, Colombia, to a Colombian mother and an American father of Lebanese descent. She was named after her grandmother - Shakira is an Arabid word that means "Grateful." By the time she reached her teens, Shakira was already a seasoned writer and performer. At 14, she released her debut album, 1991's "Magia," which sold poorly. She followed up two years later with "Peligro," which performed a little better, before taking a break to concentrate on graduating from high school. Her third album, 1996's "Pies Descalzos," produced a string of hit singles and sold more than 4 million copies. It also spawned a million-selling album of remixes. Her next album, 1998's "Donde Estan Los Ladrones?" was produced by Emilio Estefan. It sold 7 million copies and earned Shakira new fans all over the world. Now her sights were set on conquering the English-language market... If there were any concerns about her ability to write in English, they were quickly dispelled by the phenomenal success of 2001's "Laundry Service" album, with hits such as "Whenever, Wherever" and "Underneath Your Clothes." The album sold 15 million copies worldwide. Following a world tour and a slew of awards, Shakira released her second English album "Oral Fixation Vol. 2" in late 2005. The single "Hips Don't Lie" (featuring Wyclef Jean) soared to the top of both the U.S. billboard hot 100 and U.K. singles charts. The highest-selling Colombian artist in history, she has continued to enjoy hits, thanks to the likes of "She Wolf" and "Loca." Away from music, she has earned widespread acclaim for her philanthropy and charitable works. Earlier this year, Shakira and her partner, Spanish soccer star Gerard Pique, welcomed the birth of their first child. This spring, she will be a regular on U.S. TV screens as one of the judges on the hit talent show "The Voice."