Shakira was born on February 2, 1977 in Barranquilla, Colombia. She is the only child of Nidia Ripoll and William Mebarak Chadid. Her paternal grandparents emigrated from Lebanon to New York City, where her father was born. From her mother, Nidia Ripoll, she has Spanish (Catalan and Castilian) and Italian descent. She has eight older half-siblings from her father's previous marriage. Shakira spent much of her youth in Barranquilla, a city located on the northern Caribbean coast of Colombia. Shakira wrote her first poem, titled "La Rosa De Cristal" ("The Crystal Rose") when she was only four years old. As she was growing up, she was fascinated watching her father writing stories on a typewriter, and asked for one as a Christmas gift. She got a typewriter at the age of seven and continued writing poetry since then. These poems eventually evolved into songs. When Shakira was two years old, an older half-brother was killed in a motorcycle accident and at the age of eight, Shakira wrote her first song, titled "Tus gafas oscuras" ("Your dark glasses"), which was inspired by her father, who for years wore dark glasses to hide his grief
Main articles: Magia and Peligro
Shakira's debut album, Magia, was recorded with Sony Music Colombia in 1990 when she was only 13 years old. The songs are a collection made by her since she was eight, mixed pop-rock ballads and disco uptempo songs with electronic accompaniment, however it was hampered by a lack of recording and production cohesion. The album was released in June 1991 and featured "Magia" and three other singles. Though it fared well on Colombian radio and gave the young Shakira much exposure, the album did not fare well commercially as only 1,200 copies were sold worldwide.
1995–2000: Latin breakthrough
Main articles: Pies Descalzos, Dnde Estn los Ladrones? and MTV Unplugged
Shakira during her Tour Anfibio
Shakira returned to recording music under Sony Music along with Columbia in 1995 with Luis F. Ochoa, using musical influences from a number of countries and an Alanis Morissette-oriented persona which affected two of her next albums
2001–04: English transition with Laundry Service
Main articles: Laundry Service and The Mongoose Tour
Upon the success of Dnde Estn los Ladrones? and MTV Unplugged, Shakira began working on an English crossover album. She worked for over a year on new material for the album. "Whenever, Wherever" ("Suerte" in Spanish countries) was released as the first and lead single from her first English album and fifth studio album throughout the period of August 2001 and February 2002. The song took heavy influence from Andean music, including the charango and panpipes in its instrumentation. It became an international success by reaching number one in most countries. It was also her first success in the U.S., by reaching number six on the Hot 100. In 2003, Shakira wrote a song called "Come Down Love" with Tim Mitchell for the Hollywood movie The Italian Job starring South African actress Charlize Theron and Mark Wahlberg, but the song was not included on the soundtrack of the movie.
2005–07: Fijacin Oral, Vol. 1 and Oral Fixation, Vol. 2
Shakira's sixth studio album, Fijacin Oral, Vol. 1, was released in June 2005. The lead single from the album, "La Tortura" reached the top 40 of on the Hot 100. The song featured the Spanish balladeer Alejandro Sanz. Shakira became the first artist to perform a Spanish language song at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2005. Contrary to low expectations, the album was extremely well received.
2013–present: Shakira and The Voice
In November 2011 Shakira said about her tenth album: "I already started to write new material. I've begun to explore in the recording studio whenever I have time in Barcelona and here in Miami. I'm working with different producers and DJs, and I try to feed off from that and find new sources of inspiration and new musical motivation. I'm anxious to return to the studio. My body is asking for it". She worked with producers such as Benny Blanco, Testo, RedOne, Max Martin, Dr. Luke, LMFAO, Akon, Fernando Garibay, Sia, Ester Dean, Skrillex, The Runners, Terius "The-Dream" Nash, Tricky Stewart, Shea Taylor and Billboard.Originally, the first single from her new album was expected to be a song named "Truth or Dare". The music video was filmed in Lisbon on June 29, 2012.But due to her unexpected pregnancy, plans to release the single and video were postponed.
Shakira is influenced by Arabic music and is one of the first singers to combine Arabic music with Rock and Roll.
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Shakira is known to have adopted many genres, including folk, mainstream pop and rock. In an interview with Rolling Stone she said: "My music, I think, is a fusion of many different elements. And I'm always experimenting. So I try not to limit myself, or put myself in a category, or... be the architect of my own jail".Her earlier Spanish albums, including Pies Descalzos and Dnde Estn los Ladrones? were a mix of folk music and Latin rock. Her cross-over English album, Laundry Service and later later albums were influenced by pop rock and pop Latino
Shakira is a native Spanish speaker who speaks fluent English and Portuguese, as well as some Italian, French, Catalan and Arabic.Shakira is a Roman Catholic,and met Pope John Paul II in 1998. She is interested in world history, and she frequently studies the history and languages of the countries she visits. After her Oral Fixation tour ended in the summer of 2007, Shakira attended a summer school class in Los Angeles at UCLA Extensions, where she took courses in History of Western Civilization. She used her middle names, Isabel Mebarak, and told the professor she was visiting from Colombia so as to avoid being recognized as a celebrity.Shakira is also reputed to have an IQ of 140.Shakira is a cousin of model, and 2005–2006 Miss Colombia, Valerie Domnguez. In an interview on The Paul O'Grady Show, she referred to herself as a mutt due to her diverse ancestry, which she noted as a theme behind her song "Gypsy"