Shakira Biography

Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripolli, born in Barranquilla, Colombia on February 2, 1977, known simply as Shakira (meaning "Woman of Grace" in Arabic), is a singer and songwriter. Shakira was born in Colombia, to an American father of Christian Lebanese descent and a Colombian mother.

She moved to Bogot� at the age of thirteen, and released her first album, Magia (Magic) a year later on the Sony label. The album achieved moderate success in her native country. When her next release Peligro (Danger) did not fare better than its predecessor, Shakira turned to acting and played a role in a Colombian telenovela ("El Oasis"), but failed as an actress.

She returned to the music business in 1995 with the album Pies Descalzos (Barefeet), which included this song and established her commercial success. The hit Estoy Aqu� became known internationally. Following this, Shakira met Emilio Estefan, Jr., who would become the executive producer of her next album. �D�nde Est�n Los Ladrones? (Where are the thieves?) was a huge production on which over US$3 million were spent.

It was a huge success which gained wide critical acclaim and which many consider to be her best album ever. The most notable singles from the album were "Inevitable" and the worldwide mega-hit, "Ojos As�".

Shakira then focused on the English-speaking market, improving her English enough to begin writing Laundry Service. With a more rock-edged feel, the album was aimed at the international English-speaking market, although it contained some Spanish songs.

Laundry Service was a big success, best known for the infectious single "Whenever, Wherever" (English version of "Suerte"), and for being one of the top albums of 2002. Shakira is well known for intense, athletic live performances involving belly dancing, Arabic rhythms and other sensual movements. The single "Whenever, Wherever" for example, includes the now-famous lyric, "Lucky that my breasts are small and humble so you don't confuse them with mountains."

In 2002, Shakira also released the greatest hits volume Grandes �xitos. Shakira: Live & Off the Record, a DVD and a 10-song CD from her 2002-03 world tour (the "Tour of the Mongoose"), was released March 30 2004.



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