"Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll" (born: February 2, 1977) known simply as "Shakira", ( in English ?) is a Colombian singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, dancer and philanthropist who has been a major figure in the pop music scene of Latin America since the mid-1990s. She is a native Spanish speaker and also speaks fluent English, Portuguese, Italian, and some Arabic. In 2001, she broke through onto the English-speaking world with the release of "Laundry Service", which sold over thirteen million copies worldwide. Shakira is the highest-selling Colombian artist of all time, having sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, according to BMI. She has also won numerous awards worldwide, including two Grammy Awards, eight Latin Grammy Awards, fifteen Billboard Music Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, a People's Choice Award and receiving a Golden Globe nomination.
She is also the only artist from South America to reach the number-one spot on the "Billboard" Hot 100, the Australian "ARIA" chart, the "United World Chart" and the "UK Singles Chart".
According to the "United World Chart", Shakira is as of 2008 the sixth most successful artist so far for the last decade, in terms of single sales. She is also the first, and currently only, artist to have two songs in the top ten of the most successful singles since 1999. "Los Angeles Times" declared Shakira "the most completely adapted crossover performer in contemporary pop music".
Shakira will be awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, making her the first Colombian to receive this honor.
She is the only child of Nidya del Carmen Ripoll Torrado, a Colombian of Spanish and Italian ancestry, and William Mebarak Chadid who is of Lebanese descent. She has 8 older half siblings from her father's previous marriage, but she often omits the half in interviews because they are so close to her.
Shakira means "thankful" (??????) in Arabic. It is the feminine form of the name Shakir. Her second name, Isabel, is also that of her paternal grandmother, meaning "my god is my oath", "my god's house" or "my god is abundance". Her family name Ripoll is Catalan. She spent much of her youth in Barranquilla, a city located in northern Colombia. Shakira is widely noted for her keen intellect and is reported to have an IQ of 140. and made her third studio album, "Pies Descalzos", which brought her great fame in Latin America. "Pies Descalzos" sold over five million copies,
===2008-present: Next studio album ===
During an online chat with her fans in El Heraldo, she revealed that she was going to start writing her New Album in February 2008. No official release date has been announced. Furthermore, at the CD release party for Shakira's singer-songwriter cousin Isa Mebarak in Colombia, Shakira's father William Mebarak stated that Shakira is currently at work beginning to write and produce new songs for her upcoming album. This is being done in "her own studio," (which many fans thought to mean the studio at her home in the Bahamas. Shakira recorded 2005's "Fijación Oral Vol. 1" and "Oral Fixation Vol. 2" there, as well).
However, according to an exclusive interview in "El País," an Uruguayan newspaper, Shakira has begun working on her forthcoming album in Uruguay, where she has a built-in studio on her estate. She worked there in early February for twenty days.
Early in the morning on April 3, Shakira arrived at Miami International Airport and told a waiting reporter who asked about the album that she was "still cooking" and would be heading to her studio in the Bahamas later that week. She also said she was preparing a trip to China, although whether she has gone yet and if this was for album-related or for other reasons is unknown.
On April 27, 2008, Shakira arrived in her hometown of Barranquilla, Colombia to help oversee the plans for the new, massive school her foundation is building there. She told reporters in an interview with RCN news that because of her visits to Washington D.C. before the U.S. Congress, she has been very busy and has only worked on the new album for "exactly four days" in the month of April. She confirmed the album should be out in the upcoming year (2009).
Speaking to "El Tiempo" newspaper in Madrid in the days prior to her top-bill performance at Rock In Rio 2008, Shakira said that the day after her performance (July 5) she would fly to London to meet with several producers with whom she is working on her new album.
After two weeks in London, Shakira flew to Colombia for a peace concert in Leticia (at the three way border of Colombia, Peru and Brazil) with Carlos Vives. Afterward, it was reported by Noticias Caracol in Colombia that Shakira returned to her home studio in the Bahamas and continued recording "a little something" with members of Vives' band.
In an exclusive interview with Elenco Magazine in Colombia, Shakira confirmed that she has already written nearly 30 songs for the new album but still continues writing, although it is still too early to reveal too much. It is known that Swedish-Moroccan producer RedOne is working on Shakira's upcoming album. He previously worked with Shakira on the "Bamboo Mix" of her hit "Hips Don't Lie" which she performed at the World Cup in 2006.
On her official forum , the Admin/moderator posted some new info on Shakira's new album. He said that Shakira is still doing some experimental phases of the album in various parts of the world (Miami, Florida with Wyclef Jean (Producer), Vancouver, Canada (with Luis F. Ochoa), Los Angeles, California (with Red One), London, Uruguay and Bahamas). Her new album is scheduled to be released in Spring, 2009.
===Collaborations and other work===
In late 2006, Shakira and Alejandro Sanz worked together again in the duet "Te lo Agradezco, Pero No", which is featured on Sanz' album "El Tren de los Momentos". The song was a top ten hit in Latin America, and topped "Billboard" Hot Latin Tracks chart.
Shakira worked with Miguel Bosé in the duet "Si Tu No Vuelves", which was released in Bosé's album Papito, which celebrates his 30-year career.
In early 2007, Shakira worked with American R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles in the track "Beautiful Liar", which was released as the second single from the deluxe edition of Knowles' "B'Day". In the week of April 7, 2007, the song jumped 91 positions, from 94 to 3, on the "Billboard" Hot 100 chart, setting the record for the largest upward movement in the history of the chart. It was also No. 1 on the official UK Singles Chart. The song earned them a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. The song was one of Knowles' most successful worldwide.The song was particularly popular in Spanish-speaking countries such as Argentina and Spain, where it landed at #1.
According to "Billboard", Shakira, along with Lil Wayne would collaborate on a new track for Carlos Santana's greatest hits CD titled "Ultimate Santana". However, this collaboration has been cancelled, and Shakira and Lil' Wayne have been replaced by Jennifer Lopez and Baby Bash.
Shakira is featured on Annie Lennox's record "Sing", from the album "Songs of Mass Destruction", which also features other twenty-three female singers such as Madonna, KT Tunstall, Faith Hill, Dido, Celine Dion, Melissa Etheridge, Joss Stone, Fergie, Anastacia and Pink. As the MTV "Making the Video" for "La Tortura" reveals, she worked with Jamie King
on the choreography, but ended up creating most of it herself.
==Philanthropy and humanitarian work==
In 1997, Shakira founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation. It is a Colombian charity with special schools for poor children all around Colombia. It was funded by Shakira and other international groups and individuals. The name of the foundation is taken from Shakira's third studio album called "Pies Descalzos", released in 1995.
During her career, Shakira has performed at a large number of benefit concerts. In 2002 she sang at a Party in the Park concert fundraising for dsf Prince's Trust. That same year she performed at Divas Live which support VH1's Save the Music Foundation. On July 2, 2005 she performed her hits "Whenever, Wherever" and "La Tortura" on the Live 8 benefit concert at the Palace of Versailles, near Paris. On July 7, 2007, the singer opened the German leg of Live Earth in Hamburg. Her set included "Don't Bother", "Inevitable", "Día Especial" (with Gustavo Cerati) and "Hips Don't Lie". Shakira also performed at the "Clinton Global Initiative", where she performed her hits "Underneath Your Clothes", "Inevitable" and "Hips Don't Lie". On May 17, 2008 Shakira and twenty other Latin American and Spanish artists performed in Buenos Aires and Mexico City to raise money for Shakira's Latin America in Solidarity Action (ALAS) charity.
This concert attracted 150,000 people in Buenos Aires. Although tickets were free, the demand exceeded the supply; some fans who were fortunate enough to secure free tickets resold them.
Shakira is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and is one of their global representatives. "Shakira, like all our Goodwill Ambassadors, was chosen based on her compassion, her involvement in global issues, her deep commitment to helping children, and her appeal to young people around the world. We're very pleased to have Shakira join the UNICEF family. I know she'll help bring UNICEF's mission to the audience who will have the most impact on our future – young people themselves", said UNICEF's Executive Director Carol Bellamy.
On April 3, 2006, Shakira was honored at a United Nations ceremony for creating the Pies Descalzos Foundation. At the event, the singer said, "Let's not forget that at the end of this day when we all go home, 960 children will have died in Latin America."
Shakira was recently ranked at number 48 on the list of Top 50 Most Charitable Celebrities by "OK!" magazine. It reported that she donates approximately $55,000 to charity yearly.
On September 28, 2007 at the Clinton Global Initiative, it was revealed that Shakira donated a massive $40 million to help the victims of natural disasters. An additional $5 million will be donated to four Latin American countries, to be spent on education and health. The charity was able to collect US$ 200 million from philanthropists Carlos Slim, Mexico’s richest man, and Howard Buffett, son of U.S. investment guru Warren Buffett, the singer announced on April 15, 2008.
In December 2007, Shakira visited Bangladesh to appeal for the victims of Cyclone Sidr. She spent 3 days with the victims and visited children affected by the disaster in schools built by Unicef and participated in the distribution of family kits and warm clothes. She said that little was left of the school she visited in the village of Mirzapur, but it still provided an "oasis" for the children. "I am more convinced than ever that education is the key to so many of the difficulties that our children face in countries like mine or in developing countries like this one. It's the key to a better and safer world," she said.
Shakira served as the Honorary Chairperson for "Action Week" 2008 (April 21-27). The event is sponsored by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE), to generate awareness about the Education for All Act. She spoke with the U.S. Congress, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and World Bank President Robert Zoellick to promote a move towards Global Education. Angelina Jolie served as last year's chair.
===Music and voice===
Shakira has told many interviewers that she had grown fond to listening to oriental music, which influenced many of her earlier works. Shakira is known to be a fan of rock music, especially that of The Police, AC/DC, and Led Zeppelin.
Shakira is known to have adopted many genres, including folk, mainstream pop and rock. Her earlier Spanish albums, including Pies descalzos and ¿Dónde están los ladrones? were a mix of folk music and Latin rock, while her cross-over English album, Laundry Service and her later albums were influenced by pop and rock.
Shakira is recognized for her powerful, melismatic voice. Her 1999 MTV Unplugged performance recorded in New York was critically acclaimed by many American critics and is said to have paved her path towards the English-language markets.
===Songwriting and producing===
Shakira is known to write and produce all of her own music and is a self professed perfectionist.
Shakira has written the lyrics to every song she has recorded with two exceptions. The first one is her 2005 song "Día Especial". It's lyrics were written by Argentinian rocker Gustavo Cerati and the music was co-written by Shakira, Cerati and Luis Fernando Ochoa. The second exception is her 2006 blockbuster collaboration with Wyclef Jean, "Hips Don't Lie". Although she is listed on the writing credits for the verses, the chorus was taken from Wyclef's earlier song "Dance Like This".
Shakira is influenced in part by her Arabic heritage, which was a major inspiration for her breakthrough world hit "Ojos Así". Shakira is also influenced by well-known rock groups such as Led Zeppelin and AC/DC, resulting in her performance of "Back in Black" during her Tour of the Mongoose. She also cites her parents as major roles in her musical style.
*1997: "Tour Pies Descalzos"
*2000: "Tour Anfibio"
*2002–2003: "Tour of the Mongoose"
*2006–2007: "Oral Fixation Tour"
== Discography ==
*1995: "Pies Descalzos"
*1998: "Dónde Están Los Ladrones?"
*2001: "Laundry Service"
*2005: "Fijación Oral Vol. 1"
*2005: "Oral Fixation Vol. 2"
*2009: "Upcoming Studio Album"
*2007: "Love in the Time of Cholera (EP)"
*2000: "MTV Unplugged"
*2004: "Live & Off the Record"
*2007: "Oral Fixation Tour"
*1997: "The Remixes"
*2002: "Grandes Éxitos"
*2002: "Colección de Oro"
*2006: "Oral Fixation Volumes 1 & 2"
*List of Shakira awards
*White Latin American
*List of Lebanese people
== Notes ==
Referenced from Wikipedia: Shakira