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Shakira | Success Story of the Latin Music Queen




Shakira is one of the most prominent music artists worldwide. She began her musical journey over three decades ago. She rose to fame during the mid-1990s with her Spanish albums. Later, Shakira ventured into English-language music and gained worldwide recognition. In her long and successful career, she has won several prestigious accolades. Her accomplishments include three Grammys, twelve Latin Grammys, and thirty-nine Billboard Latin Music Awards. Billboard considered her the top female Latin artist twice during the 2000s and 2010s.


Shakira is a Colombian singer, songwriter, dancer, record producer, actress, and philanthropist. She pioneered the extension of Latin music globally. Her single “Hips Don’t Lie” made her a global icon during the mid-2000s. Shakira has released twelve studio albums. Six have peaked on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart. In her long and successful career, she has worked with iconic artists like Beyonce, Pitbull, Rihanna, Wyclef Jean, Nicky Jam, Kid Cudi, and Maluma. In 2018, Forbes reported that Shakira is the best-selling Latin female artist in music history.

Early Life

On the 2nd of February 1977, Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born in Barranquilla, Colombia. Her father, William Mebarak Chadid, was a successful businessman. In contrast, her mother, Nidia Ripoll Torrado, was an amateur painter and housewife. Shakira is the only child of her parents. However, she has eight half-siblings from her father’s previous marriage. She grew up in Barranquilla with two creatively supportive parents. From a young age, Shakira’s love for writing poems began. She was just four years old when she wrote her first poem. It was titled  “La rosa de cristal” (‘The Crystal Rose’). Later, when she was seven, her father gifted her a typewriter. As a result, poetry-writing became an essential part of young Shakira’s daily routine. 

For schooling, she attended Catholic schools. After writing poems for over four years, Shakira wrote her first song at age eight. She named the song “Tus gafas oscuras” (‘Your dark glasses’). The song was about her older half-brother succumbing to a motorcycle accident. Shakira’s father wore dark glasses for many years to hide his pain. His glasses inspired the song’s title. From a young age, her passion for singing and songwriting impressed many. Later, from age ten, she began performing at various local events. On one such occasion, a local theatre producer spotted her. It was Monica Ariza. She was highly impressed by little Shakira’s performing skills. Consequently, Monica convinced Sony music’s Colombian executive to hold an audition for her.

Beginning of Career

Sony’s Colombia executive Mr. Ciro Vargas took Shakira’s audition. He, too, like Monica, was impressed with Shakira’s talent. As a result, he gave the audition cassette to Sony’s song and artist director. However, the art director did not like Shakira’s voice. But Ciro was confident that the young girl was talented. He took the matter into his hands and arranged another audition for Shakira in Bogotá, the capital of Columbia. On occasion, she performed three songs for Sony’s other executives. They liked her performance and decided to sign her. Following that, thirteen-year-old Shakira cracked a three-album deal with Sony. In 1990, she began working on her debut album, Magia. The album consisted of the songs she had written from age eight. Finally, on the 24th of June 1991, Sony Music Colombia released Shakira’s debut album.

Initial Years

Shakira’s debut album could not achieve success. In 1993, she released her second studio album. It performed better than her debut album but failed to garner commercial success. As a result, sixteen-year-old Shakira decided to take a break from recording. She focused on her studies and completed high school. In 1995, she returned with her third studio album, Pies Descalzos. The album featured Shakira’s first hit single, “¿Dónde Estás Corazón?” It peaked at number five position on the US Latin Charts. Moreover, the album garnered critical and commercial success. Shakira’s popularity started growing internationally after the album’s release. In 1996, she took her first music tour away from her home country. 

Worldwide Recognition

Shakira with Jennifer Lopez

In 1997, Shakira’s international tour continued. The following year, she released Dónde Están los Ladrones? For the album, she received her first-ever Grammy nomination. By the late 1990s, Shakira’s popularity in English-speaking countries began growing. As a result, she released her first English-language album in 2001. It was called Laundry Service. The album went on to become a global hit. Her success continued throughout the early 2000s. However, it was in 2006 when Shakira’s fame reached its peak. She released the single “Hips Don’t Lie” with Wyclef Jean. The single achieved unparalleled success. Later, during the late 2000s and 2010s, she gained wider recognition with several hit songs like Waka Waka, She Wolf, Can’t Remember to Forget You, and Chantaje. Through these massive successes, Shakira became a global icon.

Also read: Enrique Iglesias | Success Story of the Legendary Pop Icon

How old is Shakira?

Shakira is 45 years old as of 2022. She was born on the 2nd of February 1977 in Barranquilla, Colombia. From age four, she began writing poetry. Her first poem was “La rosa de cristal” (‘The Crystal Rose’). Throughout her childhood, Shakira continued writing poetry which eventually turned into songs.

What is Shakira’s net worth?

Shakira’s net worth is estimated to be $350 million. She began her musical journey at age thirteen. She has won three Grammys, twelve Latin Grammys, and thirty-nine Billboard Latin Music Awards during her long and successful career.

Is Shakira married?

No, Shakira is not married. However, she had been in a relationship with famous Spanish footballer Gerard Piqué for over a decade. The couple had two children together. However, they broke up in 2022.

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