Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll Shakira, in full Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, (born February 2, 1977, Barranquilla, Colombia), Colombian musician who achieved success in both Spanish- and English-speaking markets and by the early 2000s was one of the most successful Latin American recording artists.

Shakira, who had a Lebanese father and a native Colombian mother, started belly dancing at an early age and by age 10 had begun writing songs and taking part in talent competitions. A local theatre producer helped her land an audition with a Sony Corp. executive in 1990, and Shakira was subsequently signed to a record deal. Her first two albums, Magia (1991) and Peligro (1993), were only moderately successful, however. After taking a break from recording to act in the Latin soap opera El oasis, Shakira resumed her music career in impressive fashion with Pies descalzos (1995). The album produced several hits, including “Estoy aquí,” “Pienso en ti,” and “Un poco de amor.”

In 1998 Shakira released ¿Dónde están los ladrones?, which included several memorable singles. She notably won Latin Grammy Awards for best female pop vocal performance (“Ojos así”) and for best rock vocal performance (“Octavo día”). She then focused her efforts on establishing herself in the American market. In 2001 her album MTV Unplugged (2000) won the Grammy Award for best Latin pop album, and she released her first English-language album, Laundry Service, that same year. Although her English-language songwriting skills were questioned by some (Shakira wrote all her own lyrics), Laundry Service sold more than 13 million copies worldwide.

Shakira continued her crossover success in 2005 with the release of the Spanish-language Fijación oral, vol. 1 in June and the English-language Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 in November. Both albums debuted in the top five in the United States, and her single “Hips Don’t Lie” (featuring Wyclef Jean) topped charts around the world in 2006. At that year’s Latin Grammy Awards, she captured song-of-the-year and record-of-the-year awards for the single “La tortura,” and Fijación oral, vol. 1 was named album of the year as well as best female pop vocal album; it also won a Grammy Award for best Latin rock/alternative album. A live recording, Oral Fixation Tour, followed in 2007. Also that year Shakira performed in Hamburg as part of Live Earth, a worldwide concert series organized to bring attention to climate change and environmental sustainability.

For her next English-language album, She Wolf (2009), Shakira adopted an electro-pop sound. The following year she scored another international hit with “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),” a collaboration with a South African band, after it was chosen as the official anthem of the 2010 World Cup. The track later appeared on her breezily eclectic Sale el sol (2010), which earned a Latin Grammy for best female pop vocal album. In 2013–14 Shakira was a coach on the American televised singing competition The Voice. Her later albums included Shakira (2014), which featured a duet with Rihanna, and El Dorado (2017), winner of the Grammy Award for best Latin pop album and the Latin Grammy for best contemporary pop vocal album. In addition, El Dorado featured the single “La bicicleta,” a duet with Carlos Vives that won Latin Grammys for best record of the year and best song of the year. In 2020 Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performed at the Super Bowl halftime show.

Shakira devoted considerable time and energy to social causes. In 2003 she became a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, traveling internationally to raise awareness of the struggles of children in less-developed countries. She also created the Pies Descalzos Foundation, which focused on helping children displaced by violence in Colombia.

In 2011 Shakira and Gerard Piqué made their relationship public. Piqué is a Spanish professional footballer who plays center-back for FC Barcelona. They have two children: Sasha Piqué Mebarak and Milan Piqué Mebarak. They are not married.

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Shakira explains why she and Pique aren’t married despite a 9-year-long relationshipNade sent Today at 10:27Shakira and Pique have been in a relationship since 2011. The couple has two children, Milan and Sasha, but still aren’t married. The singer says she wants Gerard to treat her as a girlfriend, not as his wife.

“To tell you the truth, marriage scares the s*** out of me. I don’t want him to see me as the wife. I’d rather him see me as his girlfriend,” she said. “The girlfriend,” Barca’s centre-back added. “Exactly. His lover, his girlfriend. It’s like a little forbidden fruit, you know? I wanna keep him on his toes. I want him to think that anything’s possible depending on behaviour.” Shakira and Gerard have been together since 2011. The two first met back in 2010 as they worked on the iconic ‘Waka Waka’ song for the World Cup in South Africa. They already have two children — Milan (born in 2013) and Sasha (born in 2015).

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