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Music  >  Shakira
Shakira
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Shakira was born in Barranquilla, Colombia to a Colombian mother, Nidia del Carmen Ripoll Torrado and an American born father of Lebanese descent, William Mebarak Chadid. Shakira, means "grateful" in Arabic, is named after her grandmother. She was one of seven siblings, one of whom is her road manager. Shakira began writing and composing music at the age of eight. One of her first songs was called "Tus Gafas Oscuras" (Your Dark Glasses), which was about her father's grief over his son who had died in a car accident. At the age of ten, Shakira tried out for her school choir, but she was not taken because her voice was "too strong."

Between the ages of ten to thirteen, Shakira was invited to various events in Barranquilla, and gained some recognition in the area. It was around this time that she met local theater producer Monica Ariza, who was impressed with Shakira and as a result attempted to help her career. During a flight from Barranquilla to Bogotá, Ariza convinced Sony Colombia executive Ciro Vargas to hold an audition for Shakira in a motel lobby. Vargas held Shakira in good regards and returned to the Sony office and gave the cassette to a song and artist director. However, the director was not overly excited and thought Shakira was somewhat of "a lost cause". Vargas, not daunted, was still convinced that Shakira had talent, and set up an audition in Bogotá. He arranged for Sony Colombia executives to arrive at the audition, with the idea of surprising them with Shakira's performance. She performed three songs for the executives and impressed them enough for her to be subsequently signed to record three albums.

Magia (Magic) was Shakira's debut album, recorded with Sony Colombia in 1991, when she was 15. The album did not fare well commercially, selling less than one thousand copies. After Magia, Shakira released Peligro (Danger) in 1993. The album was better received than Magia, but Shakira decided to take a hiatus from recording so that she could graduate from high school.

Shakira returned to recording in 1995, supported by a new confessional and Alanis Morissette-oriented persona that affected some of her next albums, and made her third studio one, Pies Descalzos (Bare Feet), bring her great fame in Latin America. The singles "Estoy Aquí" (I'm Here), "Pies Descalzos, Sueños Blancos" (Bare Feet, White Dreams), and "Dónde Estás Corazón?" (Where Are You, My Heart?) became pop culture icons. Pies Descalzos sold more than 4 million copies, which prompted the release of a remix album, titled simply The Remixes, which sold more than a million copies. The Remixes also included Portuguese versions of some of her best-known songs, which were recorded because of her success in the Brazilian market.

Her fourth album, ¿Dónde Están Los Ladrones? (Where Are The Thieves?), was released in 1998. It was produced by Emilio Estefan, reportedly cost US$3 million, and had more of a polished sound than Pies Descalzos. It was even more successful and sold almost 7 million. She began to gain more fans in non-Spanish-speaking countries like France, Switzerland, Canada, and especially the United States. Eight of the album's eleven tracks became singles, including "Ciega, Sordomuda"(Blind, Deaf, and Mute), "Moscas En La Casa" (Flies in the House), "No Creo" (I Don't Believe), "Inevitable", "Tú" (You), "Si Te Vas" (If You Leave), "Octavo Día" (Eighth Day), and the world-famous "Ojos Así"(Eyes Like Yours). Shakira's first live album, MTV Unplugged, was composed of "Estoy Aquí" and the songs from ¿Dónde Están Los Ladrones?.

In March 2000 Shakira embarked on her Tour Anfibio, a three-month tour of Latin America and the United States. In August of 2000 she won an MTV Video Music Award in the now-defunct category of People's Choice - Favorite International Artist.

In 2001, upon the success of ¿Dónde Están Los Ladrones?, Shakira began working on a crossover album to the English language. Collaborating with Gloria Estefan, Shakira wrote and recorded English versions of the tracks from ¿Dónde Están Los Ladrones?. However, Shakira later decided against using translations of older songs for the album and worked for over a year on new material for the album. The result was Laundry Service. Although it was created for the intent of selling to an English language market, the rock and Spanish dance-influenced album also featured four Spanish songs, including "Que Me Quedes Tú" (That You Stay With Me). Some critics claimed that Shakira's English skills were too weak for her to write in it, but Laundry Service was a success, with more than 13 million sales worldwide, yielding the worldwide hit "Whenever, Wherever" and singles "Underneath Your Clothes" (a Canadian number-one), "Te Dejo Madrid" (I Leave You Madrid), "Objection (Tango)", and "The One". The album and its singles helped to establish Shakira's musical presence in the mainstream North American market.

In 2002, Shakira also released her Spanish greatest hits volume Grandes éxitos. A DVD and ten-track compilation album called Live & Off the Record, was also released in 2004 reaching sales of 3 million CDs worldwide, commemorating Shakira's 2002-2003 world tour, the Tour Of The Mongoose.

In September 2002, Shakira won the now-defunct International Viewer's Choice Award at the MTV Video Music Awards with "Suerte". In October of that year, she won 5 MTV Video Music Awards Latin America for Best Female Artist, Best Pop Artist, Best Artist North (Region), Video of the Year (for Suerte), and Artist of the Year. At Aerosmith's MTV Icon in 2002, Shakira performed "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)". Also in 2002, Shakira joined the likes of Celine Dion, Anastacia, Cher and The Dixie Chicks for VH1 Divas Live Las Vegas.

Shakira stayed out of the spotlight for 2 and a half years, noticely changing her hair style. She later announced Oral Fixation 1 and 2 due in 2005.Fijación Oral Vol. 1 was released on June 6, 2005 in Europe and on June 7, 2005 in North America and Australia. The lead single "La Tortura" (English: The Torture, featuring Alejandro Sanz) eventually reached number one in Spain and number twenty-three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. In Canada, "La Tortura" also became the highest-charting Spanish song when it debuted and peaked at number twenty-one. Its success across the rest of the world was widespread and it managed to peak within the top ten of the majority of the charts it entered. In the U.S., "La Tortura" spent a record twenty-five weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart.

Fijación Oral Vol. 1 was simultaneously released in Latin America. It debuted at number one in Spain and at number four on the U.S. Billboard 200. It was also well-received in non-Spanish speaking countries such as Italy, Greece and Germany, where it reached number one, Austria, where it reached number three, and Canada and Hungary, where it reached number seven. The second single from Fijación Oral Vol. 1, "No" (English: No), was released in September 2005, and peaked at number one in Spain and Colombia, for fourteen non-consecutive weeks. So far, Fijación Oral Vol. 1 has sold five million copies worldwide. Her third single from "Fijación Oral vol. 1", Día de Enero, is dedicated to her fiance, Antonio de la Rúa. This single was number one in some countries in Latin America, but it hadn't got success like "La Tortura" and "No". She also performed "La Tortura" at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards in Miami with Alejandro Sanz. It was the first ever Spanish performance at the VMA's. (There was also a reggaeton medley during the show, including Daddy Yankee's Gasolina, but it came after Shakira's performance.)

Before the release of Shakira's second English album Oral Fixation Vol. 2, she appeared at the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards in Lisbon, Portugal and she was nominated in the category of "Best Female", which she won to great shock since she had outmatched the international popularity of other artists such as Gwen Stefani. Shakira performed Oral Fixation Vol. 2's lead single "Don't Bother" with a car on stage following her win.

Shakira's second English album Oral Fixation Vol. 2 was released on November 29, 2005 in North America and Australia, and also at this time in Continental Europe. While "Don't Bother" was warmly received by music critics as the album's lead single, it failed to peak within the U.S. top forty. The second single "Hips Don't Lie" (featuring Wyclef Jean) became her first single to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and UK Singles Chart. On March 28, 2006, she re-released Oral Fixation Vol. 2 in the U.S. and released it June 19, 2006.

On April 3, 2006, Shakira was honored at an United Nations ceremony because she created the Pies Descalzos Foundation, a charity that helps to protect children from violence in Colombia. At the event she 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."

On April 27, 2006 she received 6 Latin Billboard Awards. The awards included Female Latin Pop Album of the Year for Fijacion Oral Vol. 1 and Hot Latin Song of the Year for La Tortura. She was also honored with the Spirit of Hope Award for her foundation Pies Descalzos.

In June, Shakira started her biggest tour ever, called the Oral Fixation Tour, which will last until the summer of 2007.

On July 30th 2006 Hips Don't Lie was her most recent number one, and consequently, the last ever song played on the legendary British programme Top of the Pops, seeing the track jump back from number three to the number one spot again, after spending seven weeks on the chart.

Shakira was the most nominated artist of the year for this year's MTV Video Music Awards '06. Her seven nominations were for "Hips Don't Lie", including Video of the Year and Best Female Video. She won only one award for Choreography. Shakira also performed "Hips Don't Lie" to the dance moves of popular Indian Choreographer Farah Khan. The award show was held on August 31st 2006 in Radio City Music Hall.

Beyoncé has said that she would like to work with Shakira for more than a year. "I'm a big fan. Hopefully we can make it happen this year. I think her videos are really sexy and always sound so good."

This year, Shakira and Alejandro Sanz have been working together again, this time the duet is called "Te lo Agradezco pero No" and it's featured on Alejandro Sanz' new album. Also, Shakira has announced her two new singles, "Illegal" featuring Carlos Santana and "La Pared".
Shakira

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