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Shakira was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia. Shakira is a hugely popular Colombian pop singer who is known for hits such as “Waka Waka” and “La Tortura.” Shakira is an incredibly successful “Colombian pop singer and dancer and has won many Grammy, Latin Grammy, and American Music Awards.” (Shakira 2020) Shakira has global sales figures of above 70 million tracks. Shakira is the top-selling Colombian artist of all time. While accomplishing all of this she has also judged other singers on a popular show known as ‘The Voice.’ 

On February 2, 1977, Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born. Her father was Lebanese and her mother was a native Colombian. With being multi-racial, Shakira chose to acknowledge both her Latina and Arabic culture in many of her top hits. At “age 13 she signed her first record deal and wrote her first song at the age of 8 years old.” (Shakira 2020) The biggest bounce-back was when Shakira’s first two albums did not reach the top charts and sold little to none. Her third debut album sold over three million. This album was named ‘Pies Descalzo’ that inherently translates to ‘bare feet.’ The album included sounds from both sides of her cultural heritage. ‘Pies Descalzo’ had a very distinct sound that included Arabic music styles and Latin rock. Soon after her third album did numbers she did a follow-up song in 1998. This track was named “Dónde Están Los Ladrones?” in English this translates to “Where are the thieves?”. In the Latin Billboard charts in reached number one. Very shortly after, “Shakira was awarded her first Grammy Award for best Latin pop album for her album Shakira: MTV Unplugged that released in 2000.” (Shakira 2020) 

The beginning years of Shakira’s career set the tone for the rest of her career. She later became known for her dance moves that involved shaking her hips and her strong vocals that catered to the Spanish language markets. She became very prominent in her culture when she released a Spanish album named “Fijación Oral, Vol 1” in June of 2005. This quickly became one of the top ten albums two times in 2005. This album soon granted Shakira her second Grammy award for best Latin rock/alternative album. 

Artistically speaking Shakira has shaken the tables within her community by shining light to Latin music with an Arabic and rock twist. This was never before seen done before in the late ’90s and early 2000s. By combining the three sounds she created her own unique trademark sound so when you hear it you automatically know that it’s Shakira. Shakira has opened the Latin community up to many different sounds and it is why they appreciate her love and devotion to music a lot. This also became big when she closed the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil with her popular hit song “Waka Waka”. This comes into play because the Latin communities around the world are known for their dedication to the sport of ‘Futbol’ that is normally known as ‘soccer’ in the United States. In this same year before the world cup, Shakira released a self-titled album that showcased her culture and who she really was an artist. Artistically speaking this sets her apart from other artists in her culture because she shows that she is proud of her heritage and where she has come from. This also shows her progression of how she is now as a person. Recently Shakira has teamed up with an artist similar to her by the name of Jennifer Lopez, also known as, J.Lo to perform at the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show in Miami, Florida. After learning this Shakira responds with “I feel incredibly honored and humbled to be, in a way, next to J.Lo, representing the Latino community that is such an important force in the United States,” (Shakira 2020). On the other side of the pop-stars life, she strives to put others first. Shakira created a foundation named after her song ‘Pies Descalzos’ that she uses to help different kids in her home country “Colombia receive a quality education.” (Shakira 2020). In 2010 she was also considered a UNICEF, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, ambassador and was honored by the United Nations’ International Labor Organization for her philanthropic efforts.  

In conclusion, Shakira is proud of where she came from and continues to serve and give back to her community. Her recent and old music still lives through many people today and uplifts and inspires their own voices. 

Hi, I am currently a Sophomore at the University of North Texas. My major is Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations with a double minor in Spanish and Communication Studies. Follow my journey here: Twitter: @thankmelaterr_ Instagram: @thankmelaterr
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