Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll (born February 2, 1977),known professionally as Shakira is a Colombian singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, dancer, and philanthropist who emerged in the music scene of Colombia and Latin America in the early 1990s. Born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia, Shakira revealed many of her talents in school as a live performer, demonstrating her vocal ability with rock and roll, Latin and Middle Eastern influences with her own original twist on belly dancing. Shakira is a native Spanish speaker and also speaks fluent English and Portuguese as well as some Italian, French and Arabic.
After commercial flops with local producers on her first two albums, and being little-known outside Colombia, Shakira decided to produce her own brand of music. In 1995 she released Pies Descalzos, which brought her great fame in Latin America and Spain, and her 1998 album ¿Dónde Están los Ladrones? was a critical success selling over 7 million copies worldwide.In 2001, aided by the worldwide success of her first English single "Whenever, Wherever" that became the best selling single of 2002, she broke through into the English-speaking world with the release of Laundry Service, which sold over 13 million copies worldwide.Four years later, Shakira released two album projects called Fijación Oral Vol. 1 and Oral Fixation Vol. 2. Both reinforced her success, particularly with the best selling song of the 2000s, "Hips Don't Lie".
In 1995, Shakira founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation. It is a Colombian charity with special schools for poor children all around Colombia. During her career, Shakira has performed at a large number of benefit concerts. Among the most famous are the Live 8 benefit concert in July 2005, the Live Earth concert, Hamburg where she headlined the show, as well as the "Clinton Global Initiative" created by former US President Bill Clinton. She was also invited to the Oval Office by President Barack Obama in February 2010 to discuss early childhood development.
She has won two Grammy Awards, seven Latin Grammy Awards,twelve Billboard Latin Music Awards and has been Golden Globe-nominated.She is also the highest-selling Colombian artist of all time, and the second most successful female Latin singer after Gloria Estefan, having sold over 50 million albums worldwide according to Sony Music Entertainment.Her U.S. album sales stand at 9.6 million.
In the fall of 2009, Shakira released her sixth album She Wolf worldwide. Shakira's "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)", was chosen as the official song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.The song has received generally positive critical reception, and has become a worldwide smash hit and the biggest selling World Cup song of all time.On YouTube, the English version of the music video is the 3rd most watched video of all time with over 300 million views. Her seventh studio album, the bilingual Sale el Sol, was released October 2010 and has shipped over 4 million copies worldwide.
She was engaged to the son of the former President of Argentina, Antonio de la Rúa. Their relationship lasted almost 11 years and ended in August 2010.She is now dating Spanish footballer Gerard Piqué and confirmed their relationship in March 2011.
In 2000, Shakira started dating Antonio de la Rúa. In a 2009 interview, Shakira stated their relationship already worked as a married couple, and that "they don't need papers for that."On January 10, 2011, Shakira announced on her website that after 11 years together, she and de la Rúa had separated in August 2010 after making "a mutual decision to take time apart from our romantic relationship." She wrote that the couple "view this period of separation as temporary and as a time of individual growth as we continue to be partners in our business and professional lives", with de la Rúa overseeing Shakira's "business and career interests as he has always done."
Shakira has currently been dating Gerard Piqué (10 years younger centre back for FC Barcelona).Shakira officially confirmed their relationship on March 29, 2011 via Twitter and Facebook posting a picture of the two with a caption reading, "I present to you my sunshine." It was the first time she'd ever spoken of the relationship.