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Shakira: A Global Pop Music Super Star

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Shakira: A one-woman army.

This is the story of a girl that got a typewriter for Christmas when she was seven years old.   She used this typewriter to write poetry.  These poems eventually became songs and this little girl eventually became the musical sensation Shakira.  The singer-songwriter, Grammy winner, The Voice coach and mother has captivated the world.


Shakira was born on February 2, 1977 in Barranquilla, Colombia.   She is also of Lebanese descent which gives an exotic middle-eastern air to her appearance.

Her Latin American music was introduced to the world in 1995 with her first album “Pies Descalzos”.  Today, Shakira is known for her golden locks and glamorous outfits, but when she first began performing she had dark hair and seemingly cared little about her clothing.  With her unusual voice and almost careless looks she became a cult favorite for Latin America.

Check out this throwback music video of Shakira !

Her second album was introduced in 1998 titled “Donde Estan los Ladrones.”  The album sold over 7 million copies worldwide, giving Shakira international fame.  Her voice still held a beautiful roughness to it, but it was clear that the singer from Colombia was evolving.

Listen to Shakira’s early music here:

She presented a new side of her, and of her look, in 2001 when she crossed into the English market.  Her third album, “Laundry Service”, introduced her first English single “Whenever, Wherever” as well as brand new locks of golden hair.  The single was also available in the spanish-speaking world as “Suerte, Suerte.”

Her career began to take off when “Whenever, Wherever” became the best selling single of 2002.

Watch the video for “Whenever, Wherever” below.

In 2010 her career skyrocketed once again and it was all because of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Africa.  Although a song related to the World Cup had come out already (Waving Flag by David Bisbal) it was Shakira who made the world dance. Her official song, titled “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” was named the biggest-selling World Cup song of all time.

The song was recognized by online viewers, over 500 million viewers to be exact, who made it the 7th most watched YouTube video of all time. it is truly impressive that her dancing and her singing is still being watched three years after the world cup.

Try out your dance moves to Shakira’s “Waka Waka.”

Finally, to add to her many achievements, Shakira became a voice coach this year. Not a traditional one, however. She became one of the four judges of the fourth season of The Voice, one of the most popular American shows at the moment.


In it she competes against three other judges (Adam Levine, Usher and Blake Shelton) to be chosen by auditioning singers. After forming a team each judge coaches his or her singers, preparing them for a competition between teams.

At 36 Shakira has already become an icon of music, grace and success.  After her many years in her career she has won five MTV Video Music Awards, two Grammy Awards, eight Latin Grammy Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards, twenty-eight Billboard Latin Music Awards and even a Golden-Globe nomination.

She also launched “S”, a new fragance, two months ago and runs a charity foundation called “Fundacion Pies Descalzos”.


And if that wasn’t enough she also has the gorgeous Gerard Piqué as a boyfriend.  He is a famous Spanish football player who plays for FC Barcelona.  The couple recently had a beautiful baby boy together.

Shakira is talent indeed!  She has found success in many things from music to being a mother. She has become the highest-selling Colombian artist of all time, selling over 70 million albums, and she is definitely not stopping anytime soon.

Find Shakira on Twitter @Shakira and check out all of Shakira's videos on Youtube!

Escribo para vaciar mi mente y llenar mi corazon
I write to empty my mind and fill my heart - Paulo Coelho

Olga Gonzalez Latapi


Northwestern University
Follow me on Twitter @olgagonzo


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