Shakira Biography

Shakira is a highly popular award winning Columbian pop singer and dancer. This biography of Shakira provides detailed information about her childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: February 2, 1977

Nationality: Colombian

Famous: Hispanics Hispanic Women

Age: 42 Years, 42 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Aquarius

Also Known As: Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll

Born Country: Colombia

Born in: Barranquilla

Famous as: Singer

Height: 5'2" (157 cm), 5'2" Females


Spouse/Ex-: Gerard Piqué

father: William Mebarak Chadid

mother: Nidia del Carmen Ripoll Torrado

children: Milan Piqué Mebarak

Founder/Co-Founder: Pies Descalzos Foundation, ALAS Foundation

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Best known for her scintillating belly dance moves in the video of the song ‘Hips Don’t Lie’, Shakira is a highly successful Columbian pop artist who has sold over 70 million albums worldwide. Musically inclined from childhood, she wrote her first poem when she was just four and began dancing impromptu at a restaurant where groovy music was being played. She often used to sing and dance for her classmates and teachers at school and earned the nickname ‘the belly dancer girl’. As a young teen she began performing around town and caught the attention of local theater producer Monica Ariza who introduced the talented young girl to Sony Colombia executive Ciro Vargas. She released her first album ‘Magia’ when she was just 14. Though the album did not do well commercially it gave the teenage performer much exposure. She received a breakthrough with her third album ‘Pies Descalzos’ which peaked at No. 1 in eight different countries. She also earned several awards and nominations for the album and became an almost overnight star. Her success in Latin music propelled her to try her hand at English language albums and her first attempt at this genre, ‘Laundry Service’ went Multi-Platinum and is considered the most successful album of her career.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • She was born as Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll to Nidia Ripoll and William Mebarak Chadid. She had several half-siblings from her father’s previous marriage.
  • An artistically inclined child, she started writing poetry as a four-year old and also loved to dance from childhood.
  • She sang and danced to entertain her teachers and schoolmates and earned the nickname ‘the belly dancer girl’.
  • She was famous in her locality and was often invited to perform at various events.
  • A local theater producer, Monica Ariza arranged for Ciro Vargas, a Sony Colombia executive, to hold an audition for the teenager. Impressed Sony Colombia singed her to record three albums.
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  • Her debut album ‘Magia’ was released in 1991. It included songs she had written since she was eight. The album did not do well commercially.
  • Her second album ‘Peligro’ was out in 1993. Even though this album performed better than its predecessor, still it was a commercial failure. After releasing this album, she took a break to attend classes and graduate from high school.
  • She was back to the music scenario in 1996 with her third album ‘Pies Descalzos’. The album spawned six hit singles and received favourable reviews from critics. She went on the Tour Pies Descalzos to promote her album.
  • Her next album ‘Donde Estan los Ladrones?’ was out in 1998. It featured Latin Pop style music with elements of rock en Espanol. The album became of the highest selling Spanish language albums in the U.S. with sales of over 7 million copies worldwide.
  • She made her foray into the English language market with the album ‘Laundry Service’ in 2001. The album was characterized by Latin rock and Latin pop styles and its lead single ‘Whenever, Wherever’ topped the U.S. Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart.
  • Her Spanish album ‘Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1’ was released in June 2005. It was followed by the release of the English album ‘Oral Fixation, Vol. 2’ in November the same year. The single ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ from the latter peaked at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and became her signature song.
  • Her album ‘She Wolf’ was out in 2009. It featured a sound different from her previous work with elements of electropop, dancehall and world styles. It was appreciated for its different appeal.
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  • In 2010, she sang ‘Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)’, the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup with the South African band Freshlyground. The song was a super hit.
  • ‘Sale el Sol’, her most recent album was released in 2010 in the wake of the success of the song ‘Waka Waka’. The album was critically acclaimed and was a worldwide commercial success.
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Major Works
  • Her debut English album ‘Laundry Service’ featuring the lead single ‘Whenever, Wherever’ is her best selling album till date with a worldwide sale in excess of 20 million copies. It went Multi-Platinum in several countries.
  • The single ‘Hips Don’s Lie’ from the album ‘Oral Fixation, Vol. 2’ peaked at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and also reached the No. 1 spot in 55 other countries. It became her signature song and is the best selling single of the 21st century.
Awards & Achievements
  • She has won two Grammy Awards: Best Latin Pop Album (2001) for ‘MTV Unplugged’ and Best Latin Pop/Alternative Album (2006) for ‘Fijación Oral Vol. 1’.
  • She is the proud recipient of eight Latin Grammy Awards including Best Pop Vocal Album in 2010 for ‘Sale el Sol’.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • She was in a long term relationship with lawyer Antonio de la Rua for several years before calling it quits in 2011.
  • She is currently in a relationship with Spanish football player Gerard Pique with whom she also has a son.
  • She is well-known for her philanthropy and charitable works. She founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation in 1997 which funds special schools all over Columbia for poor children.
  • Beatles star John Lennon was her topmost influence.
  • The former Miss Colombia, Valerie Dominguez is her cousin.


MTV Video Music Awards
2007 Most Earthshattering Collaboration Beyoncé Feat. Shakira: Beautiful Liar (2007)

See the events in life of Shakira in Chronological Order

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Article Title
- Shakira Biography
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Last Updated
- September 16, 2019

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