Shakira was born on 2nd February 1977, in Barranquilla, Colombia.With a Lebanese father and Colombian mother, Shakira honors her Latino and Arabic heritage in her music. She wrote her first song at the age of 8 and signed her first record deal at 13. After her first two albums flopped, Shakira took the reins of her third album, becoming involved in every aspect of its production.
She also began singing and, from the start, displayed a unique voice that stood out among her peers. Because of her already developed strong vibrato, she could only sing the solos in school because her voice overpowered her class mates. Some of her school pals would laugh at her singing and called her sound “animal-like.” But Shakira was undeterred by the criticism.
The Festival featured aspiring Latin American singers performing in front of a huge audience and such well-known judges as soon-to-be fellow Latin superstar Ricky Martin. Shakira’s emotional performance of powerful ballad “Eres" (You Are) landed her in third place and began to build her profile outside of Colombia. After taking time to finish high school, Shakira returned to the studio to make her third album, which reflected her various eclectic influences.
Regardless of which direction her interests take her, Shakira will always return to music and to her fans but her place in music history is already secure. According to the United World Chart, with three years to go, she is already the fourth most successful artist of the 2000s. From the Grammys, the Latin Grammys and the MTV Video Music Awards to her role as an ambassador for the UNICEF to her foundations Pies Descalzos and ALAS, Shakira’s contributions have been ambitious and yet, at the same time, she makes them, somehow, appear effortless.