Birth Name :
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll
Birth Date : February 1977
Birth Place : Barranquilla Colombia
Height : 5'2
Country : Colombian
The 24-year-old singer/songwriter
"When she sings, her vioce is strong, passionate, and spirited - much the same with dancing. As a result, her performances are electrifying. To hear her sing does not compare to seeing her perform. At 24 years old, she is poised to become the first Latin American pop star who has been successful first in Latin America and then in the United States. And who might be responsible for Shakira's success in the United States? If you guess the powerhouse producer Emilio Estefan, you would be right."
|Biography of Shakira
She wrote her first song at age 8 and has been sneaking up on you - the Grammy, the MTV Video Awards and those Pepsi Spots. She was nominated in four categories for "Premio Los Nuestro," a Latin version of the Grammies.
She's also the recipient of the World Music Award for
Latin Female Artist of Year. But unlike her American twin, Shakira doesn't sing angst-ridden songs. She's one of those rare young women who has it together and is unfazed by her newfound popularity. Her lyrics reach out to women who have been through it all and managed to survive. She doesn't get wild or throw tantrums and chooses to live at home. All this maturation at the ripe ole age of 23. Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born in Barranquilla, near Colombia's Caribbean coast. She's the youngest of eight of American born and Lebanese decent William Mebarak and Colombian mother Nidia Ripoll. By age eight Shakira wrote her first song and won talent shows by playing guitar at 11. Ironically, she was kicked off the school choir because her strong voice projected too loudly.
In 1990 at age 13, she signed with Sony Discos. Rock music is where she wanted to be in but Sony execs had other ideas. They wanted to mold her into another of these one hit wonder girl singers who seem to disappear at a blink. Shakira refused and penned her own compositions of rock music. Her determination paid off and at age 19 she recorded "Pies Descalzos," (Bare Feet) which fused rock, pop and Latin rhythms. In the meantime, she starred in the Colombian soap opera "El Oasis" between 1994 and 1997.Though she caught the acting bug, music remained Shakira's primary focus. "Pies" had a shaky start but with consecutive singles, "Estoy Aqui," "Donde Estas Mi Corazon," "Antologia"
and "Pienso En Ti," the fledgling CD received a lot of airplay in Latin American radio stations. The album sold 3.6 million copies and Shakira was on her way. The album reached success all over South America and maintained its position in the Billboard Latin Top 50, moving quickly to the Top 10, where it remained for several weeks. With her career skyrocketing, her longtime advisor Jairo Martinez went to ber producer of Latin Music, Emilio Estefan, to further la Colombiana's career.
Estefan took the role of manager and producer in Shakira's life. That collaboration resulted in the top-selling creation of Shakira's best selling CD, "Donde Esta Los Ladrones." "Ladrones" released in September 1998 and sold over 3 million copies. Along with record-breaking sales, Shakira graced the cover of the international editions of Time and Cosmopolitan magazines and landed a contract with Pepsi for a Spanish language commercial. The CD also received a Grammy nomination for Latin Rock/Alternative. However, critics questioned whether the exotic beauty was more pop than rock, for the nomination. And her resemblance towards Morrisette didn't help. "Shakira faces no competition, her style seems unique in the Spanish market," says California State University of Northridge Business Administration Accounting major Dalila Corea. Unfortunately, her crossover won't be as successful since her style is a copy of Alanis Morrisette." Nonetheless, anyone who listens to "Ladrones" can tell there is no pop sound at all. Shakira doesn't perform solely dark songs like Courtney Love's "Doll Parts." Shakira is the thinking woman's music with an edge. Listen to her scream at an ex-boyfriend in "Si Te Vas" (If You Go) or how God takes a break in "Octavo Dia" (Eighth Day) and comes back finding the world more of a mess. She sings about love gone wrong, the state of the world today and intense
Her unpredictability has you following
her music, like a melodic mood swing. She's blends poetry with upbeat
tempo while easing towards a tender ballad. It's trip worth taking. Math
major Jose Portillo from Los Angeles City College agrees."I like
the way she [Shakira] used her music to give positive messages to all
kinds of people no matter the age. Her music is fascinating and I hear
it at every club I attend." Shakira has joined the trend in
recording an English album. She is one of the first Latin rock singers
to make the cross from Spanish to English. She joins a plethora of other
artists who made the jump, like Ricky Martin. Singers like Jon Secada,
Gloria Estefan and the late Selena made the transition but had the
advantage of growing up in the States. Julio Iglesias succeeded with the
help of making duets with Diana Ross and Willie Nelson.
With help from Gloria Estefan, Shakira's
English album is slated for the summer. The CD will contain translated
songs by Estefan from "Ladrones" along with original material.
Shakira already had a taste of performing her rock ballad "Inevitable"
in English on the January 28 episode of the Rosie O'Donnell show with
Estefan as guest host. The audience couldn't tell the chanteuse's 104
temperature while moving vibrantly across the stage. In a short time,
Shakira has made a huge impression in the Latin music world. Her
thoughtful insight makes for good songs which young adults, especially
women can whole-heartedly relate to. With the guidance of the Estefans
in extending her talents, Shakira will for sure pave the way for other
Latin artists to crossover successfully.