In November of 2001, Colombian singer Shakira released her English-language breakthrough album, Laundry Service. The album peaked at number 3 in the United States as it went on to sell more than 13 million copies worldwide. Her 2005 release, Oral Fixation Vol. 2, featured the song "Hips Don't Lie," which would become the best-selling single of the first decade of the 21st century. In total, Shakira has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide making her the most successful Colombian artists of all-time. She's also won two Grammy Awards and seven Latin Grammy Awards.
Shakira is a singer, songwriter, and producer that blends Latin music with elements of pop, rock and dance. She was born in Colombia in 1977 and besides her native Spanish language she also speaks fluent English and Portuguese. At an early age, Shakira wrote poems and belly danced for friends and family. She was her parents' only child, but her father had eight kids from a previous marriage. Her full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll.
Released in 1996, Pies Descalzos is widely regarded as Shakira's first official album. She had released two albums in her native Columbia in the early 1990's. While they made her a minor celebrity in that country, they didn't sell well and Shakira was unhappy with their production. Both Pies Descalzos and her follow up, ¿Dónde Están Los Ladrones? (1998), were hugely successful. The albums did quite well on the Latino charts and both sold millions of copies worldwide.
In 2005, Shakira released Fijación Oral Vol. 1 and Oral Vixation Vol. 2. The former was sung in Spanish and the latter sung in English. Fijación Oral Vol. 1 holds the record for the highest debut in America for a Spanish language album. In October of 2009, Shakira released her third studio album in English, She Wolf. The album focused more on dance music and featured an appearance from Wyclef Jean as well as production from The Neptunes and Timbaland.
Shakira is also very involved in charity work. She has performed in a number of benefit concerts. Shakira has also been honored at the United Nations for her Pies Descalzos Foundation and appointed a Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF.
Shakira is reported to have an IQ of 140. She once entered a singing contest judged by a 20-year-old Ricky Martin (she finished third although Martin selected her as the winner). She performed at President Barack Obama's inauguration. In 2007, she attended a class at UCLA using her middle and last names to avoid being recognized. She often performs in her bare feet. The name Shakira means thankful in Arabic.