Journey Of A Diva: From 4 To 41
Shakira, Arabic for “grateful” or “full of grace” is a Columbian singer, songwriter, dancer, model and record producer. She was born in Barranquilla, Columbia on February 2, 1977 as the only child of her parents William Mebarak Chadid (father) who is of Lebanese decent and born in New York and Nidia Ripoll Torrado (mother) who is of Spanish (Catalan) and Italian ancestry and born in Columbia. Her father had eight children from a previous marriageand he is a wealthy jeweler and writer, while her mother is a homemaker and loved drawing as a child.
Shakira grew up close to her half-siblings and it was her paternal grandmother who taught her the art of belly-dancing which she became interested in at the age of 4 when her father took her to a Middle Eastern restaurant. At the age of 8 she wrote her first song, at age 11 she started to learn how to play the guitar and at age 13 she moved to Bogotá in the hopes of landing a modeling career but was instead signed to a record deal with Sony Music, Columbian division.
Her first album “Magia” (Magic) was released when she was 14, in 1991, and sold only 1,200 copies but gave her exposure,and her second album “Peligro” (Danger) released in 1993, did not fear well. In 1995, her third album “Pies Descalzos” (Bare Feet) was released and she sold over one million copies in Columbia and it was later certified as a platinum record by the by the Recording Industry Association of America. She did her first tour “Tour Pies Descalzos” (Bare Feet Tour) between 1996 and 1997 and then released her fourth album in 1998, “DóndeEstánlosLadrones?” (Where Are the Thieves?), which added to her commercial success and in 1999, she recoded her first live album “MTV Unplugged” at the Grand Ballroom, Manhattan, New York City and released in 2000. She then took her second tour “Tour Anfibio” (Amphibious Tour) between 2000 and 2001.
It was the single “Whenever, Wherever” from her fifth album “Laundry Service” released in 2001, that gained her international success in more than 14 countries worldwide, including Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Austria and Australia. She then embarked on her first world tour “Tour of the Mongoose” between 2002 and 2003, visiting 30 countries and 50 cities. She recoded her second live album “Live & off the Record” in 2003, featuring footage from Tour of the Mongoose, which was released in 2004. In 2005, Shakira released her sixth album “Fijación Oral, Vol. 1”(Oral Fixation Volume 1) and her seventh album “Oral Fixation Volume 2” and performed the top single, “Hips Don’t Lie” in the closing ceremony of the FIFA World Cup Final in Germany. She then began her fourth tour “Oral Fixation Tour” between 2006 and 2007 while she recorded her third live album “Oral Fixation”, releasing it in 2007.
In 2008, at the age of 31, Shakira was named the fourth highest earning female musician in history by Forbes after her Oral Fixation Tour grossed over US$100 million and she signed a 10-year contract with Live Nation, an international touring company. “She Wolf” was her eighth album, released in 2009 and “Sale el Sol” (The Sun Comes Out) was her ninth album, released in 2010. She performed “Waka Waka” (This Time for Africa) at the closing ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, while she was on her fifth tour “The Sun Comes Out World Tour” to promote her eighth and ninth albums as well as to record her fourth live album “Live from Paris” which was released in 2011. In 2014, she released her tenth album “Shakira” and performed “Dare (La La La)” at the closing ceremony of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Four years later, in 2017, Shakira came out with her eleventh album, “El Dorado” (The Golden One) which was inspired by her personal life experiences. She is currently on her sixth tour the “El Dorado World Tour”. Shakira is also a mother of two boys and a philanthropist.