- Singer
Date of Birth
- 9 February 1977
Birth Place
- Barranquilla, Colombia

Mailing Address

c/o Sony Discos Inc.
2190 N.W. 89 Place
Miami, FL 33172, USA



Shakira is perhaps the most recognizable and certainly, the most intriguing voice in Latin pop/rock today. The 25-year-old singer/songwriter, who catapulted to international fame with the multi-million selling "Pies Descalzos," effectively broke the formulaic mold of Latin pop with an authentic sound that hadn't been heard before. Her tunes, like her hit single "Estoy Aquí", are melodic, musically surprising and gritty, with intellectual lyrics and an electronic/acoustic blend. Now, her gutsy, rock-infused album, "Donde Están los Ladrones," with Emilio Estefan's Executive Production, and Shakira's Artistic Production assures her position as a pioneer who has redefined the scope of Latin American singers. Born Shakira Mebarak Ripoll in the coastal city of Barranquilla, Colombia, Shakira-who goes by her first name only-- is that blend of raw talent, brains and charisma that only rarely comes along in any field. Her name, which in Arabic means "woman full of grace," belies her ancestry. She is the daughter of a Colombian mother and a Lebanese father-a jeweler and writer whose Arabic background greatly influenced his daughter. Shakira's fondness for music was apparent early on, and she started winning local and national talent contests at age 10. By 13, she had signed a record deal with Sony in Colombia, which resulted in her first album, "Magia (Magic)," a compilation of songs she wrote between the ages of 8 and 13. It was an effort that put Shakira in Colombia's musical map, and led to her being chosen to represent her country at the Fesival OTI in Spain.

Because she was under the minimum age of 16, she wasn't allowed to participate. So instead, Shakira recorded a second album of original material, "Peligro (Danger)." At that point, Shakira took a break from music, graduated from high school (at age 15-really) and came back with a vengeance. The result was the phenomenally successful "Pies Descalzos," a hit-laden smash, which has sold close to four million copies worldwide. Shakira became an international sensation touring for an almost solid two years, playing her songs to sold-out audiences throughout the world. In Brazil alone, "Pies Descalzos" sold in excess of 900,000 copies, leading Shakira to record remixes in Portuguese for her Brazilian fans. She abandoned the light pop format she had been doing and declined her label's suggestion to explore more commercial avenues. Instead, she insisted on recording her very own brand of music: a blend of pop and rock that was unprecedented for a Colombian musician, much less a woman. Such a smashing hit seems impossible to surpass. But Shakira has done it with "Donde Estan los Ladrones," a collection of potential hits that further explores the realms of rock 'n' roll without losing Shakira's authenticity. "It is totally refreshing for me to work with an artist who knows exactly what she wants, both at a musical and a personal level," said Emilio Estefan. "Her music is Shakira.

It's real music." No wonder, then, that it was Shakira who was chosen among dozens of female Latin singers to grace the cover of Time Magazine in a recent article titled "Era of the Rockera". Last year, the Colombian government designated Shakira as an official goodwill ambassador, the Pope granted her an audience in the Vatican, and she was named Latin Female Artist of the Year at the World Music Awards in Monaco in May. The next logical step is crossover to the English market, a goal that is now closer than ever. Critics are already hailing "Donde Estan los Ladrones" as a breakthrough album whose thought-provoking songs (the title track skewers thieves) that leave her standing a notch taller than a slew of female singer/songwriters, heard on radio today. Shakira's first single, translated by Gloria Estefan, is already in the works. For the most exciting singer/songwriter to come out of Latin America in years, the possibilities are endless. For the millions that already buy her albums, she is already the voice of a new generation.

t's the songs that make her new album, LAUNDRY SERVICE, her first with English-language tunes, the kind of breakthrough work that will turn the pop world on its head. From the tango-inflected "Objection (Tango)," to the Middle Eastern flavor of "Eyes Like Yours," to the lyrical innovations of "Underneath Your Clothes", to the richness of the melodies of "The One," to the pop-rock of "Whenever Wherever," Shakira will stand in the ranks of the best singer-songwriters in any language.
"I think I am celebrating life more than ever," said Shakira. "I had a slightly narrow vision of love. Now I am feeling unguarded, and it feels great. I feel washed clean of the way I looked at things in the past, which is why I am calling the album LAUNDRY SERVICE."
The most extraordinary thing about LAUNDRY SERVICE is the way she was able to translate her Latin American sensibility into a new language. The idea to do songs in English first came up during Shakira's partnership with Emilio and Gloria Estefan. Gloria initiated the process by translating "Ojos Así," a song that appeared on Shakira's last album, Dónde Están Los Ladrones? (Where are the Thieves?). "I wanted to have her involved in this somehow because she was one of the people that really believed that I could make a record in English," said Shakira.
But nurturing the belief that she could write songs in English was a strong challenge. "The first song I wrote by myself for this record was "Objection," remembered Shakira. "I prayed and asked God to send me a good song today, and I remember I started writing the song a couple of hours after. I wrote the music and lyrics at the same time, and when that happens it's really magical to me." When she completed "Objection," she knew that she could write ten more, so she packed up her loved ones and set up portable studios in rural Uruguay. Taking in the primordial energy of natural surroundings, Shakira came up with a crop of new songs more introspective, more passionate than any she had written before. "I had to find a way to express my ideas and my feelings, my day to day stories in English. So I bought a couple of rhyming dictionaries, read poetry, and authors like Leonard Cohen and Walt Whitman," she said.
"I would feel love in Spanish but I would think about how to express that love in English. Afterwards that became such a natural process, and if you check the subject of my songs, most of them talk about my own experiences and feelings and what I was actually going through in my life," said Shakira. "Is impossible not to write about love.. It's the great mystery of life. It makes me ask myself new questions every day."
Shakira is one of the poetic songwriters of her generation and considered the best female lyricist in Latin America: On the ballad "Underneath Your Clothes," she claims as territory a man she likens to "a song written by the hands of God"; on the blues-rocker "Fool" her "tears make a sea of desert." But she is still as quirky around the edges as she's always been-on "Ready for the Good Times" she remembers close encounters with roaches; on "Poem to a Horse" she scolds a friend dulled by "hydroponic pot," and on "The One," she rewards her true love by shaving her legs and learning how to cook.
"I try to represent only myself, but there are many women that identify with me," said Shakira. "I am definitely not a woman who washes her husband's clothes every day. I hope I don't sound like a feminist leader saying these things. I just try to be honest the way I write."

There's no doubt that Shakira has maintained her creative integrity with her new project. But perhaps more importantly, LAUNDRY SERVICE is a record that reflects her deep love for the basics of rock production. "I felt that I needed to make an organic record with real players in the studio playing live music and doing it like they made records 30 years ago, in the old times," said Shakira. "We used an engineer named Terry Manning, who's worked with ACDC, Led Zeppelin, Lenny Kravitz. He's somebody from the old school. I was determined not to depend on too many electronic sounds, and he definitely understood that."
On LAUNDRY SERVICE there is a very strong dedication to old-fashioned rock riffs, to the soulful, bluesy singing styles of a Bonnie Raitt, even the mournful, wailing guitars of Aerosmith. But Shakira can't help being herself, and that means that "Whenever Wherever," will bounce along with some help from Andean pan flutes and Brazilian drums, and "Eyes Like Yours" bursts from your CD player with navel-baring, belly-dancing furor. And for those longing for Shakira in her original language, four new tracks in Spanish are included. "The world has become so small and music is so eclectic now, and our taste is so broad that that's almost predictable that all this crossover from one culture to another was going to happen," she said, then paused for a second, making sure everyone knew she had her priorities straight. "But I know that rock and roll is never going to die."


Home | About us | AdvertiseWeb Mail | Contact us | Celebrities | Music | Beauty | Sports | Ask Me |
Sitemap | Arasale Radio Station | Currency Converter | Message Board | Daily Cartoon | Games Zone | Greeting Cards