Date of Birth
- 9 February 1977
- Barranquilla, Colombia
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.
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."
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