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Birthname: Shakira Isabelle Mebarak Ripoll
Birthday: February 9, 1977
Place of Birth: Barranquilla, Colombia
Mother: Nidia Ripoll
Father: William Mebarak
Siblings:Tonino, Alberto, Robin, Edward, Moisés, Ana, Patricia and Lucy.
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
Height: 5' 2"
Weight: 106


Shakira Meberak Ripoll was born in Barranquila, Columbia. Her name, which is Arabic for "woman full of grace," relates to her ancestry.Her Mother is colombianand her father is a lebanese jeweler. His arabic background greatly influenced Shakira and her lyrics, maybe that's why she belly dances. From the beginning Shakira was destined for music. By age 10 she was in many talent shows. By 13, she had signed a record deal with Sony in Colombia, just before releasing her debut album, "Magia," which means Magic in English. It featured songs she wrote between the ages of 8 and 13 years old. 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 her second album of material, "Peligro," which translates to Danger. Shakira then Shakira vanished from the music business, graduated from high school (at age 15) and came back to reclaim her musical throne. And she did, she released the an album the latin music world would never forget, "Pies Descalzos," which had sold almost to four million copies throughout the world. Shakira became an international star, by going on tour for almost two years. In Brazil alone, "Pies Descalzos" sold in excess of 900,000 copies.So to say thank you, Shakira redid her albumin Portugese for them. She 86ed the light pop style she had been performing. Instead, she insisted on recording her very own style of music, which consists of a little of pop and rock that was unorthodox for a Colombian artist, much less a woman. Such a smashing hit seemed impossible to surpass. But Shakira did it with "Donde Estan los Ladrones," an album of hits that exploited Shakira's new style. No wonder, then, that it was Shakira who was chosen to enchant the cover of Time Magazine in an article titled "Era of the Rockera". Even the Colombian government liked her, so much they made Shakira an official goodwill ambassador, the Pope granted her an audience in the Vatican (guess he liked her too). She won Latin Female Artist of the Year at the World Music Awards in Monaco. The next move she made was the switch to the English music world. Shakira is the most influential voice in Latin pop/rock today. Shakira, who rised to international fame with the multi-million selling "Pies Descalzos," changed the formulaic mold of Latin pop with an authentic sound that hadn't been heard before forever. Ever since "Donde Estan los Ladrones" she will be known as the dawning of a new era for latin music. Most recently, Shakira made her American debut with the first single off of "The Laundy Service," "Whenever, Wherever."

"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 Her music is Shakira. It's real music.
---Emilio Estefan