Shakira is a Colombian singer-songwriter, musician, record producer and dancer. She is one of Latin America’s top stars and is very popular internationally. She is the highest-selling Colombian artist of all time. She has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, and has won numerous awards. She is also the only South American singer to have a number one record in the USA.
Shakira was born in 1977 in Colombia. Her mother is of Spanish and Italian ancestry, and her father is of Lebanese descent. She speaks fluent Spanish, English, Portuguese and Italian, and a little Arabic. Shakira was an outstanding student at school. Reports are she has an IQ of 140. She grew up writing poems on a typewriter she got as a Christmas gift.
Shakira wanted to perform from the age of four. She danced at school every Friday and her classmates nicknamed her "belly dancer girl". She said: "That's how I discovered my passion for live performance." Aged 13, she signed a three-album contract with Sony Music. The first two flopped; but the third, ‘Pies Descalzos’ sold over five million copies and made her a star.
Shakira crossed over into singing in English. Her 2001 album ‘Laundry Service’ sold 13 million copies and established her as an international phenomenon. Gabriel García Marquez asked her to write the songs for the movie ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’. Shakira has written the lyrics to every song she has recorded, bar two. She describes herself as a perfectionist.