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One of the most popular Latin pop stars around the globe, singer Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born in Barranquilla, Columbia February 2nd, 1977. She quickly developed an aptitude for singing and performing and was first signed when she was only 13 years old. Although her first two albums garnered little attention, she soon rose to fame in Latin America with the release of her 1995 album Pies Descalzos and her subsequent 1998 album Donde Estan los Ladrones?, the latter of which sold 7 million copies.
It wasn’t until her first English single “Whenever, Wherever” released in 2001 that Shakira become a hit in the U.S. Her first English album Laundry Service sold over 15 million albums worldwide. ‘
Since her initial success, Shakira has won five MTV Video Music Awards, two Grammy Awards, and eight Latin Grammy Awards. Her song “Waka Waka (This Time for Africe)” was the 2010 FIFA World Cup official song and the English version of the song’s music video is the fifth most watched video of all time on YouTube. She currently stands as the highest selling Columbian musician of all time.
In recent years, Shakira was appointed by President Barak to serve on his Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics in 2011. She also serves as a Goodwill Ambassador to UNICEF.
In addition to making pop albums and promoting charity work, the singer will lend her talents to the singing competition The Voice as a judge starting in 2013, replacing Christina Aguilera.
As for her personal life, Shakira began dating soccer player Gerard Pique, who plays for FC Barcelona, in 2010. The two welcomed son Milan Pique Mebarak on January 22, 2013, the first child for Shakira. Prior the their son’s birth, the couple encouraged fans to donate to UNICEF in lieu of buying baby shower gifts.