Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born on February 2, 1977, and she is of Colombian and Lebanese descent. The album that put her on the map was “Laundry service” with her first English song, ‘Whenever, Wherever’ making it to number one internationally in several countries. Shakira was catapulted to fame and eventually hailed as the highest-selling female Latin American artist, her peak years being the 2000s. Referred to as the ‘Queen of Latin music,’ she is most notably known for her iconic style of dancing and her unique voice. We’ll help you celebrate her special day right here.
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll
February 2, 1977
In a relationship
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, who is simply referred to as Shakira, is synonymous with the iconic staples of the entertainment industry in the 2000s. Shakira was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, on February 22, 1977, to a Lebanese-American father, Mebarak Chadid, and a Colombian mother, Nidia Ripoll Torrado. An only child, Shakira’s roots influenced her artistry. Her name is the Arabic feminine word for grateful. Shakira always had a penchant for writing and she wrote her first song at age eight.
Shakira landed her first deal for an album at age 13, when Monica Arize, a local theater producer, managed to get her an audition with Sony Colombia executives, who were instantly taken with the young talent and signed her for three albums. Her first and second albums, however, did not succeed commercially. In 1994, she released a song dubbed ‘Donde Estas Corazon,’ which was a huge hit in Colombia, and prompted Sony Music and Colombia records to sign a third deal with the young singer. While the album fared well in Latin America and topped the charts at number five on the U.S Billboard Top Latin Albums, it was Shakira’s fourth album that put her on the map — reaching number 131 on the U.S Billboard 200, and number one on the U.S Latin Album charts.
Having learned English with the help of Gloria Estefan, Shakira then released her English album, “Laundry Service,” in 2001. ‘Whenever, Wherever’, which is featured on the album, topped the charts in several countries and made it to number six on the Hot 100. From then on, Shakira went on to release a string of hits, including ‘Hips Don’t Lie,’ ‘La Tortura,’ and ‘Waka Waka.’ Shakira is considered the best-selling Latin female artist of all time, with over 145 songs released and about 80 million records sold. She also headlined the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show, alongside Jenifer Lopez, with about 103 million viewers tuning in. The singer has amassed, to date, 71.1 million Instagram followers.
Aged 13, Shakira releases “Magia,” her first album recorded with Sony Music Colombia but the album doesn’t do well.
Her third album and international debut, “Pies Descalzos” takes the number five spot on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart in the U.S.
The album dubbed “Laundry Service,” featuring the hit song 'Whenever, Wherever,' reaches the number one spot in several countries, thus becoming an international success.
Shakira’s 'Hips Don’t Lie' featuring Wyclef Jean makes it to number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and goes on to grant her a nomination for the Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals award at the 49th Grammy Awards.
Shakira wins Top Latin Artist and Top Latin song for ‘Waka Waka.’
Shakira becomes the recipient of yet another Grammy award, for Best Latin Pop Album.
Why We Love Shakira
She founded her own NGO
Shakira founded her NGO, ‘Fundacion Pies Descalzos’ in 1997, which works towards improving education in Colombia and Latin America.
She’s an environmental advocate
Shakira hasn’t been afraid to speak out on the repercussions of climate change. In her quest to combat the environmental harm we are causing to our planet, she was selected by Prince William to take part in the environmental project, Earthshot Prize.
First Colombian UNICEF ambassador
Shakira has been a UNICEF ambassador since 2003 and was at the time considered the youngest ambassador aged only 26. She was commended for the work she’s done with her NGO.
5 Surprising Facts
Shakira was teased for her singing
She was teased by her classmates and told she sounded like a goat.
She can flip a coin on her belly
When she was younger, Shakira would lie down on her back and flip a coin on her belly to practice flexibility.
Wild boars once stole her purse
While at a park in Barcelona with her son, two wild boars stole her bag, destroyed it, then dropped it as they continued to the woods.
A co-host in Revive Our Oceans
Alongside Sir David Attenborough, Shakira was a co-host of Revive Our Oceans, a series of BBC documentaries that looks into the effects of overfishing and pollution.
Her passion for surfing!
Recently, Shakira took up surfing and the Colombian singer has raved about the therapeutic benefits of the water sport.
Does Shakira have children
Yes, she has two children with Spanish football player Gerard Piqué.
What color are Shakira’s eyes?
Her eyes are dark brown.
What happened to Shakira?
Shakira had a hemorrhage in her vocal cords in 2017 and was convinced that there was a possibility she wouldn’t be able to sing again.
Shakira’s birthday dates