When we hear the name Shakira, the first things we think of are her powerful vibrato and dynamic hips.
That’s because Shakira has stood out from amongst the music industry as “Queen of Latin Music,” being an incredible singer, songwriter, and energetic performer.
Her full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll. She was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia, and became a music artist at the age of 13.
Selling 75 million records worldwide has granted her the opportunity of receiving three Grammy Awards and twelve Latin Grammy Awards.
There is more to discover about this beautiful and talented curly-headed artist, especially details surrounding a young Shakira and her progress throughout the years.
Shakira When She Was Young:
1. Shakira, at around 10 years old, singing in her home.
Shakira first fell in love with music when she was just 4 years old. Her father had taken her to a Middle Eastern restaurant where she heard the Doumbek drum, which is traditional to Middle Eastern music and usually accompanies belly dancing. She started dancing on the table and realized her dream of becoming a performer. Every time she learned a new dance number, she would perform it in front of classmates at school, which landed her the title of “the belly dancing girl.” Between the ages of 10 and 13, she was invited to events in Barranquilla that gave her some recognition.
2. 15-year-old Shakira smiling in a photo wearing a red top that’s falling off her shoulder
Shakira was set up with Ciro Vargas, a Sony Colombia executive who was determined to give her a shot at having a career in the music industry. He organized an audition for her in Bogotá and arranged for other executives to show up, surprising them with her performance. They were so pleased that they signed her to the label to record three albums, one of which was Magia, her debut album with Sony Music Colombia.
3. Shakira and Ricky Martin in 1993 at Vina Del Mar Festival in Chile.
In 1993 Shakira was invited to perform at Vina Del Mar International Music Festival despite not being well known. The festival was about giving aspiring young Artists a chance to perform their talented musical creations. Shakira was 16 years old when she performed her song Eres (you are) at the Festival, winning the trophy for 3rd place. It was here she met a 21-year-old Ricky Martin, who was one of the judges who voted for her and was also at the brink of beginning his music career.
4. Shakira with naturally dark hair in a scene from La Oasis in 1994
La Oasis was a telenovela based on the original story of Romeo and Juliet. It depicted Shakira young and in love, playing the role of Luisa Maria, who fell in love with the son of her father’s enemy. She was only 17 years old when she starred in this series that gained a lot of fame in Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. There aren’t many records of the telenovela that shows Shakira in a completely different light than the one we now know and love her for.
5. Shakira in High School posing in a pair of denim shorts.
After Shakira recorded her dissatisfying second album Peligro, she decided to take a hiatus from music to focus on finishing High School. In 1995 she returned to create music under Sony Music and Colombia Records. Sony decided to finance her third record after she released her song Donde Estas Corazon which became a success on radio stations in Colombia. This success birthed her third studio and international debut album, Pies Descalzos.
6. Shakira outside in Bogota in 1996
Young Shakira went on her first international tour in March 1996 called Tour Pies Descalzos. During the tour, which lasted a year, she performed 20 shows and even received three Billboard Latin Music Awards for album of the year for Pies Descalzos, the album of the year for Estoy Aqui, and Best New Artist. She also landed that cover of Cosmopolitan Colombian Magazine in 1996.
7. The cover of Shakira’s fourth album Dónde Están los Ladrones.
Shakira produced her fourth studio album titled Dónde Están Los Ladrones with Emilio Estafan Jr. as the Executive producer. The album was released in September 1998 and was inspired by an incident she had experienced. A suitcase filled with her handwritten music was stolen at an airport. This album received even more recognition than Pies Descalzos, landing on US Billboard 200 and remaining in the top spot on the US Latin Albums for almost three months.
8. Shakira and Carlos Ponce posing for paparazzi at the 1999 4th annual ALMA Awards
Shakira attended the American Latino Media Arts (ALMA) Awards, held at Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, in April 1999. That was also the year she got her first nomination for a Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album. She had also recorded a live album titled MTV Unplugged, recorded in New York City, which had received a great amount of critical acclamation and was noted as one of her best-ever live performances.
9. Shakira in a sexy red outfit captured during a stage performance on her second tour
Tour Anfibio was Shakira’s second tour. It lasted for two months around Latin America and the United States, from its start in March 2000. In the summer of that year, she won an MTV Video Music Award for the people’s choice of a favorite international artist with her song Ojos Asi; She performed this song for the Latin Grammy Awards inaugural ceremony and was nominated in five categories; Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for MTV Unplugged, Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for Octavo Dí a Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and Best Short Form Music Video for the video for Ojos Así
10. Shakira is doing a photo shoot for the music video for her song Whenever, Wherever.
In 2001 Gloria Estefan helped Shakira learn English to release her first English crossover album. Shakira worked for over a year to gather her songs for her new album. It was some time between 2001 and early 2002 the song that we all know and love, Whenever, Wherever, was released as the first lead single from the album. This song became Shakira’s first huge success in the US by reaching number six on the Hot 100. It was in this music video the world fell in love with “the belly dancing girl.”
11. Shakira while entering the stage during her Tour Of The Mongoose in 2003.
Even though Shakira’s English album received criticism for her English skills and lyrics, it became the best-selling album in 2002 and her most successful album in her career at that time. Shakira, young and determined, didn’t let the comments on her English stop from shining; in fact, the album also earned her the title of biggest Latin female crossover artist in the world. In May 2003, she began her Tour Of The Mongoose, which was her first worldwide tour.
12. A smiling Shakira performing at Z 100’s Jingle Ball in New York in 2005
Shakira released her sixth studio album Fijación Oral, Volumen Uno (Oral Fixation, Volume one) in 2005. She, Sanz, and Daddy Yankee were the first artists to perform Spanish songs at the MTV Video Music Awards. Shakira continued to perform in several places, including New York City for Z 100’s Jingle Ball event. She released Oral Fixation, Vol two, in November 2005. It was her second English album and seventh overall studio album.
13. Shakira at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards in New York.
Another hit single from her seventh album, Hips Don’t Lie featuring Wyclef, was released in early 2006. This song that may have been the first song people heard by Shakira became her first number-one single on Billboard 100 while also reaching number one in over 55 countries. Shakira and Wyclef also recorded a Bamboo version of the song to use as the closing ceremony song for the FIFA World Cup in 2006.
14. Shakira’s movement captured on stage at Rock In Rio festival in 2008
In early 2009 Shakira was named the fourth top-earning female artist in the music industry by Forbes Magazine. She confirmed that title when she signed a 300 million dollar contract with Live Nation in the summer of that year. Another label that Shakira was signed to, Epic Records, called for a release of three new albums also; one in English, one in Spanish, and a compilation of both.
15. Shakira in a yellow dress on the AMA’s red carpet.
At the inauguration of President Barack Obama, Shakira performed at Lincoln Memorial “We Are One” festivities, singing Higher Ground with Stevie Wonder and Usher. Later in 2009, She Wolf was released, landing the album for that song a place in AllMusic’s year-end “Favorite Albums,” “Favorite Latin Albums,” and “Favorite Pop Albums” lists.
16. Shakira and her now-husband Gerard Pique when they first met
Shakira and Gerard met on the set of filming the music video for Waka Waka in South Africa. She collaborated with the South African group called Freshlyground to create Waka Waka, which was the official song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup taking place in South Africa. Waka became the biggest-selling World Cup song in history.
17. Shakira at a press conference for FIFA World Cup 2014 closing ceremony.
Shakira’s tenth album, named after herself, was released in March 2014. The album was originally set to release in 2012 but was postponed due to her pregnancy. The album became number two on US Billboard 200. Shakira performed the third single from the album La La La with Carlinhos Brown at the 2014 FIFA World Cup closing ceremony.
18.Shakira and her beautiful family (husband and two sons) at Los 40 Music Awards in 2016.
With her sights set on continuing to pursue her dreams, Shakira began working on her 11th album at the start of 2016. She won the Latin Grammy Award for record of the year and song of the year with her collaboration with Carlos Vives on her song La Bicicleta from the eleventh album. She continued to release music in collaboration with other artists, leading to her song Perro Fiel being certified as gold in Spain.
19. Shaikra at the Northern Lebanese Mountain Village of Tannourine, Lebanon, in 2018.
Shakira experiences some of her Lebanese heritage first hand when she visits the Northern Lebanese Mountain Village in the summer of 2018. At the beginning of the year, she won her third Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album for her eleventh album El Dorado, which made her the only female Latin artist to do such a thing. She announced her World Tour for El Dorado in 2017, but due to inflicted strain on her voice, she canceled at the last minute, leading to her announcing her tour dates in early 2018.
20. Shakira in a silver unitard on the cover of Cosmopolitan November 2021 issue.
In 2020 the world couldn’t stop talking about Shakira and Jennifer Lopez’s live halftime performance at the Super Bowl. The two stole the show with their revealing outfits, mesmerizing dances, and beautiful vocals. It became the most viewed halftime show at that time. In January 2021 Shakira sold her music catalog of 145 songs to Hipgnosis Songs Fund and later released her most recent single called Don’t Wait Up. Shakira is still telling the truth with her hips and raw talent, and what she does next would be a sight to see.