Latin sensation, Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll is undoubtedly one of our generation’s top Latin artists. She has put out albums after albums full of hit songs, selling over 75 million albums, making her one of the best-selling Latin artists of all time.

Before Shakira broke into the English music scene, which would eventually lead her to international stardom, she was already making waves in Latin America as the alternative rock-and-roll girl from Barranquilla, Colombia.

But Shakira didn’t become the megastar she is today by sticking to mainstream standards. Instead, she embraced her Lebanese roots and came out with “Ojos Asi” (Eyes like These) off her “Donde Están Los Ladrones” (Where are the Thieves) album.

The song incorporates Middle Eastern undertones, Arabic words and belly dancing. With her incredibly unique voice, Shakira was on her way to becoming unstoppable.

 

[Chorus]

Le pido al cielo solo un deseo

Que en tus ojos yo pueda vivir

He recorrido ya el mundo entero

Y una cosa te vengo a decir

Viajé de Bahrein hasta Beirut

Fui desde el Norte hasta el polo sur

Y no encontré ojos así, como los que tienes tú

(Rabboussamai fikarrajaii)

(Fi ainaiha aralhayati)

(Ati ilaika min haza lkaaouni)

(Arjouka labbi labbi nidai)

Viajé de Bahrein hasta Beirut

Fui desde el Norte hasta el polo sur

Y no encontre ojos así como los que tienes tú

And she became just that when she hit her crossover in late 2001 with her fifth album, “Laundry Service.” With the help of Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Shakira hit the U.S. markets and eventually internationally.  

Her talents became truly unmatched.

In the early 2000s, she released Shakira MTV Unplugged, which would lead to a Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album.

“Whenever, Wherever” became a top-selling single, making her album multi-platinum certified and the seventh best-selling album in 2002. If you think that’s impressive, the song hit number one in 29 countries. I don’t know about you, but for a Spanish artist’s first English song, that’s pretty cool!

But her success wouldn’t stop there.

In 2005, Shakira released “Hips Don’t Lie” which became No. 1 on the charts in 55 countries. The record featured Haitian rapper, Wyclef Jean and it cultivated both of their cultural rhythms. This became Shakira’s first and only No. 1 hit song on Billboard’s Hot 100.

In 2018, “Hips Don’t Lie” was named one of Rolling Stone’s 50 Greatest Latin Pop Songs.

Shakira doesn’t just rock the stages with her incredible singles and dance moves. She also rocks sports celebrations. Shakira has become the “unofficial World Cup queen” as she’s been the first artist to perform three times for the FIFA World Cup.

But her most memorable World Cup appearance has to be in 2010 when she released “Waka Waka” (This time for Africa), the official song for the World Cup tournament hosted in South Africa.

The official music video became very popular and it seems to continue stacking views. As it hit its 10-year mark in May, the video has over 2.5 billion views on YouTube.

Don’t you just wish we could go back to summer 2010?

But language mergers don’t seem to be the only thing Shakira is into. She’s also merged into the American football scene too. 

Earlier this year she shared the Superbowl Halftime Show with Jennifer Lopez. Both artists helped make Superbowl history by being the show’s first two Latina headliners.    

Besides making music, Shakira is a mother, wife, activist, UNICEF ambassador and founder of The Pies Descalzos (Barefoot) Foundation, which was named after her first breakout album.

Although she’s always keeping busy outside of the music scene, Shakira still keeps making hits such as “She Wolf,” “La Tortura,” “Chantaje,” “Me Gusta”… should I keep going?

In her years as an artist, Shakira has beautifully taken the world by storm and it doesn’t look like she’s slowing down anytime soon. 

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