- 11:07 AM, May 21
The talented Latin pop singer Shakira was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, on February 2, 1977, as Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll. Being the youngest daughter in the family, she inherits an exotic look with the mixture of Lebanese-Colombian blood from her parents, William Mebarak Chadid and Nidia del Carmen Ripoll Torrado. At her early age, she listened to the music of her parents' culture as well as English-language songs, preferably those came from Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, The Police, and The Cure.
"I was so in love with that rock sound" she said, "But at the same time because my father is of Lebanese descent, I am devoted to Arabic tastes and sounds. Somehow I am fusion of all of those passions and my music is a fusion of elements that I can make coexist in the same place in one song."
Shakira began writing her own song when she was merely 8 years old, and then at age 10 went to compete in either local or national talent contests in which she always won. Within the year of 1990, this 13-years-old girl, whose name in Arabic means "woman full of grace," moved to Bogota, hoping to establish a career in modeling. Instead of becoming a model, she was noticed by Miguel E. Cubillos and Pablo Tedeschi of Sony Colombia which later offered her a record deal.
In the following year, she released her first album entitled "Magia" (Magic) which was quite successful. It contained the songs she had written on her own between the age of 8 and 13. The second album, "Peligro" (Danger), came to public in 1993 and had the same response with the previous one. Being a perfectionist, Shakira felt dissatisfied with the album's result, thus she turned her attention to acting in 1994, taking the role of Luisa Maria in the Colombian soap opera, "El Oasis."
Apparently, music took roots in Shakira's heart for she returned to the business by coming up with her third album, "Pies Descalzos" (Barefeet), in 1995. In this album, she composed her songs with more rock and roll rhythms blended with the Arabic tinges. This particular album surprisingly became number one in eight different countries with its hit single "Esto Aqui" getting platinum in U.S.
Focusing her thoughts on music, she finally left "El Oasis" in 1997. In order to develop her career as a singer, Shakira decided to take