Today's artist is a Colombian singer, songwriter, and dancer. Born and raised in Barranquilla, she began performing in school, demonstrating Latin American, Arabic, and rock and roll influences and belly dancing abilities. She rose to prominence in Latin America with her major-label debut, Pies Descalzos (1996), and her fourth album, Dónde Están los Ladrones? (1998). As of 2001, she had sold over 10 million albums alone in Latin America, A self made artist that really puts Madonna in the shade, a woman that has known what she wants and has gotten it, respect .... N'Joy
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Born on 2 February 1977 in Barranquilla, Colombia, Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll is the only child of William Mebarak Chadid and Nidia Ripoll Torrado. Her paternal grandparents emigrated from Lebanon to New York City, where her father was born Her father then emigrated to Colombia at age 5. The name Shakira is Arabic for "grateful", From her mother, she has Spanish and Italian ancestry. She was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools. She has eight older half-siblings from her father's previous marriage. Shakira spent much of her youth in Barranquilla, a city located on the northern Caribbean coast of Colombia, and wrote her first poem, titled "La Rosa De Cristal/The Crystal Rose", when she was only four years old. As she was growing up, she was fascinated watching her father writing stories on a typewriter, and asked for one as a Christmas gift. She got that typewriter at the age of seven, and has continued writing poetry since then. These poems eventually evolved into songs. When Shakira was two years old, an older half-brother was killed in a motorcycle accident; six years later, at the age of eight, Shakira wrote her first song, titled "Tus gafas oscuras/Your dark glasses", which was inspired by her father, who for years wore dark glasses to hide his grief.
When Shakira was four, her father took her to a local Middle Eastern restaurant, where Shakira first heard the doumbek, a traditional drum used in Arabic music and which typically accompanied belly dancing. She started dancing on the table, and the experience made her realize that she wanted to be a performer. She enjoyed singing for schoolmates and teachers (and even the nuns) at her Catholic school, she was often sent out of the class because of her hyperactivity (ADHD). Between the ages of 10 and 13, Shakira was invited to various events in Barranquilla and gained some recognition in the area. It was at this approximate time that she met local theater producer Monica Ariza, who was impressed with her and as a result tried to help her career. He arranged for Sony Colombia executives with the idea of surprising them with Shakira's performance. She performed three songs for the executives and impressed them enough for her to be signed to record three albums. Her 1991 debut album, Magia, comprised songs she'd written over the past five or six years, including some of her earliest efforts. Although it didn't break internationally, the record started to make a name for her in her home country. Dissatisfied with the pop inclinations of the follow-up, 1993's Peligro, Shakira changed direction for a time, joining the cast of the Colombian soap opera El Oasis in 1994.
Seeking to build on her success, Shakira signed Emilio Estefan -- Gloria's husband and a highly successful music-biz insider -- as her manager and producer. The move paid off when her follow-up album, 1998's Dónde Están los Ladrones? (Where Are the Thieves?), became an even bigger worldwide hit than its predecessor. What was more, it cracked the lucrative U.S. market wide open, spending 11 weeks at number one on Billboard's Latin album chart and producing two U.S. number ones (on the Latin chart) with "Ciega, Sordomuda" and "Tu." The album's signature track, however, was the worldwide hit "Ojos Así," her most explicit nod yet to the Arabic music she'd picked up from her father (not to mention its latent belly dancing connotations). Dónde Están los Ladrones? was also the most effective presentation yet of Shakira's strong-willed persona; her self-analysis made her even more popular among female fans, while her anger over love gone wrong drew comparisons to Alanis Morissette.
Mainstream pop stardom beckoned. Shakira dyed her long brown hair blonde, romanced Antonio de la Rua (son of the former president of Argentina), and went to work on her first (mostly) English-language album, Laundry Service. The single/video "Whenever, Wherever" was released in advance of the album in late 2001, and made her a star in the English-speaking world almost overnight. Laundry Service entered the American pop charts at number three, and "Whenever, Wherever" climbed into the Top Ten of the singles chart, peaking at number six. The follow-up, "Underneath Your Clothes," also hit the Top Ten, halting at number nine; less than a year after its release, Laundry Service had gone triple platinum. Reviews of Laundry Service were divided as to the effectiveness of Shakira's English lyrics, but nearly all agreed on her unique poetic imagery.
Extensive touring to support Laundry Service led to a long break for the singer, so a remix collection (2002's Laundry Service: Washed and Dried) and a live album (2004's Live & Off the Record) appeared in lieu of a new album. Revitalized, Shakira began the writing process for her next release and soon had 60 songs ready to go, some in English, some in Spanish; 20 of those songs were selected and divided up by language to make two different albums. Both appeared in 2005 and both hit the Top Ten, with the Spanish-language album Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1 leading the way in June with a number four placing and the English-language album, Oral Fixation, Vol. 2, following in November at number five. As sales of Oral Fixation began to slow in early 2006, Epic reissued the album in March with a bonus track, "Hips Don't Lie." The newly recorded song went on to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart in June, becoming one of the summer's biggest hits and reviving sales of Oral Fixation, as well as Shakira's entire back catalog.
Shakira signed a ten-year contract with Live Nation in 2008, prompting Forbes to deem her the fourth top-earning female musician in history. She also worked heavily on another album, traveling to multiple cities while collaborating with such producers as RedOne, Wyclef Jean, and Luis F. Ochoa. She Wolf was completed in 2009 and readied for release in October, marking her third English-language album. The electro-disco-heavy She Wolf didn't make many commercial waves, performing well in Europe, Colombia, and Mexico but not in the U.S., yet Shakira quickly bounced back in 2010 with "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)," the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup that became an international smash hit. On the heels of its success came Sale el Sol in the fall of 2010, an album largely recorded in Spanish that continued her remarkable worldwide success. A live album from Sale el Sol's supporting tour, Shakira: Live from Paris, appeared in time for the 2011 Christmas season.
In 2012, Shakira replaced Christina Aguilera as a coach on the American hit musical talent show The Voice. She initially served for only one season, leaving in 2013, and after her departure she finalized her tenth album. Called Shakira, the record saw release in March 2014, preceded by the hit Rihanna duet "Can't Remember to Forget You." Shakira also served on The Voice again for season six of the series. In 2016, she voiced the character Gazelle in the animated film Zootopia. The movie's soundtrack generated a new Shakira single in "Try Everything," a song co-written by Sia and Stargate. Early in 2017, Shakira appeared on "Deja Vu," a hit single by Prince Royce, who returned the favor by appearing on El Dorado, the album Shakira released in May of 2017. El Dorado was preceded by the single "Me Enamore" and featured appearances by Maluma, Carlos Vivas, and MAGIC! Shakira took home a Latin Grammy that year for Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album. El Dorado was also nominated for an Anglo Grammy in the best Latin Pop Album category. Teaming up again with reggaeton singer Maluma, Shakira issued the collaborative single "Clandestino" in 2018.
Shakira began a relationship with Argentine lawyer Antonio de la Rúa in 2000. In a 2009 interview, Shakira stated their relationship already worked as a married couple, and that "they don't need papers for that". After 11 years together, Shakira and de la Rúa separated in August 2010 in what she described as "a mutual decision to take time apart from our romantic relationship". She wrote that the couple "view this period of separation as temporary", with de la Rúa overseeing Shakira's "business and career interests as he has always done". As first reported in September 2012, de la Rúa sued Shakira in April 2013, asking for $100 million he believed he was owed after Shakira suddenly terminated her business partnership with him in October 2011. His lawsuit was dismissed by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge in August 2013.
Shakira entered a relationship with the Spanish football player Gerard Piqué, centre back for FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team in 2011. Piqué, who is exactly ten years her junior, first met Shakira in the spring of 2010, when Piqué appeared in the music video for Shakira's song "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)", the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Shakira gave birth to the couple's first son, Milan Piqué Mebarak, on 22 January 2013 in Barcelona, Spain, where the family had taken up residence. Shakira gave birth to their second son, Sasha Piqué Mebarak, on 29 January 2015.
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The acoustic-oriented performances one hears on the show MTV Unplugged have a nice way of separating the men from the boys and the women from the girls. When artists go acoustic -- or at least semi-acoustic -- on that program, they can't hide behind decibels and amps or try to win you over with volume for the sake of volume. They become exposed and vulnerable, which is a good thing if they have solid material, strong vocals, and genuine talent to offer -- although it isn't so good if they are lacking in those areas. Shakira, not surprisingly, emerged triumphant when she appeared on MTV Unplugged, and this 2000 release is a fine document of that appearance. Mainly performing songs from 1999's Dónde Están los Ladrones?, Shakira demonstrates that she doesn't need studio gloss to sound great. Are her studio albums full of slickness and studio gloss? Absolutely. But ultimately, the thing that does the most to enrich Dónde Están los Ladrones? and 2001's Laundry Service isn't the albums' shiny, attractive production -- it is great vocals and great songwriting. "Si Te Vas," "Moscas en la Casa," "No Creo," and other Latin pop/rock gems lose nothing when Shakira unplugs; in fact, the Columbian vocalist really shines in an intimate, acoustic-oriented live setting. This more intimate environment tends to isolate the lyrics, which is certainly a plus when Shakira is performing something as poetic as the Arabic-influenced "Ojos Así." Of course, those who don't speak Spanish won't be discussing the lyrics of "Ojos Así" or any of the other tracks; this album preceded Shakira's first English-language effort, Laundry Service, and came at a time when she was still recording in Spanish exclusively. But regardless of whether or not one understands Spanish, MTV Unplugged is an excellent live album.
Shakira - MTV Unplugged (flac 326mb)
01 Octavo Día 6:21
02 Si Te Vas 3:38
03 Dónde Están Los Ladrones 3:32
04 Moscas En La Casa 3:52
05 Ciega, Sordomuda 4:09
06 Inevitable 3:39
07 Estoy Aquí 4:58
08 Tú 5:22
09 Sombra De Ti 4:07
10 No Creo 4:08
11 Ojos Asi 6:49
Shakira - MTV Unplugged (ogg 126mb )
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The Latin pop and rock en español fields are full of talented artists who would probably be huge in the English-language market if they didn't sing in Spanish exclusively. Some non-Spanish-speaking listeners don't mind listening to lyrics they don't understand -- the beat and the melody are enough for them -- but many others insist on understanding every word that is coming out of an artist's mouth. Thus, Latin stars usually don't cross over to English-speaking audiences until they start singing in English, which is what Shakira does on 2001's Laundry Service. "Whenever, Wherever," this album's infectious lead single, is to Shakira what "Livin' la Vida Loca" was to Ricky Martin: the major hit that brought her to English-speaking audiences in a big way. For Shakira, singing and writing in mostly English was no doubt a challenge -- Spanish, after all, is the Colombian star's primary language. But it's a challenge that she handles impressively well. Shakira, it turns out, sings quite convincingly in English -- and her creativity is at a high level on melodic, hooky pop/rock like "Rules" and "Ready for the Good Times." Like Shakira's Spanish-language albums, this self-produced album is enjoyably eclectic; she successfully combines pop/rock with everything from tango on "Objection" and Andean music on "Whenever, Wherever" to Middle Eastern music on "Eyes Like Yours" (which contains lyrics by Gloria Estefan and is an English translation of Shakira's late-'90s smash, "Ojos Así"). While nine of Laundry Service's 13 tracks are in English, four are in Spanish (including Spanish translations of "Whenever, Wherever" and "Objection"). And by including these four tracks, Shakira seems to be assuring her Spanish-speaking fans that she hasn't abandoned them. Dónde Están los Ladrones? remains Shakira's most essential album, but Laundry Service is an excellent English-language debut for the South American vocalist.
Shakira - Laundry Service (flac 411mb)
01 Objection (Tango) 3:44
02 Underneath Your Clothes 3:45
03 Whenever, Wherever 3:16
04 Rules 3:40
05 The One 3:43
06 Ready For The Good Times 4:14
07 Fool 3:51
08 Te Dejo Madrid 3:07
09 Poem To A Horse 4:09
10 Que Me Quedes Tú 4:48
11 Eyes Like Yours (Ojos Así) 3:58
12 Suerte (Whenever, Wherever) 3:16
13 Te Aviso, Te Anuncio (Tango) 3:43
14 Whenever, Wherever (Sahara Mix) 3:57
15 Underneath Your Clothes (Acoustic Version) 3:57
16 Objection (Tango) (Afro-Punk Version) 3:53
Shakira - Laundry Service (ogg 116mb)
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Laundry Service gave Shakira her long-anticipated English-language breakthrough, turning her into a global superstar in the process. A hit of that magnitude is hard to follow, so it shouldn't be a great surprise that she toiled on its sequel for upward of four years. What is surprising is that the subsequent album was split in two -- à la Kill Bill -- with the first being devoted to Spanish tunes and the second consisting entirely of English songs; the teasing titles Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1 and Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 indicate which is which and which hit the market first. It's kind of a sharp move to release Fijacion Oral first, since it not only satisfies her longtime fans who have been waiting a long time for a collection of brand-new Spanish material (she hasn't delivered one since 1998's Dónde Están los Ladrones?), it also subtly signals that she won't be placing American success above anything else. Similarly, Fijacion Oral smartly straddles the line between traditional Latin pop and the sexy, splashy dance-pop and bombastic adult contemporary pop that made Laundry Service a big hit in the U.S.: its heart is in the former, but the production -- the omnipresent Rick Rubin serves as the executive producer -- is slick and bright, enough to make the first single, "La Tortura," sound like a natural for American radio (even if it will never be played because it's sung in Spanish). Despite the surface sheen, Fijacion Oral is proudly a Latin pop record, and it conforms to the conventions of its genre, alternating between melodramatic ballads and insistent dance tunes, sometimes working a sleek bossa nova number into the equation for good measure (the terrific "Obtener un Sí," which sounds like it could have been a big hit in the late '60s). Even if it doesn't break convention, it nevertheless does its job extremely well, with an ample amount of style and flair, as well as more songcraft than Shakira is usually given credit for. She's written each song here, sometimes in collaboration with either Luis F. Ochoa or Lester Mendez, and these ten originals (the 12-track album includes two alternate versions) have a combination of commercial savvy and smart writing, making this album a small triumph, proof that Shakira can not only return to her roots, but expand upon them. Since this is a Latin pop record through and through, it will not cross over the way that Laundry Service did, but that's by design: Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1 will conquer half of the world, and the other half will follow with Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 in six months' time. Given the strength of this album, it's hard to wait for the second part to arrive.
Shakira - Fijación Oral, Vol. 1 ( flac 257mb)
01 En Tus Pupilas 4:24
02 La Pared 3:20
03 La Tortura 3:35
04 Obtener Un Sí 3:21
05 Dia Especial 4:25
06 Escondite Inglés 3:10
07 No 4:47
08 Las De La Intuición 3:42
09 Dia De Enero 2:55
10 Lo Imprescindible 3:58
11 La Pared (Versión Acústica) 2:41
12 La Tortura (Shaketon Remix) 3:12
Shakira - Fijación Oral, Vol. 1 (ogg 102mb)
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Shakira delights in confounding expectations, and nowhere is that better seen than in how she secured a massive crossover audience on her own terms. She blended Latin pop and American mainstream pop, on both the dance and easy listening sides of the equation, on her 2001 breakthrough, Laundry Service, but it was no crass cash grab -- she eased herself into the transition, balancing songs in Spanish and English on the record while crafting tunes in both languages to appeal to both longtime fans and new listeners. That set the stage for her magnum opus of 2005, the two-part album Fijación Oral/Oral Fixation. Volume one was her first Spanish-language Latin pop album since 1998 and the second was her first ever all-English crossover album, and if anybody was expecting the latter to be a continuation of Laundry Service, consisting of nothing but sexy dance tunes and power ballads, Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 will be a bit of a surprise: it's a deadly serious, ambitious pop/rock album, most assuredly not frivolous dance-pop. Even when the album dives into pulsating neo-disco, it's in the form of a protest song in the closer, "Timor," which isn't exactly by-the-numbers pop. And that's a pretty good description of Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 in general -- it's pop, but it's unconventional. Even when she alludes to pop divas past, whether it's with the foreboding gospel choir on "How Do You Do" that brings to mind "Like a Prayer" or how she cribs from Alanis Morissette on "Illegal" ("You said you would love me until you died/And as far as I know you're still alive" is very close to "You Oughta Know"), Shakira twists these references to her own purposes, taking the music in unexpected directions. All these turns and detours lead to the same general destination: the sound is grandly theatrical, darkly sultry, and unapologetically lurid, a place where Madonna and U2 exist not as peers, but as collaborators. For if this album is anything, it's a global pop/rock album with each of those modifiers carrying equal weight: these are pop songs performed as arena rock, belonging not to a single country but to the world as a whole. As such, the album touches on everything from the expected Latin rhythms to glitzy Euro-disco, trashy American rock & roll, and stomping Britpop, all punctuated by some stark confessionals, as Shakira sings about everything from love to religion, stopping along the way to reveal that women with 24 inch waists may indeed be heartbroken. If some of these ideas don't necessarily gel, at least Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 is alive with ambition and, more often than not, Shakira winds up with music that is distinctive as both songs and recordings. And that means that Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 is not only a markedly different album from Fijación Oral, but from every other record in her catalog -- or, most importantly, from any other pop album in 2005. Other artists may be bigger than Shakira while others may make more fully realized albums, but as of 2005, no other pop artist attempts as much and achieves as much as Shakira, as this often enthralling album proves.
Shakira - Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 (flac 321mb)
01 How Do You Do 3:47
02 Don't Bother 4:19
03 Illegal 3:56
04 The Day And The Time 4:25
05 Animal City 3:18
06 Dreams For Plans 4:04
07 Hey You 4:11
08 Your Embrace 3:34
09 Costume Makes The Clown 3:13
10 Something 4:24
11 Timor 3:33
Shakira - Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 (ogg 112mb)
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