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Then & Now

2009 She Wolf

The multi-platinum, Latin pop singer Shakira will release her new album, She Wolf, on November 23. Check out her newest video featuring Lil Wayne, "Give It Up To Me," and two videos from her upcoming release, "She Wolf" and "Did It Again."

2005 Oral Fixation

In 2004, Shakira began the writing process for a new album and soon had sixty songs ready to go--some in English, some in Spanish. Twenty songs were selected and divided up by language to make two different albums. Both appeared in 2005 and each hit the Top Ten, with the Spanish-language album Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1 in June and the English-language album, Oral Fixation, Vol. 2, in November. In March the following year, Epic reissued the album with a bonus track, "Hips Don't Lie" featuring Wyclef Jean. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in June, becoming one of the summer's biggest hits.

2001 Laundry Service

Laundry Service was Shakira's first album to feature mostly English songs. The single and music 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.

2000 MTV Unplugged

When Gloria Estefan offered to translate "Ojos Así" into English, the prospect of a crossover suddenly seemed tangible. Shakira decided that the most effective way to maintain control over her material was to learn English well enough to write songs in it herself. In the meantime, she set the stage for her crossover bid with a performance on MTV Unplugged, the channel's first Spanish-language broadcast. MTV Unplugged was released as an album in early 2000, topped the Latin charts for two weeks on its way to becoming her third straight platinum album and won a Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album.

1998 Dónde Están los Ladrones?

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?, became an even bigger worldwide hit than her previous effort, Pies Descalzo. It spent eleven weeks at number one on Billboard's Latin album chart and produced two U.S. Latin Chart number ones with "Ciega, Sordomuda" and "Tu." The album's signature track was the worldwide hit, "Ojos Así"--Shakira's nod to the music and dancing of her father's Middle Eastern heritage.

1996 Pies Descalzos

For Pies Descalzos, Shakira asserted more control over the direction of her music and worked rock & roll rhythms and occasional Arabic tinges into her Latin pop material. The album was a slow seller at first, but gradually caught on thanks to "Estoy Aqui," which became a hit all over Latin America, as well as Spain. After that breakthrough, Pies Descalzos kept spinning off singles: "Dónde Estás Corazón?," "Antología," "Pienso en Ti," "Un Poco de Amor," "Se Quiere, Se Mata." The album hit number one in eight different countries and eventually went platinum in the U.S. as well.

1991 Beginnings

In 1990, at age 13, Shakira moved to Bogotá, Colombia in hopes of pursuing a modeling career, but wound up signing a record deal with Sony's Colombian division instead. Her 1991 debut album, Magia, was comprised of 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 from 1994 to 1997.

1977 Birth

Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born February 2, 1977, in Barranquilla, Colombia, into a poor family. Her mother was a native Colombian and her father was of Lebanese descent. As a child Shakira soaked up music from both cultures as well as English-language rock & roll. In later interviews, she listed her favorite bands as Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, the Police, the Cure, and Nirvana. Shakira wrote her first song at age eight, began winning talent competitions at age ten, and started learning the guitar at age eleven.

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