The best selling South American singer of all time
"Shakira is a Colombian singer and songwriter. Born and raised in Barranquilla, she began performing in school, demonstrating Latin American, Arabic, and rock and roll influences and belly dancing abilities. Shakira's first studio albums, Magia and Peligro, failed to attain commercial success in the 1990s; however, 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, before releasing her best seller Laundry Service, she has sold over 10 million albums alone in Latin America.
Shakira entered the English-language market with her fifth album, Laundry Service. Its lead single, "Whenever, Wherever", became one of the most successful singles of 2002. Her success was solidified with her sixth and seventh albums Fijación Oral, Volumen Uno and Oral Fixation, Volume Two (2005), the latter of which spawned the best selling single of the 2000s, one of the best-selling songs of the 21st century, "Hips Don't Lie", selling over 13 million only counting downloads (not including any other forms of digital sales, streams and physical copies). Shakira's eighth and ninth albums, She Wolf (2009) and Sale el Sol (2010), received critical praise. Her official song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)", became the biggest-selling World Cup song of all time with 10 million downloads. With over 1.7 billion views, it is one of the most viewed music videos on YouTube. She has four of the twenty top-selling hits of the last decade (2000 - 2009), more than any other artist. Shakira served as a coach on the fourth and sixth seasons of the American version of The Voice in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Her tenth album, Shakira (2014), is preceded by its lead single, "Can't Remember to Forget You".
Shakira has received numerous awards, including 5 MTV Video Music Awards, 3 Grammy Awards, 12 Latin Grammy Awards, 7 Billboard Music Awards, 33 Billboard Latin Music Awards and has been Golden Globe-nominated. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and sold over 125 million records worldwide (over 70 million albums sold) with 25.4 million record sales in the United States (as of 2014), making her the best selling South American singer and one of the best selling artists of all time. She carries out well-known philanthropic activities through charity work most notably through her Pies Descalzos Foundation. In 2011, she was appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics – a four-person group that advises the president and Education Secretary. From 2012 to 2015, she was listed among world's top 100 most powerful women in the world by Forbes. In 2017, she was the only artist listed as one of the world's greatest leaders by Fortune, ranked at 27th.
Shakira has received numerous awards and recognition for her work. According to Sony, Shakira is the highest-selling Colombian artist of all time, having sold between 50 and 60 million records.
According to Yahoo!, her single "Hips Don't Lie" is the best-selling single of the last decade (2000's). Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems said that "Hips Don't Lie" was the most-played pop song in a single week in American radio history. It was played 9,637 times in one week. Shakira became the first artist in the history of the Billboard charts to earn the coveted number one spots on both the Top 40 Mainstream and Latin Chart in the same week doing so with "Hips Don't Lie". Additionally, she is the only artist from South America to reach the number-one spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, the Australian ARIA chart, and the UK Singles Chart.
Her song "La Tortura" at one time held the record for Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks chart, appearing at number-one more than any other single with a total of 25 non-consecutive weeks, a record currently held by the Enrique Iglesias song "Bailando" with 41 weeks. Nokia stated in 2010, that there were more Shakira music downloads in the prior year than for any other Latino artist in the last five years, and She Wolf topped the Top 10 Latino downloads. In 2010, she was ranked number five on the 'Online Video's Most Viral Artists of 2010' with 404,118,932 views. She has become a YouTube sensation having surpassed 12 billion views on the website with "Chantaje accounting for over 1.9 billion views and "Waka Waka" accounting for over 1.6 billion views, and her channel is currently the 35th most subscribed on YouTube.
In 2011, Shakira was honored at the Latin Grammys as 2011's Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year. She also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6270 Hollywood Blvd. Originally, she was to be given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004, but she turned the offer down. In 2012, she received the honor of Chevalier De L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2014, Shakira became the first musical act to perform three times at the FIFA World Cup…
In 1997, Shakira founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation, a Colombian charity with special schools for poor children all around Colombia. It was funded by Shakira and other international groups and individuals. The name of the foundation was taken from Shakira's third studio album, Pies Descalzos, which she released in 1995. The foundation's main focus is on aid through education, and the organization has five schools across Colombia that provide education and meals for 4,000 children. On 27 April 2014 Shakira was honored with the Hero Award at the Radio Disney Music Awards for her Fundación Pies Descalzos work.
Shakira is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and is one of their global representatives. On 3 April 2006, Shakira was honored at a UN ceremony for creating the Pies Descalzos Foundation. In March 2010, she was awarded a medal by the UN International Labour Organization in recognition of being, as UN Labour Chief Juan Somavia put it, a "true ambassador for children and young people, for quality education and social justice". In November 2010, after performing as the opening act of the MTV European Music Awards, the Colombian singer also received the MTV Free Your Mind award for her continuing dedication to improve access to education for all children around the world.
In February 2011, the FC Barcelona Foundation and Pies descalzos reached an agreement for children's education through sport. Shakira was honored at the Latin Grammys as the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year on 9 November 2011, for her philanthropy and contributions to Latin Music." (1)