Hips Don’t Lie: How Shakira Became The Highest-Selling Colombian Artist Ever

Shakira is one of the highest-selling music artists of all times. The brilliant Columbian singer is also a fantastic dancer and songwriter. Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born in 1977 in Columbia to a Lebanese father and a Spanish-Italian mother. One of the main reasons her music is so distinct and unique is that she holds onto both her roots while composing songs and performing them.

Entering the World of Music

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Shakira entered the world of music to build a career for herself when she was hardly 13 years old and composed her first song at eight. Although, the practice of writing songs began while writing poetry at the tender age of four.

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According to Bowlyrics, the talented musician signed a contract with Sony Music Columbia in 1990. The song’s name was ‘Magia.’ All the songs that appeared on her debut album were solely composed by Shakira.

One of the primary charm and signature styles is her belly dancing. She had discovered the musical instrument called ‘doumbek’, a traditional drum for Arabic music culture, and it inspired her to master the art of belly dancing to this classic instrument. Shakira acknowledged her dream of being a live performer when she was young; even though she faced bullying and demoralizing at school, she refused to give up on her ambitions.

Music Career in Columbia

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Shakira tried getting launched into the mainstream Columbian music industry, but her first two albums did not find enough appreciation. After two significant flops, the artist finally released the third one, called Pies Descalzos, back in 1996, which was the first major-label that became immensely popular, according to Promolta.

Pies Descalzos meant ‘Bare Feet’, and it was so successful that about 30 million copies were sold. Its popularity was because of the blending of Latin, rock, and Arabic music tropes, making it unique. Her next record, known as Dónde Están Los Ladrones, meaning ‘Where are the thieves?’ was released in 1998; it was her subsequent big success in Columbia, and the record made it to the top of Billboard’s Latin charts.

USA’s Music Industry

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After winning her first Grammy award in 2000 under the best Latin pop album for Shakira: MTV Unplugged, she started planning big. It was then that she felt ready to be launched in the international music industry and moved with her family to Miami, Florida. The struggle began when she made every effort to master the English language. The next step was finding herself a manager, and the artist chose Emilio Estefan.

Shakira entered the USA’s music market with her blockbuster release, ‘Whenever, Wherever.’ In 2001 she also released the album called ‘Laundry Service’, which brought her instant success in America, according to Biography. ‘Whenever, Wherever’ and ‘Underneath Your Clothes’ were some of the major hits from this album.

After gaining fame in the US, the singer began releasing Latin song albums and their English translations for international recognition. For example, she released the major hit Fijación Oral, Vol. 1 in Spanish, followed by its English translation called Oral Fixation, Vol. 2. Oral Fixation’s most famous song is ‘Hips Don’t Lie’, which is still one of the most-watched videos on YouTube.

The Ultimate Fame

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Shakira began touring the world to spread the magic of her voice and her dance movies. In 2007 and 2008, she was performing ‘Oral Fixation’ live on different platforms. This was followed by 2009, where her new single called ‘She Wolf’ was released, and it went platinum. 2010’s hit was ‘Waka Waka’, which became the FIFA World Cup theme song and became one of the most-watched videos on YouTube, with more than a billion views.

Shakira became the most celebrated Columbian female singer by 2012. Her songs sold for over 10 million copies and became highly viral on social media. In 2012 she became one of the judges at the reality show called ‘The Voice.’ Soon, in 2014, the singer released another album titled after her name, according to PBS. Besides selling 100 million albums in her career span, the hip-shaking sensation has also bagged several awards and accolades. These include eight Latin Grammy Awards, two Grammy Awards, five MTV Video Music Awards, 28 Billboard Latin Music Awards, and seven Billboard Music Awards.

Today this legend is among the most successful female music artists with the most-watched videos on YouTube. From a child whom her peers and teachers would not support or believe in, she grew up to become a burning inspiration for every artist and currently has a brilliant net worth of about $280 million.

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Source: Promolta, Bowlyrics, PBS, Biography

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