Before Shakira took the stage alongside Jennifer Lopez at the 2020 Super Bowl, she told Apple Music that the performance was intended “to celebrate Latin culture and the importance of women in the industry.” It was the realization of a dream that the singer—born Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll in Barranquilla, Colombia in 1977—has worked towards since she started writing songs at 8 years old and released her debut album, Magia, at 13.
Following years of success in the Latin music world, she set her sights on conquering the English-language charts, soliciting the help of Gloria Estefan on her 2001 crossover hit “Whenever, Wherever,” the lead single from her multiplatinum-selling fifth album, Laundry Service. Combining poetic lyrics with tropical rhythms, pop hooks, and influences from folk to electronica, she quickly became one of the best-selling Latin artists in history and a worldwide star. 2005’s “Hips Don’t Lie” inspired legions of fans to emulate her dance moves, while 2009’s “She Wolf” became a club hit thanks to its sultry beat and ferocious lyrics. She’s since added to her resume with the 2010 World Cup anthem “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),” collaborations with Beyoncé, Lil Wayne, Rihanna, and Pitbull, among others, and the 2016 Spanish hit “Chantaje”—all of it confirming she’s truly a global icon whose talents defy boundaries.
BORNFebruary 2, 1977