Shakira is a Colombian pop singer-songwriter who emerged in the music scene of Colombia and Latin America in the early 1990s. Shakira began performing in school, demonstrating her vocal ability with rock and roll, Latin and Arabic influences with her own original twist on belly dancing. Shakira is a native Spanish speaker and also speaks fluent English and Portuguese as well as some Italian, French, Catalan and Arabic.
After commercial flops with local producers on her first two albums, and being little-known outside Colombia, Shakira decided to produce her own brand of music. In 1995 she released Pies Descalzos, which brought her great fame in Latin America and Spain, and her 1998 album ¿Dónde Están los Ladrones? was a critical success selling over 10 million copies worldwide.
In 2001, aided by the worldwide success of her first English single "Whenever, Wherever" that became the best selling single of 2002, she broke through into the English-speaking world with the release of Laundry Service, which sold over 13 million copies worldwide. Four years later, Shakira released two album projects called Fijación Oral Vol. 1 and Oral Fixation Vol. 2. Both reinforced her success, particularly with the best selling song of the 2000s, "Hips Don't Lie".
In 2009, Shakira released her sixth studio album She Wolf which sold roughly 2 million copies around the world and "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)" was chosen as the official song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The song has become a worldwide smash hit and the biggest selling World Cup song of all time. She released her seventh studio album, the bilingual Sale el Sol, in October 2010, which has sold over 2 million copies worldwide.
During her career, Shakira has performed at a large number of benefit concerts including Live 8 benefit concert in July 2005, the Live Earth concert, Hamburg where she headlined the show, as well as the "Clinton Global Initiative" created by former US President Bill Clinton.
She has won two Grammy Awards, eight Latin Grammy Awards, twelve Billboard Latin Music Awards and has been Golden Globe-nominated. She is also the highest-selling Colombian artist of all time, and the second most successful female Latin singer after Gloria Estefan, having sold over 60 million albums. Her U.S. album sales stand at 9.9 million.