Born on 2 February 1977 in Barranquilla, Colombia, she is the only child of William Mebarak Chadid and Nidia Ripoll Torrado. Her paternal grandparents emigrated from Lebanon to New York City, where her father was born. Her father then emigrated to Colombia at age 5. The name Shakira is Arabic for "grateful", the feminine form of the name Shakir. From her mother, she has Spanish (Catalan and Castilian) and Italian ancestry. She was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools. She has eight older half-siblings from her father's previous marriage. Shakira spent much of her youth in Barranquilla, a city located on the northern Caribbean coast of Colombia, and wrote her first poem, titled "La Rosa De Cristal/The Crystal Rose", when she was only four years old. As she was growing up, she was fascinated watching her father writing stories on a typewriter, and asked for one as a Christmas gift. She got that typewriter at the age of seven, and has continued writing poetry since then. These poems eventually evolved into songs. When Shakira was two years old, an older half-brother was killed in a motorcycle accident; six years later, at the age of eight, Shakira wrote her first song, titled "Tus gafas oscuras/Your dark glasses", which was inspired by her father, who for years wore dark glasses to hide his grief.
To instill gratitude in Shakira for her upbringing, her father took her to a local park to see orphans who lived there. The images stayed with her and she said to herself "one day I'm going to help these kids when I become a famous artist." 
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll (born February 2, 1977), known simply as Shakira, is a Grammy-award winning Colombian singer-songwriter, musician, composer, record producer, music-video director, dancer, choreographer, model, game creative director, businesswoman, multi instrumentalist and philanthropist who has sold over eighty million albums worldwide. She has won two Grammy awards, ten Latin Grammy awards, seven Billboard Music Awards, twenty-seven Latin Billboard Awards and has been nominated for a Golden Globe. She has been in the music industry since 1990, releasing her… read more
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