Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born on February 2, 1977 in Barranquilla, Columbia to Nidya del Carmen Ripoll Torrado and William Mebarak Chadid, who were Lebanese (Phoencian, Spanish (Catalan, and Italian descent. She has 8 older half sibilings from her father's previous marriage. Shakira means "thankful" in Arabic. Her second name, Isabel means "My God is my oath", "My God's House, or "My God is abundance". Isabel is even and simply a Spanish given name for Elizabeth. Her second surname, Ripoll is Catalan.
Sharkira wrote her first poem, entitled "La Rosa De Cristal" ("The Crystal Rose") when she was only four years old. When Shakira was four, her father took her to a local Middle Eastern restaurant, where Shakira first heard the doumbek, a traditional drum used in Arabic music and which typically accompanied belly dancing. Before she knew it, Shakira was dancing on the table, as restaurant patrons responded by clapping enthusiastically. It was then that Shakira said she knew she wanted to be a performer. She enjoyed singing for schoolmates and teachers (and even the nuns) at her Catholic school, but in the second grade was rejected for the school choir because her vibrato was too strong. The music teacher told her that she sounded "like a goat". At school, she says she had been known as "the belly dancer girl", as she would demonstrate every Friday at school a number she had learned. When she was eight, Shakira's father declared bankruptcy. While the details were sorted out, she stayed with relatives in Los Angeles. On returning to Barranquilla, she was shocked to find that much of what her parents owned had been sold; as she later said "In my childish head, this was the end of the world." To show her that things could be worse, her father took her to a local park to see orphans who lived there, sniffing glue. 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."
Between the ages of ten and thirteen Shakira was invited to various events in Barranquilla and gained some recognition in the area. It was at about this time that she met local theater producer Monica Ariza, who was impressed with her and as a result tried to help her career. During a flight from Barranquilla to Bogot�, Ariza convinced Sony Colombia executive Ciro Vargas to hold an audition for Shakira in a hotel lobby. Vargas held Shakira in high regard and, returning to the Sony office, gave the cassette to a song and artist director. However, the director was not overly excited and thought Shakira was something of "a lost cause". Vargas, not daunted, was still convinced that Shakira had talent, and set up an audition in Bogot�. He arranged for Sony Colombia executives to arrive at the audition, with the idea of surprising them with Shakira's performance. She performed three songs for the executives and impressed them enough for her to be signed to record three albums.
Years passed, and she began to sing fot the rest of her life.
Interesting Facts about Shakira:
1. Shakira is a native Spanish speaker and also speaks fluent English, Portuguese and Italian. She also sings in Classical Arabic.
2. Her music genres are: Latin pop, rock en Espa�ol, pop rock, alternative, world, dance, R&B, electropop
3.Her Occupations are:Singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, philanthropist, dancer
4. The instruments she plays are:Vocals, guitar, harmonica, drums, percussion
5. Her record labels are:Sony Music Colombia (1991�1996)
Sony Discos (1996�2002)
Live Nation Artists (2009)..