October 13th, 2016 Blog
When you think of pop-culture icons common names like Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Rihanna and Lady Gaga are mentioned. One name is not included in this list, and she should be. Columbian born pop/Latin megastar Shakira may not be mentioned with the rest of her pop counterparts, even though she has had a long, full career that has spanned two decades. (She’s legit the Latin version of Beyoncé) She has made her mark not only in South America but in North America as well.
Shakira is a singer, songwriter, dancer producer, philanthropist, activist and yes, her hips don’t lie.
As a musician and entertainer, Shakira has shown that she is capable of rolling with the best of the best. Each of her albums has a different style, yet with that that Shakira edge to it. Her robust alto voice, accompanied with her sultry Columbian accent and thought provoking metaphors help make any Shakira song unique; more unique than the average pop song. She first unleashed her inner she-wolf in the United States in 2001 with her hit ‘Whenever, Wherever.’ The ode to finding the right lover contained elements of world beat and Andean style music. Since the release of the song, Shakira consistently released music that has seen success on charts all over the world. By 2012, Shakira’s album sales had reached more than 10 million in the United States and 70 million worldwide. She is the highest selling Columbian artist of all time and the second most successful Latin singer behind Gloria Estefan.
Her biggest single to date, ‘Hips Don’t Lie,’ according to Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems was the most-played pop song in a single week in American radio history. It was played 9,637 times in one week. The song was accompanied by a captivating video that features the Columbian-born pop star flaunting her hip rolling technique.
Another video that garnered a great deal of attention was the video for her 2010 FIFA World Cup song ‘Waka Waka.’ The video had been viewed over 550 million times and allowed Shakira to join an exclusive list of artists who have received over 1 billion views on their YouTube channels.
Not only is she a great singer and performer but she also is very involved in the community. At the age of 18, she founded The Pies Descalzos Foundation in her hometown of Barranquilla, Colombia, during the late ’90s. She felt it was time to take up the social duty of collaborating on efforts to improve the education, nutrition and health of children. The organization consists of support programs for children and their families and offers real solutions to increase quality of life and provide kids (and their families) the opportunity to exercise the right to an education. She wholeheartedly believes that education determines growth and development in society.
In October 2011, President Obama appointed Shakira to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. The commission dedicated to advising Obama and Secretary Arne Duncan on issues of educational success related to Hispanic students. She is also a member of the ALAS Foundation, which seeks to inform Latin Americans of the dangers of malnutrition and effects of poor early-childhood education. As one of Unicef’s Goodwill Ambassadors, she has advocated for the importance of establishing political initiatives that put an end to the higher number of children without access to education.
There are countless organizations that Shakira is involved with and more that she will continue to do as an artist and philanthropist. She takes a great deal of interest in the early development of children and chosen to inspire the next generation of Latin leaders. Shakira is a great representative of the Hispanic community and the wealth of talent and philanthropy that can be found all over the world.