Artists | Shakira
Over the course of her career, Grammy winner Shakira has sold over fifty million albums. Her collaborations with such stars as Beyonce and Alejandro Sanz have helped keep her audience expanding continually. She is the only artist from South America to have a Number One song in the US, and her performance was a highlight of the 2009 concert celebrating President Obama’s inauguration.
She has four of the twenty top-selling hits of the decade, more than any other artist—including 2006’s unforgettable “Hips Don’t Lie,” the biggest-selling single of the 21st Century, which reached the Number One spot in an astonishing 55 countries.
“Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),” along with its Spanish language version, “Waka Waka (Esto es África),” was yet another worldwide sensation. It sold over two million singles, making it the biggest World Cup song ever released. The official video has seen over 200 million YouTube hits, making it the Number Four most watched video of all time and the Number Three most watched music video. Including unofficial “Waka Waka” videos, the total cumulative views are over 400 million. The track was also the soundtrack to Shakira’s 1Goal campaign for universal education.
“The spirit of song is all about freedom, being yourself and not holding back,” says Shakira.
This sense of artistic exploration is no surprise coming from a woman who began writing songs at the age of eight; learned to speak English by studying the work of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Walt Whitman; and took history classes at UCLA during her break between albums. The compassionate side of Shakira is most obvious in the remarkable work of her Pies Descalzos (Barefoot) Foundation, which she started at the age of 18 and has now opened its sixth school. The foundation currently provides education and nutrition to over six thousand impoverished children in Colombia and is expanding its work to other countries, including newly launched projects in Haiti and South Africa.
“We shouldn’t think of this as charity” she has said. “Every child has talent to be developed and the potential to become a productive member of society. Education is a powerful tool to unlock those talents—and to break the cycle of poverty that too often traps them.”
Shakira has also become a leading advocate for universal education, speaking to world leaders on the topic and advocating policy change to governments around the world. The remarkable position she has reached was evident during a recent trip to New York, when she addressed President Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative summit one day, then headlined a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden the next.
Alongside working on her new studio album, 2013 saw Shakira appear as a coach on the fourth season of NBC’s hit series The Voice. She will return to the role during the sixth run in 2014.
On January 13th Shakira released her new single Can’t Remember To Forget You featuring Rihanna.