Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll (born February 2, 1977), known professionally as Shakira is a Colombian singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, dancer, and philanthropist who emerged as a musical prodigy in the music scene of Latin America in the early 1990s. Born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia, Shakira revealed many of her talents in school as a live performer, demonstrating her vocal ability with rock and roll, Latin and Middle Eastern influences with her own original twist on belly dancing. Shakira is a native Spanish speaker and also speaks fluent English and Portuguese.
Shakira was born on February 2, 1977 in Barranquilla, Colombia. She is the only child of Nidya del Carmen Ripoll Torrado and William Mebarak Chadid, who are of Lebanese, Spanish (Catalan) and Italian descent.
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.