Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll's musical journey began just a few short years after her birth on February 2, 1977, in Barranquilla, Atlantico, Colombia. Growing up, Shakira enjoyed watching her father create poetry on the family typewriter, and at age 4, she wrote her first one, "La Rosa de Cristal." Following the sudden death of her brother, Shakira penned her first song at age 8 and eventually turned to performing. She remembers her first performance as an impromptu dance on a restaurant table as a child, much to the delight of her family and fellow patrons.
Shakira began singing for her classmates at school, but her unique voice kept her out of the school choir. Upon entering her teen years, she was introduced to Monica Ariza, a producer who set up an audition with Sony. The studio wasn't impressed, but a second audition won them over and Shakira signed a three-album contract. Unfortunately, her first two albums, 1991's Magia and 1993's Peligro, were met with mixed reviews and disappointing results, so Shakira focused on high school instead.
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