Over the course of her career, Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira has sold over 60 million records worldwide and has won numerous awards including Grammys, Latin Grammys, World Music Awards, American Music Awards and Billboard Music Awards, just to name a few. She is the only artist from South America to have a number one song in the US, and has had four of the 20 top-selling hits of the last decade—including 2006’s unforgettable “Hips Don’t Lie,” the biggest-selling single of the 21st Century, which reached the #1 spot in an astonishing 55 countries. Shakira 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.
At the age of 18, she founded the Pies Descalzos (Barefoot) Foundation which 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. In October 2011, Shakira was named a member of President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
In 2006, Shakira founded ALAS, a regionally-scoped foundation based in Panama, which has a focus on early childhood and pregnancy.
The singer donated 10,000 pairs of tennis shoes to impoverished children in her hometown of Barranquilla
Shakira has served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
In December 2007, Shakira traveled to Bangladesh to visit UNICEF-supported education projects. She also met with women and children affected by Cyclone Sidr.
“I am sorry for what happened to you,” she told cyclone survivors. “But things are going to get better again. I admire your resilience and your patience and how much you can still give when you have so little for yourselves.”
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