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Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, or simply Shakira, is the latin music giant from Columbia that has left her mark on the market. Singing since 1990, Shakira began her professional music career with Sony Music Columbia as well as two resounding commercial failures in the form of Magia and Peligro. The albums did not sell well, but did get her very useful exposure in Columbia. In 1995, her career got a break with several hit singles taking off in Latin America. Then she released her next album, Pies Descalzos on a budget of one hundred thousand dollars because Sony Executives did not expect the album to sell much more than that. This marked a special change in her career where she had creative control over the albums she released and she rose to the occasion by producing an album that debuted in 1996 at the number one spot in eight different countries. The RIAA certified the album platinum and she embarked on her first international tour, Tour Pies Descalzos. This caused such a commotion in her Columbian hometown, that several fans were killed in an uncontrolled crowd. The next year though, Shakira won Album of the Year, Video of the Year, and Best New Artist in the Billboard Latin Music Awards. Ever since then, she has seen steady and increasing success with each subsequent single and album making her the second most shipped latin artist of all time. Now, in 2008 she has signed with Live Nation and will be touring extensively and internationally in 2010.


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