The Latin Recording Academy chosenine time Grammy and Latin Grammy Award winner and Columbian born singeras their 2011 Person of the Year and on the eve of the Latin Grammy Awards a gala was held to honour Shakira for her musical, cultural, and philanthropic ventures. The night’s events included a concert of Latin music stars performing some of her music. Among those who performed during the night were Pepe Aguilar, Cristian Castro, Franco De Vita, Alejandra Guzman, Natalia Jimenez, Vicentico, Gilberto santa Rosa, Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas, and the singer’s own father William Mebarak.
Latin music star Marc Anthony said of Shakira as he presented her with the crystal plaque, “we are in the presence of one of the most special human beings, one of the most talented human beings you will ever meet.”
Shakira joins Latin music stars Gloria Estefan, Carlos Santana, andas recipients of the Latin Recording Academy’s Person of the Year.
Shakira was born Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll in Barranquilla, Columbia on February 2, 1977 to a Lebanese-American father and a Columbian mother. Shakira, the youngest of eight children, began her musical career at an early age. She wrote her first song at eight, winning talent contests at 10, learned guitar at eleven, and signed a recording contract at 13. Shakira released her debut album “Magia” in 1991. The 1998 album “Donde Estan los Landrones?” broke the US market open and topped the Billboard Latin Music Album Chart at number one for eleven weeks. The 2001 album “Laundry Service” was the first itme Shakira created an album of mostly English songs.
Her name Shakira is Arabic for grateful or full of grace. In addition to her singing talents, Shakira’s Lebanese grandmother taught her how to belly dance.
Shakira pens most of her own songs and retains creative control over her music. In 2011 US President Barack Obama appointed Shakira to his Advisory Commissin of Educations Excellence for Hispanics.