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25 Photos That Show How Shakira Evolved To Be The Biggest Latino Pop Star in The World

Shakira. She needs no introduction. Over the past twenty plus years, Shakira has cemented her status as an international pop star. But how did she get here? Platinum selling albums? Check. A unique blend of singing, dancing, and musical skills? Check. Successful cross-over albums in English and Spanish? Check.

But being a pop star is more than cross-over success. Shakira has earned her title of the Biggest Latino Pop Star in the World by engaging with culture and politics at a deeper level. As a UNICEF ambassador and childhood education advocate, Shakira proves that being a pop star is more than just music.

Becoming an internationally renowned celebrity isn’t easy work, and Shakira proves she took the long way with these 25 photos:

1. Shakira Performing at Age 11

Credit: Youtube @Mateo Shakifan Madder

Shakira demonstrated her talent from an early age. Seen here in an excerpt from her first television appearance, Shakira demonstrates a style and pizazz that would carry on throughout her career. This presence is remarkable for an eleven-year-old. It makes sense how she was signed by Sony Music two years later, at the age of 13.

2. Shakira on the Pies Descalzos Tour 1996

Credit: Instagram @saddictedtoyou

Shakira released two early albums with Sony: Magica (1991) and Peligro (1993). Neither of these Colombia only releases  were a commercial success, but Shakira kept at it, and broke through with 1995’s Pies Descalzos. Seen here on her first major Latin American tour, Shakira is on the way to building a persona.

3. Shakira with Enrique Iglesias

Credit: Instagram @enriqueig75

In 1997, Shakira was photographed with Enrique Iglasias, fellow latin pop star. The two were rumored to have briefly dated.

4. Shakira with Red Hair in 1999

Credit: Twitter @historytolearn

In 1998, Shakira released Dónde Están los Ladrones?, and embarked on another Latin American tour. By this point, she started experimenting with hair color and style, a staple of her career, this time dyeing her hair red.

5. Shakira Performs at MTV Unplugged in 2000

Credit: Twitter @shakira

Before YouTube and streaming fundamentally reordered the recording business, the way to get made in music was to make it on MTV. MTV’s Unplugged was one of the network’s flagship shows, allowing musicians to perform acoustic sets of their songs, showcasing the talent and craft associated with being a musician. In one of her first US performances, Shakira showed that she speaks in a voice that transcends language barriers.

6. Shakira Releases Laundry Service Her English Language Debut

Credit: Instagram @shakira

Laundry Service was Shakira’s english-langage debut, and a smash hit. The album sold three million copies in six months of its release in the United States, establishing Shakira as a pop sensation on par with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.

7. Shakira at the 2001 VMAs in Her “Wherever, Whenever” Outfit

Credit: Instagram @wetshakira

Shakira wore this outfit in her breakout music video “Wherever, Whenever”. She obviously didn’t want her fans to think of her any differently as she showed up to the MTV Video Music Awards in the same outfit. Whatever branding intentions she had worked, as Shakira would cement her pop star status in the years to come.

8. Shakira Wins a Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album at the 2001 Grammys

Credit: Instagram @wetshakira

In 2001, Shakira won her first Grammy for Laundry Service. Perhaps acknowlaging her cross-over success, the Recording Academy bestowed it’s highest honor on Shakira in 2001.  She would go on to win four more, but her evolution as a pop star started here in 2001.

9. Shakira Appears on the Cover of Rolling Stone Magazine

Credit: Instagram @shakira

Before Instagram, being a music icon meant being on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Shakira hit that milestone with this cover in the summer of 2002.

10. Shakira Releases Oral Fixation #2

Credit: Instagram @shakiraeb

Her second English-language release, and part of a double Spanish / English language release, Oral Fixation proved another global hit for Shakira.

11. Shakira Rides the Single “Hips Don’t Lie” To Global Superstardom

Credit: Instagram @shakira

The single “Hips Don’t Lie off of Oral Fixation #2, became a #1 Billboard single in 55 different countries. It went triple-platinum selling 1.9M copies globally. Such a smash-hit skyrocketed Shakira into global super-stardom, and proved that she was much more than a one-hit-wonder.

12. Shakira Gets Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011

Credit: Instagram @cfshakestoyaqui

Selected in 2008, Shakira recieved her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011. The star is routinely one of the top 100 visited on the Walk of Fame.

13. Shakira with Barack Obama

Credit: Instagram @shakirasb

In 2011, Barack Obama appointed Shakira to President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. The commission advised Obama and Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan on issues of educational success related to Hispanic students.

14. Shakira Belly Dances

Credit: Twitter @ShakiraMega

While many a pop star can sing, Shakira’s skills run much deeper. Perhaps a nod to her Lebanese father, Shakira is a skilled belly dancer. Augmenting her singing skills helps make Shakira a global celebrity and expands her reach across the globe.

15. Shakira is a Real Musician

Credit: Instagram @shakira

A talented musician, Shakira plays multiple instruments, including the drums and guitar. Her musical skills inform her songwriting, giving her longevity in an industry filled with one-hit-wonders.

16. Shakira Hosts on The Voice

Credit: Instagram @shaki_1977

In 2013, Shakira became a coach and judge on NBC’s The Voice. Replacing Christina Aguilera, who would focus on her singing career, Shakira proved that she could be more than a performer, and that her performing legacy put her among music’s elite.

17. Glamour Chooses Shakira for First Cover of Glamour Latina

Credit: Instagram @shakira

When Condé Nast’s Glamour magazine wanted to launch a separate magazine for the latina millenial audience, who did they choose for their first cover? Well, none other than Shakira. Yet another testament to Shakira’s ability to move the needle with audiences.

18. Shakira Becomes an Advocate of Early Childhood Education

Credit: Instagram @shakira

Empowered by her appointment by Barack Obama to be on his Education Advisory Committee, Shakira travels around the world advocating for Early Childhood Education.

19. Shakira with Schoolchildren in Barrenquilla

Credit: Twitter @shakira

Shakira took this advocacy to her native Colombia, where she is seen in this picture with schoolchildren in her hometown of Barrenquilla. Being an international pop star also means not forgetting where you came from.

20. Shakira’s “Chantaje” Ties “Hips Don’t Lie”

Credit: Instagram @shakira

Released as a single to anticipate the release of Shakira’s 2016 album El Dorado, “Chantaje” would again put Shakira into the pop stratosphere. The single would go on to tie “Hips Don’t Lie” for the longest amount of time in the Billboard Hot Latin chart.

21. Shakira Becomes a UNICEF Ambassador

Credit: Instagram @shakira

As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2003, Shakira has expanded her child advocacy efforts on the global level with field visits in Bangladesh, Azerbaijan and India. She’s also led  two global fundraising campaigns to help life-saving supplies reach the world’s most impoverished and at-risk children.

22. Shakira Animated in Zootopia!

Credit: Instagram @uprisingup

A sign of her cross-over success, Shakira appeared in the 2016 film Zootopia! as a belly dancing gazelle.

23. Shakira Stars In a Video Game “Love Rocks”

Credit: Instagram @shakira

Shakira has moved from the physical world to the digital world with Rovio’s 2015 game “Love Rocks”.

24. Shakira’s Love for Her Family

Credit: Instagram @shakira

Shakira is in a relationship with Spanish football player Girard Piqué, together they have two sons. Her family is an important part of her personality. It gives Shakira a shade of a “normal” life amid her global celebrity.

25. Shakira Continues to Sell Out Stadiums Around the World

Credit: Instagram @shakira

Through it all, Shakira continues to excite and entertain audiences throughout the world. Who knows what the next several decades will bring, except Shakira is sure to be a part of it, having cemented her status as the biggest Latino pop star in the world.

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