How Shakira Turned Her Voice into a Superpower

You won't believe why Shakira's teacher hated her voice
Shakira was rejected from the school choir because the teacher thought she sounded like a goat


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At a young age, Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, better known by her first name, had a deep passion for music. She yearned to be a part of her school choir in Barranquilla, Colombia. Expressing herself through song was second nature. Little did she know, her unique voice would face early criticism.

For those in a hurry:

  • Shakira is a famous singer and songwriter from Colombia.
  • She was rejected from the school choir when she was eight years old.
  • The teacher said she sounded like a goat because of her vibrato.
  • She did not give up on her dream and learned to sing in different styles.
  • She became a global star with hits like “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Waka Waka”.
  • She uses her voice as a tool for expression, empowerment and social change.

Shakira: The Rejection that Changed Her Life

Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, on February 2, 1977. She grew up in a multicultural family with Lebanese, Spanish and Italian roots. She loved music from an early age and wrote her first song when she was four years old.

When she was eight, she wanted to join the school choir, but she faced a harsh rejection. The teacher told her that she could not sing and that she sounded like a goat. The reason was her distinctive vibrato, which is a rapid variation in pitch that gives the voice a trembling effect.

Shakira felt devastated by the criticism, but she did not let it stop her. She decided to learn how to sing in different styles, such as rock, pop, folk and Arabic. She also learned to play guitar, drums and harmonica. She started performing in local shows and festivals, and soon caught the attention of a record producer.

The Rise of a Global Star

Shakira released her first album, Magia, when she was 13 years old. It was followed by Peligro, which had more success. However, she was not satisfied with the direction of her music and wanted more creative control. She took a break from recording and focused on her education.

She returned to the music scene with Pies Descalzos, which was a breakthrough album for her. It had hits like “Estoy Aquí” and “Dónde Estás Corazón”, which showcased her unique voice and blend of genres. The album sold over five million copies worldwide and made her a star in Latin America.

She continued to expand her audience with albums like Dónde Están los Ladrones?, Laundry Service, Fijación Oral Vol. 1 and Oral Fixation Vol. 2. She sang in both Spanish and English, and collaborated with artists like Alejandro Sanz, Wyclef Jean and Beyoncé. She also became known for her catchy songs, such as “Whenever, Wherever”, “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Waka Waka”.

Shakira: The Voice of Change

Shakira is not only a talented singer and songwriter, but also a passionate activist and philanthropist. She uses her voice as a tool for expression, empowerment and social change. She supports causes such as education, children’s rights, poverty alleviation and environmental protection.

She founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation, which provides quality education for underprivileged children in Colombia. She is also a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF and an advocate for global education. She has participated in campaigns like Live 8, Live Earth and One Goal. She has received numerous awards and recognitions for her humanitarian work.

Shakira is an example of how one can overcome adversity and turn it into an opportunity. She did not let the rejection from the school choir define her or limit her potential. She embraced her voice as a superpower and used it to inspire millions of people around the world.