Shakira lost her older brother in a motorcycle accident.
Her father took to wearing sunglasses to hide his grief. Later, his business went bankrupt, and Shakira watched her family sell their possessions. But she still idolized her hardworking father and asked for a typewriter so she could write like he did. Her first song was called “Your Dark Glasses, “and she sang about her father’s attempt to shield her from his sorrow.
Although her family struggled financially, her father introduced her to children who were worse off, kids who couldn’t even afford shoes to cover their feet.
Shakira vowed that someday she would be able to help them. “You can’t achieve anything in life without a small amount of sacrifice.” Her father once took her to a restaurant where she saw a belly dancer moving to the beat of a drum.
Shakira decided then and there that music was her true passion. But she was rejected from the school choir after her music teacher told her that she sounded “like a goat.”
But Shakira was determined to make it as a singer and remembered her promise to help those less fortunate. She would perform at any venue that would have her.
“To build confidence in yourself is the toughest thing.” Finally, she convinced a label executive to listen to her audition, while standing in a hotel lobby, backed up by a boombox.
The executive took a chance on her, but her first two albums were utter failures, and Shakira knew she only had one chance left to turn it all around.
She knew the world needed to hear her voice, so she wrote and produced every last song on the record. The album was a hit and enabled her to start the Barefoot Foundation, which now has 5 schools across Columbia, and provides meals for thousands of children. Her music teacher may have hated singing voice, but her unique sound has earned her no shortage of fans. Shakira never lost sight of her dream to help others and managed to maintain confidence in herself, despite all those who thought she would never make it. “In this life, to earn your place, you have to fight for it.”