In 1995, Shakira founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation. It is a Colombian charity with special schools for poor children all around Colombia. During her career, Shakira has performed at a large number of benefit concerts. Among the most famous are the Live 8 Benefit Concert in July 2005, the Concert of Live Earth in Hamburg where she headlined the show, as well as the "Clinton Global Initiative" created by former US President Bill Clinton. She was also invited to the Oval Office by President Barack Obama in February 2010 to discuss early childhood development. She has won two Grammy Awards, seven Latin Grammy Awards, twelve Billboard Latin Music Awards and has been Golden Globe-nominated. She is also the highest-selling Colombian artist of all time, and the second most successful female Latin singer after Gloria Estefan, having sold over 60 million albums worldwide according to Sony Music. Her U.S. album sales stand at 10 million. In the fall of 2009, Shakira released her sixth album She Wolf worldwide. Shakira's "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)", was chosen as the official song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The song has received generally positive critical reception, and has become a worldwide smash hit and the biggest selling World Cup song of all time. On YouTube, the English version of the music video is the 3rd most watched video of all time with over 300 million views. Her seventh studio album, the bilingual Sale el Sol, was released October 2010 and has shipped over 4 million copies worldwide. Shakira's videos recently surpassed a billion views on Youtube collectively, making her the third most-viewed artist of all time.
She spent much of her youth in Barranquilla, a city located in northern Colombia. Shakira wrote her first poem, entitled "La Rosa De Cristal" ("The Crystal Rose") when she was only four years old. As she was growing up, she was fascinated watching her father writing stories on a typewriter, and asked for one as a Christmas gift. She got her wish at age seven and continued writing poetry. These poems eventually evolved into songs. At the age of two, an older half-brother was killed in a motorcycle accident and at the age of eight, Shakira wrote her first song entitled "Tus gafas oscuras" ("Your dark glasses") which was inspired by her father, who for years wore dark glasses, to hide his grief. When Shakira was four, her father took her to a local Middle Eastern restaurant, where Shakira first heard the doumbek, a traditional drum used in Arabic music and which typically accompanied belly dancing. Before she knew it, Shakira was dancing on the table, she then knew she wanted to be a performer. She enjoyed singing for schoolmates and teachers (and even the nuns) at her Catholic school, but in the second grade was rejected for the school choir because her vibrato was too strong. The music teacher told her that she sounded "like a goat". At school, she says she had been known as "the belly dancer girl", as she would demonstrate every Friday at school a number she had learned. "That's how I discovered my passion for live performance," she says.
When she was eight, Shakira's father declared bankruptcy. While the details were sorted out, she stayed with relatives in Los Angeles. On returning to Barranquilla, she was shocked to find that much of what her parents owned had been sold; as she later said "In my childish head, this was the end of the world." To show her that things could be worse, her father took her to a local park to see orphans who lived there. The images stayed with her and she said to herself "one day I’m going to help these kids when I become a famous artist." Between the ages of ten and thirteen Shakira was invited to various events in Barranquilla and gained some recognition in the area. It was at about this time that she met local theater producer Monica Ariza, who was impressed with her and as a result tried to help her career. During a flight from Barranquilla to Bogotá, Ariza convinced Sony Colombia executive Ciro Vargas to hold an audition for Shakira in a hotel lobby. Vargas held Shakira in high regard and, returning to the Sony office, gave the cassette to a song and artist director. However, the director was not overly excited and thought Shakira was something of "a lost cause". Vargas, not daunted, was still convinced that Shakira had talent, and set up an audition in Bogotá. He arranged for Sony Colombia executives to arrive at the audition, with the idea of surprising them with Shakira's performance. She performed three songs for the executives and impressed them enough for her to be signed to record three albums.
It was initially announced that Shakira would release a Spanish album in 2010 after the release of She Wolf, similar to what she did with Oral Fixation, but Shakira later stated that the album would instead be a bilingual project, which will contain Spanish and English songs. She also stated that it was due for a September 2010 release. Shakira collaborated with the South African group Freshlyground to create the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)", which is based on a traditional Cameroonian soldiers' Fang song named "Zangalewa" by the group Zangalewa or Golden Sounds. The song was made popular in her native Colombia in 1987 through west African DJs in Colombia. The single later reached the top 20 in Europe, South America and Africa and the top 40 in the U.S. and was performed by Shakira at the World Cup kick-off and closing. Sale el Sol has been released as Shakira's seventh studio album on October 19, 2010. In June 2010, during an interview with Billboard magazine, Shakira announced that her new album would be released in September. She stated in the magazine that "I see it [the new album] as having two currents," she stated. "One is a lot about love and love experiences and emotions. And the other side of it is very joyful, and upbeat." Shakira also revealed that the music on the album would reflect influences from both the Dominican Republic and Colombia. "It’s a little more Latin on one side and a little more rock ‘n roll on the other side," she stated. She later compared her new material to the Oral Fixation era's music, stating that she was "going back to basics" for the record. The lead single "Loca", her version of the song "Loca con su tiguere" from El Cata, was number one in many countries. She shot the video for "Loca" in Barcelona in August,. Shakira unveiled the official album cover on September 1. The album debuted at 7 on Billboard 200 in its first week, and at the top spot on the Billboard Top Latin Albums. On December 6, 2010 Sony Music announced that the album had sold over 1 million copies worldwide in 6 weeks.
Shakira performed on January 18, 2009 at the Lincoln Memorial "We Are One" festivities in honor of the inauguration of President Barack Obama. She performed "Higher Ground" with Stevie Wonder and Usher. She also performed during the evening of January 20, 2009 at the Neighborhood Ball for the President's inauguration. The song she performed was Van Morrison's "Bright Side of the Road". It featured Shakira on harmonica. In March 2009, Shakira appeared on the album Cantora 1 by the Argentinian folk singer Mercedes Sosa on the song "La Maza", which both singers sang at the ALAS concert in Buenos Aires in May 2008.In August of 2010, Shakira recorded a song with Dora the Explorer called "Todos Juntos." The song is featured on the soundtrack We Did It! Dora's Greatest Hits, which was released on August 17, 2010. The song was also featured on a Dora television special titled "Dora's Explorer Girls" which aired on November 7, 2010 on Nickelodeon.Shakira became the 2010 celebrity spokesperson for the Freixenet traditional Christmas TV commercial. Each year, this Cava company taps into a world-famous celebrity to be the face of its much-awaited holiday TV spot. For her latest venture, Shakira dressed up as a golden sparkling wine bubble, "This year, let's toast so that the sun shines more than ever. The best is yet to come. Merry Christmas." Shakira says in the ad. In a press conference in Barcelona, Shakira presented the Christmas commercial, which will start airing in Spain on December 9. The singer also took the opportunity to announce that she used the $500,000 EUR ($662,085 USD) honorarium given to her by the Spanish bubbly to finance two schools run by her foundation, Pies Descalzos. The partnership between Shakira and Freixenet also includes a Pies Descalzos Foundation promotional video, directed by longtime Shakira collaborator and fellow Catalan Jaume Delaiguana.