Colombian Pop Sensation Shakira

Gary Hershorn / Reuters / Corbis

Shakira was writing songs and playing guitar by the age of eight, winning talent contests and listening to Janis Joplin and The Cure. When her parents heard that a Sony Records executive was staying at a nearby hotel, they had their daughter catch him in the lobby and sing him a song. Within a week, she had a three-record deal with Sony Discos. She appears above at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards in New York City.

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