It's time to break out the trick candles and the good pinata bats and wish Shakira a happy 34th birthday. The Columbia-born singer has plenty to celebrate, as her last year has been incredibly busy and productive. She spent a great deal of 2010 on the road, working her way through North America with a spectacular stage show. She also had one of the year's biggest singles in "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)," the official song she was drafted to create for the World Cup. Though it didn't make a huge splash in the United States, it was a massive international smash, hitting the top of the charts in 15 different countries.
The success of "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)" was the prelude to Shakira's latest album Sale el Sol, which dropped in the fall of last year. By far her most personal project to date, Sal el Sol is a bi-lingual masterpiece that explores all the facets of Shakira's sound. There are elements of rock, dance music, straight pop and a number of South American influences. It spawned another huge single in "Loca," which again didn't make much of an impression in the United States (it peaked at number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100) but topped the charts all over Europe and Latin America.
Shakira is currently getting ready for the next leg of her world tour (she begins again in Argentina at the beginning of March) and also continues to commit a great deal of her time to philanthropy (she won several awards in 2010 for her charity work, mostly focused on the welfare and education of children). She's a great artist and a wonderful ambassador, so to wish her a happy birthday, we're cranking up "She Wolf."