Speed dating thesaurus

I remember it so vividly: I made myself a promise that one day I would, one, vindicate my parents’ social and economic situation and, two, do something about those kids.That image of those kids that day in the park has never left my mind.’ It sounds like a cheesy speech from a miniseries, but I sense that’s how Shakira sees her life: an epic drama with her as the protagonist.She extended her reach to black America by duetting with Beyoncé and working extensively with legendary songwriters such as Donna Summer and Wyclef Jean.In her new album, 'She Wolf’, she has collaborated heavily with the producer of the moment Pharrell Williams to produce an electronic sound that barely nods to her Latin roots, but which will almost certainly be a huge hit with clubbers.In 2005 she released the two-album series 'Oral Fixation’, the single from which, Hips Don’t Lie, became the biggest-selling single of the century, along with Madonna’s Hung Up.As ever, that success just spurred Shakira on to climb even higher.

Then Sony announced it would drop her unless the sales of her next album improved dramatically. But I work best that way and basically I did my first really good album.’ Aware that talent does not necessarily equal sales, Shakira promoted it all over Latin America.

'You can’t achieve anything in life without a small amount of sacrifice.’ Second, she is friendly and considerate – a rare thing in superstar circles.

Third, the fact that, in these tropical temperatures, not a bead of sweat mars her perfect brow indicates that she is, quite possibly, superhuman. As she’s been famous in her native Colombia since the age of 13, I’d dismissed her as South America’s Britney Spears with an overexposed navel and a penchant for ridiculous lyrics ('Lucky that my breasts are small and humble, so you don’t confuse them with mountains’, went her pan-piping international hit Whenever, Wherever). With 40 million record sales behind her, Shakira makes comparable Spanish-English 'crossover’ acts such as Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias seem like minnows.

Shakira certainly plays a tricky game – balancing an image of a serious-minded artist who cites Led Zeppelin and the Cure as influences, with that of her alter ego – a leather-bound hottie writhing in a cage, as she does in the video for her latest single, She Wolf.

But the sales bear her out: 'Laundry Service’ sold 13 million copies.

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