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Latin 12/04/2005

International Superstar Shakira Emerges With Two-Part Album

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NEW YORK (SONY BMG) - In 2001, the internationally revered creative force known as Shakira knocked the entire world off its feet with her first English album Laundry Service which went on to sell over 13 million copies. Now, after having sold 25 million records the maverick musician, singer, songwriter and producer is ready with a newly created opus of music in two languages. This new body of work will be released in two distinctive parts; the first album Fijacion Oral 1 will hit stores on June 7, 2005. It will be followed up in November 2005 with the English language album Oral Fixation 2. Both albums will be released by Epic Records. The first single in Spanish entitled 'La Tortura' which features Spanish superstar Alejandro Sanz will hit radio airwaves this month.

Shakira comments, 'I did not set out to make two albums when I began the writing process but suddenly I realized I had written sixty songs, some in English and some in Spanish. Twenty of these songs were selected and divided up by language to make two different albums.' As Shakira lives a bilingual life, it is no surprise that the songs were written in two languages. She explains, 'As I write songs, some times they come to me in English and some times they will come to me in Spanish. Many times I let the melody suggest which language the song should be.'

Shakira began writing Fijacion Oral 1 and Oral Fixation 2 immediately following her last world tour. The albums were recorded at both her home studio in the Bahamas as well as Warehouse in Vancouver. Not only did Shakira write or co-write every song on both albums, she produced the project along with some of her regular collaborators Lester Mendez, Luis Ochoa and Tim Mitchell as well as new collaborator Gustavo Cerati (Argentinian former lead vocals of Soda Stereo and one of the most important figures of the Hispanic pop rock scene). The albums are Executive Produced by the legendary Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Slayer).

As spoken language plays a fundamental role in Shakira's life, it's no surprise that she chose the title Fijacion Oral/Oral Fixation, 'I always end up saying everything I think about.' The concept also reaches beyond this, 'The stage at which human beings are the most orally fixated is the first stage of our lives, which is the most elementary, the most instinctive, and the most primitive. I think I am still in that stage, especially at this moment because I feel the most in touch with that animalistic aspect within me.'

After achieving superstardom throughout Latin America, and the United States (her last Spanish album sold over 1 million in the U.S. and nearly 4 million copies in Latin America and Spain) Colombian-born Shakira became Latin rock's biggest female crossover with the launch of 2001's Laundry Service, her first English album. Her unique artistry was quickly exalted and the album, Laundry Service produced a string of successes including chart-topping hits 'Whenever, Wherever' and 'Underneath Your Clothes.' A tri-lingual child prodigy who wrote her first song at age eight, Shakira signed her first recording contract with Sony Music Colombia by the age of 13. Her first breakthrough release Pies Descalzos, ("Barefeet") catapulted her to superstar status in Latin America, Brazil and Spain. Her next album, 'Dsnde Estan Los Ladrones' produced by Shakira, became an even bigger worldwide hit, spending 11 weeks at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Latin album chart and producing two No 1 Latin hits 'Ciega, Sordomuda,' and "Tu." Shakira is the recipient of three Latin Grammys and won the Best Latin Pop Album Grammy for her acclaimed MTV Unplugged album.

Additionally, Shakira dedicates as much time as possible to her Foundation Pies Descalzos, which promotes education and relieves some of the basic needs among children displaced by violence in Columbia and has become a goodwill ambassador for Unicef.

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