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Shakira’s Surprising Road to Success: Why She Was Rejected From School Chorus

Laura Ferreiro
Yahoo Music
March 21, 2014

Shakira’s Surprising Road to Success: Why She Was Rejected From School Chorus

Laura Ferreiro
Yahoo Music
March 21, 2014

 

Tonight at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Yahoo Screen, Target and Clear Channel will co-host Shakira's album release party at the iHeartRadio Theater in Burbank, Calif. Watch the live concert and download the Yahoo Screen app here.

It's a story all of us can take to heart. Even the most accomplished, successful stars deal with rejection and harsh criticism but can choose to transcend it. When Shakira was a young girl with huge aspirations to become a singer and dancer in her native Colombia, she was unceremoniously rejected from the choir at her Catholic school after her music teacher reportedly told her that her vibrato was too strong and that she sounded "like a goat."

The singer, born Shakira Mebarak, went on to become one of the world's most popular performers; but she didn't let her teacher's brutal criticism get her down and she relentlessly pursued her dream. She knew from a very young age she wanted to be a performer, writing her first song at the age of 8.

That said, the "Can't Remember to Forget You" singer admitted it was difficult to face rejection at such a young age. "It sounds comic now, but back then it was very traumatizing," Shakira said in an article cited by ShakiraMedia.com. "I was full of dreams. From the age of 10 I had chosen a career, I knew I wanted to be a singer, and this guy wouldn't let me in the school choir.

"My parents would say, 'You have a beautiful voice, stick to what you are, don't sing any less loud than what you think.'"

She obviously took her parents' advice to heart, and signed her first record deal when she was just 13. Although her first two albums flopped, the Colombian singer persevered and had her first hit record in 1996 with "Pies Descalzos," which sold 3 million copies. She later went on to sell more than 60 million records worldwide, win several Grammy Awards, and collaborate with renowned artists including Beyonce and Rihanna.

Shakira – who is now a coach on "The Voice" and is about to release a highly anticipated new self-titled albumhad the last laugh, and later admitted, "I don't think the music teacher knew too much about his music."