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Forbes: The 10 Most Powerful Female Celebrities of 2012

7 of 12

5. Shakira

The Colombian singer-songwriter launched her music career at age 13 and has since sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, earned two Grammy awards and seven Latin Grammies. She is also a UNICEF ambassador and founder of the Barefoot Foundation, which she established in 1996 to improve and provide early education systems around the world. Education, she says, provides an escape for poverty and violence, and 72 million children are unable to attend primary school. In the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, Shakira donated $400,000 to aid in providing meals, water and sanitation to the country's schools during reconstruction. To promote her cause, she has met with world leaders like U.S. President Barack Obama and Israel President Shimon Peres and recruited power players like Howard Buffett, son of the famed investor, to Barefoot's board, which lobbies governments to provide more funds to education and school construction. A globally influential artist, Shakira will perform in Azerbaijan during the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2012 and is reportedly nearing a $60 million negotiated deal between former record label Sony and concert producer Live Nation for her next three albums and tours.

More From Forbes:
The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women
The World’s Most Powerful Couples
The Most Powerful Women On Twitter

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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