She signed with Sony Records when she was just 13 years old.
Her hometown is Barranquilla, Colombia, a coastal city of about one million people. She was just 18 when she became Colombia's most popular musician.
Since Colombia is a very Catholic country, Shakira was educated by nuns. But she claims that she always knew she would be a public figure.
Freddy DeMann has helped Shakira make the transition to the English language. He was the one who launched Michael Jackson's solo career, along with Madonna and Alanis Morissette.
Before she had kids, Shakira said that she wanted one of her not-yet-born children to be like the crocodile hunter on the Discovery Channel.
One of her immediate family members (like her mother, father, or half brother) always accompanies her on tours. She says that Colombians are very family-oriented.
"Shakira" is Arabic for "full of grace."
Her grandparents were from Lebanon, her father was born in New York, and then moved to Colombia when he was little. She has nine half siblings.
Shakira began writing poems when she was four. Her first was called, "La Rosa de Cristal." That's Spanish for "The Crystal Rose." She got a guitar when she was eight and her first song was "Tus Gafas Oscuras." The translates to "Your Dark Glasses."
When she was 10, she began touring the Colombian equivalent of local fairs. Her act was patterned after pop star Selena.
Her records were banned in Argentina at one point because she was dating the son of the former president. That president was forcibly driven out of power, but Shakira stuck with his son, Antonio de la Rua.
Her full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll.
She was named Latin Female Artist of the Year at the 1998 World Music Awards.
She has a genius-level IQ of 140 and can speak English, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and Portuguese fluently.
She's about 4'11". (thanks, Sasha - Allentown, NJ)
A new species of wasp discovered in the Andes mountains of Ecuador was named Aleiodes shakirae, after the Latin pop star. The insect gained its moniker from its effect on the caterpillar that acts as its host; its influence causes the caterpillar to twist and wriggle in a similar way to Shakira moves her hips
before it dies.
Shakira made social media history in July 2014 when she became the first person to ever reach 100 million likes on Facebook.
Shakira was rejected from the school choir because the teacher thought her vibrato was too strong and she sounded like a goat.