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," which is Spanish for "The Crystal Rose." She got a guitar when she was eight and her first song was "Tus Gafas Oscuras," which 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".
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.
Asked about her fitness regime during a 2017 Beats 1 interview, Shakira replied: "For me I play tennis everyday, I love tennis it's what I do; at least an hour an hour and a half. That helps me stay in shape. Sometimes I do a little bit of abs and work other muscle groups, but I become a little bit more lazy to hit the gym. I enjoy being outdoors and playing sports. An hour and a half it's important, ya. I'm not constantly on a diet but I try to eat healthy."
The first album she owned was Donna Summer's Bad Girls on cassette.
She credits her pop foundation with allowing her to experiment with other genres: "I feel comfortable in my pop shoes. They let me walk in any direction. I like to go from one extreme to the other. One day I feel that I want to do a song with reggaeton influence, I do it. The next day I feel I need to do a song with rock elements to it, I do it. And sometimes I try to see if an Argentine bandoneon can survive in a song with flugelhorns."
In a 1999 profile for a Colombian magazine, Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote of the singer: "No one of any age can sing or dance with the innocent sensuality Shakira seems to have invented."
Her earliest memory, at two years old, is learning her brother was killed by a drunk driver while riding his motorcycle, which instilled a life-long fear of death in the singer. "I have a phobia of the subject of death," she explained. "Any kind of death. Death of relationships, death of feelings, physical death including my own, but especially the death of people I love. It's something I'm working on because it's a subject that can't be avoided for ever."
She entered her teen years with a love of rock, thanks in part to the electric guitar riff from Depeche Mode's "Enjoy The Silence
." She listened to the song over and over again. "I still feel it," Shakira told Rolling Stone
. "That's how I discovered there was something in the electric guitar that was really powerful."
A 15-foot metal statue of the singer was erected in her hometown of Barranquilla. It was donated by a German sculptor in the midst of her Oral Fixation tour in 2006.
She has two sons with Spanish soccer star Gerard Pique: Milan (born 2013) and Sasha (born 2015).
She won her first Grammy Award when her live MTV Unplugged
was named Best Latin Pop Album in 2001. A year earlier, she took home her first Latin Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Octavo Dia
She was a coach on The Voice from 2013 to 2014.
Her highest-charting album in the US is 2014's Shakira, which peaked at #2.
Her first #1 on the Hot 100 was "Hips Don't Lie
," from her 2005 album Oral Fixation, Vol. 2