Celeb Spotlight: Shakira
Hometown: Barranquilla, Colombia
Current gig: Touring the globe to promote her Spanish-language album Fijación Oral Volumen 1 (an English version is due in November)
She's always on the move
One word Shakira hasn't translated: stop. Whether the South American superstar is shaking her hips onstage or twisting her body in her erotic "La Tortura" video – nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards – she's constantly in motion for her music. So much so, "the gym is the last place I visit," says the petite singer. Plus, this November, she'll release an English-language follow-up to Fijación Oral Volumen 1, which debuted in the States at No. 4 in June – the highest-ever release for a Spanish-language album. Why move so quickly to the next CD? "It wasn't planned," says Shakira. "One day I found out I had 60 songs, so I selected 20 of them – some were in English, some were in Spanish. And that's when I realized I had two albums there."
She has more than one tongue
Writing her first full album in English was a task for the Spanish-language singer. With her 2001 American breakthrough Laundry Service (which included her hit "Whenever, Wherever"), "I could barely speak English. I wonder how the hell I did it," she says. But as her career has grown, so has her vocabulary. "Today it's much more of a spontaneous and natural process. Some songs would come to me in English, some in Spanish, and I just had to obey the request of each song."
Her love life is just as worldly
She spotted her fiancé, Antonio de la Rua – son of former Argentine president Fernando de la Rua – at a Buenos Aires restaurant in 2000, and the couple became engaged a year later. And though she's a globetrotter, their relationship's stability comes from having a "pretty boring life. My life is not so scandalous," she says. "It's been said that I've been pregnant probably 10 times and married probably another 20 times. But it's the nature of the industry. I just go with the flow and take it with humor." For now, she has yet to set a wedding date.
She's a mother of invention
When it comes to her music, Shakira gets downright motherly. "I do feel it was like delivering a baby with the contractions and the pain and everything," she says of her new album. And in the case of her separate Spanish and English-language discs: "It's two babies. And I look at the faces of these two babies and it makes me a happy mother."
All this maternal instinct could be a sign of things to come. "That's the big project of my life, you know – having kids," she says with a laugh. "I dream about that in my spare time." But for Shakira, motherhood would mean taking a break from the stage. "Before I take that big step I owe myself a year in which I don't do anything but scratch my belly. Then I can dedicate myself to being a mother. You'll know when it happens, you'll know."