Shakira: Snapshot

Date of Birth
February 09, 1977
Birth Place
Barranquilla, Colombia
Her 2005 album could've been called Aural Fixation because Shakira's unique version of sexy, heartfelt Latin pop has turned her into a mass-market obsession. The hip-shaking singer released her first Spanish-language album as a teenager, and by the late '90s, her albums – and a role on the soap opera El Oasis – had made Shakira a huge star throughout Latin America and Spain.

To conquer America, she headlined MTV's Unplugged, and the recording of her acoustic performance won a Latin Grammy in 2000. Shakira began taking English lessons, and the following year, her English-language debut, Laundry Service, entered the charts at No. 3.

Following the success of two more English-speaking albums, the Colombian songbird embarked on her latest venture: motherhood. Shakira and boyfriend Gerard Piqué, a soccer player for FC Barcelona, welcomed son Milan in January 2013 – just months before the star's debut as a judge on The Voice. In January 2015, she and Piqué welcomed a second son, Sasha.

Shakira: Five Fun Facts

  1. Shakira, whose name means "woman of grace" in Arabic, credits her father's Lebanese heritage for her Middle Eastern-influenced dance moves. "I think it is something in my DNA," she tells PEOPLE. "I've been belly-dancing since I was 4."
  2. Shakira's song "Whenever, Wherever," was inspired by her long-distance relationship with fiancé Antonio de la Rua, a Manhattan-based lawyer.
  3. On the road, Shakira is known to keep an emergency stash of chocolate in her purse. "I like any kind," she tells PEOPLE. "American, Belgian, Swiss – I don't discriminate."
  4. She's no light traveler. Shakira often brings seven bags of clothes on the road, even though she's usually found in one outfit. "I have a Styx T-shirt I wear every day," she tells PEOPLE. "The same with my Maharishi pants."
  5. A six-ton metal statue of Shakira was erected in her hometown in Colombia. "Barranquilla is the big breast that fed and nurtured me as a human being, a woman and an artist," she tells PEOPLE of her homeland.

Shakira: Biography



Early Trauma

Shakira's half brother is killed when a drunk driver hits the motorcycle he is riding. Just 2 at the time, the singer says that her first memory is learning of his death. "It made me very necrophobic," she tells Scottish newspaper The Herald. "For a long time I feared death in all its aspects."



Hocus Pocus

Composing songs since she was 8, Shakira releases her first album, Magia (Magic), on Sony Colombia. The album and her 1993 release Peligro (Danger) are commercial disappointments, both selling fewer than 1,000 copies.




Shakira tries her hand at acting, joining the cast of the Colombian primetime soap El Oasis, on which she plays a rich girl destined for ill-fated romance. "I was a very bad actress," she told London's Observer newspaper. "But I had a lot of fun."

Read More on Shakira's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Andrew Macpherson/Corbis Outline

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): baronmedia; Splash News; Splash News

Edited by Julia Wang


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