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."
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."
Influenced by American artists such as Nirvana, Aerosmith and Tom Petty, Shakira ditches the teen-pop sound of her first two releases and establishes herself as a Latin music star with the rock album Pies Descalzos (Bare Feet).
Recognizing the tremendous need of the many poor and displaced children in her native Colombia, Shakira starts the Pies Descalzos Foundation. When she is honored by the United Nations in April 2006 for her charity work with the group, she tells the organization, "Let's not forget at the end of this day when we go home, 960 children will have died in Latin America."
Drawing comparisons to Alanis Morissette for her passionate lyrics and singing style, Shakira starts drawing attention above the equator, selling over a million copies in the U.S. alone of her fourth album, Dónde Están Los Ladrones? (Where Are the Thieves?).
Shakira spots Antonio de la Rua, the son of Argentine president Fernando de la Rua, at a Buenos Aires restaurant. "We started crossing glances," she told Teen People. "I looked at him from a distance and said, 'Oh my God, how handsome this guy is.'" The budding romance is extensively chronicled in the Latin American press, and de la Rua proposes the following year while the two are on holiday in Rome.
Signifying the genre's growing profile in North America, the inaugural Latin Grammy Awards show is held at the Staples Center in L.A. Nominated for five awards, Shakira wins two, dedicating her Grammy for Best Female Pop Song to "that country that is going through difficult times right now but that never, never forgets how to smile. This is for you, Colombia."
Shakira releases Laundry Service, her first album in English. "I knew I could write songs in English," she tells Time. "I just had to get over the fear." The record peaks at No. 3 on the U.S. charts, with the two singles "Wherever, Whenever" and "Underneath Your Clothes" riding the Top 10.
Shakira takes home five trophies, including Best Artist of the Year, at the inaugural MTV Video Music Awards Latin America in Miami. A month earlier, she performed at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York City and snagged a Moon Man at that ceremony (the award statue is an astronaut on the moon) when the worldwide audience voted to give her the International Viewers' Choice Award.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): baronmedia; Splash News; Splash News; LYNNE SLADKY/AP; Barry Roberts/BEImages; MIREK TOWSKI/DMI/REX USA; Patrick Rideaux/PicturePerfect