shakira fun facts: 5 Amazing Shakira Facts All Fans Should Know Now


For over 25 years, Shakira has reigned as one of the most successful and influential pop artists in the world. Since rising to fame as a Latin pop sensation in the 1990s, the Colombian singer-songwriter has sold over 80 million records worldwide and earned numerous accolades, including 3 Grammy Awards.

Beyond the charts, Shakira is celebrated for her unique musical fusion of styles, philanthropic efforts, and larger-than-life persona. She’s also packed plenty of surprises, twists and turns into her long career.

This guide will spotlight Shakira’s most epic career highlights, fascinating trivia, and how she continues to inspire fans globally. Get ready to learn some must-know facts about the Queen of Latin Pop!

Shakira’s Early Life and Career Beginnings

Well before she was an international superstar, Shakira was honing her talents and determination to succeed. Her early life experiences and musical origins in Colombia set the stage for stardom.

Her Childhood in Colombia

Born Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll on February 2, 1977 in Barranquilla, Colombia, Shakira grew up in a close-knit family as the only child of a Lebanese father and Spanish mother. Her name means “grateful” in Arabic.

Shakira wrote her first poem at age 4 and knew she wanted to be a performer. As a child, she was fascinated by Arabic music and belly dancing.

At age 10, Shakira got her first exposure to fame when a local theater producer recruited her to sing and dance. She performed for crowds on Colombian beaches during vacation time.

Getting Discovered as a Teenager

Shakira signed her first record deal at age 13 after a Sony Music executive saw her performing on a Colombian TV talent show.

Her first two albums Magia (1991) and Peligro (1993) introduced her voice and songwriting, blending pop, rock and Middle Eastern influences.

Though the albums didn’t find major success, Shakira’s performances got her invited to musical events across Latin America to showcase her skills. This early exposure readied her for stardom.

Releasing Her First Albums

At age 18, determined to take control of her career, Shakira switched labels to Sony’s Columbia Records.

Her third studio album Pies Descalzos (1996) broke her into the Latin American market with hit singles like “Estoy Aquí” and “Pies Descalzos, Sueños Blancos.”

The album earned Shakira 3 Billboard Latin Music Awards, establishing her as a rising talent. She followed it up with 1998’s ¿Dónde Están los Ladrones? which catapulted her to further success.

Shakira’s Rise to Global Superstardom

In the early 2000s, Shakira strategically made her play at the international pop scene. Her smash hit albums bombarded the charts worldwide, making her a household name.

Breakthrough with ¿Dónde Están los Ladrones?

Shakira’s fourth album ¿Dónde Están los Ladrones? (“Where Are The Thieves?”) (1998) was her Latin pop breakthrough, selling over 7 million copies.

The record spawned signature hits like “Ciega, Sordomuda”, “Moscas En La Casa” and “Ojos Así” popular for their mix of rock and Middle Eastern instrumentation.

Building on local stardom, the album cemented Shakira as a Latin American superstar and global phenomenon in the making.

Crossover Appeal with Laundry Service

In 2001, Shakira went for full English-language crossover appeal with her fifth album Laundry Service.

Powered by the smash single “Whenever, Wherever”, the record sold over 15 million copies worldwide. It established Shakira’s mix of pop-rock and world music in the mainstream.

Songs like “Underneath Your Clothes” and “Objection (Tango)” also became international chart-toppers, proving Shakira could dominate both Hispanic and English markets.

Becoming a Household Name

On the heels of her back-to-back hits, Shakira became a musical force and household name by the mid-2000s.

Her sixth album Fijación Oral Vol. 1 (2005) sold 4 million copies and won Best Latin Pop Album at the Grammy Awards.

Shakira’s concert tours broke records, cementing her as one of the biggest touring acts in the world. Her showmanship and dancing skills made her live shows legendary.

By the 2010s, Shakira’s musical empire kept growing. She became a celebrity on the level of J-Lo and Beyoncé with global appeal.

Shakira’s Musical Style and Influences

While known for simmering pop and rock, Shakira has proven herself as a versatile artist willing to experiment with sounds. Her musical influences are diverse.

Latin Pop and Rock Roots

Shakira’s music is rooted in Latin pop and rock, as showcased on early albums like Pies Descalzos.

She takes inspiration from rock en español acts like Maná while fusing in Afro-Colombian and Middle Eastern rhythms.

Hits like “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” pulse with reggaeton, salsa and energetic Latin beats.

Middle Eastern Sounds

As a nod to her Lebanese heritage, Shakira often infuses songs with Middle Eastern styles.

Tracks like “Eyes Like Yours” and “Gypsy” feature instruments like the doumbek drum and oud lute. Her vocal trills and ornaments also come from Arabic pop.

This distinctive mix helps Shakira stand out from other Western pop acts. It connects her back to her roots.

Experimentation Across Genres

Never an artist to be pigeonholed, Shakira branches out across genres. She’s partnered with artists like Beyonce, Rihanna, and Alejandro Sanz and explored styles like folk, EDM, and arena rock.

Shakira even tackled a reggae album, Sale el Sol, in 2010. Her appetite for experimentation keeps her sound fresh and unpredictable.

Shakira’s Philanthropy and Activism

In parallel with her music, Shakira has stayed dedicated to philanthropic work and social causes close to her heart.

Pies Descalzos Foundation

In 1995, Shakira started her Pies Descalzos (Barefoot) Foundation to aid children in impoverished communities in Colombia.

The foundation has provided education, nutrition, and psychological support to over 6,000 vulnerable youth. Shakira remains heavily involved as an ambassador.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

In 2003, Shakira became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, expanding her activism for children worldwide.

She has advocated for kids’ education globally. In 2010-2011, a $53 million partnership between Shakira’s foundation and UNICEF benefitted kids across Latin America.

Environmental and Educational Causes

Besides her support for children, Shakira has championed global causes like environmentalism, education, and women’s rights.

She performed at the 2007 Live Earth concert supporting action on climate change. She also delivered a talk on youth empowerment at the 2016 World Economic Forum.

Fun Facts About Shakira

Beyond her smashing music and serious activism, Shakira has some delightful surprises up her sleeves. Here are some must-know fun facts about the Queen of Latin Pop.

Her Name and Heritage

Shakira’s name means “woman full of grace” in Arabic. It also translates to “one with beautiful eyes” in Indian languages.

Her father’s family emigrated from Lebanon, while her Spanish mother has Catalan and Italian roots. This rich mix inspires her global music.

Hidden Talents and Skills

Aside from singing, Shakira is an accomplished belly dancer and knows Middle Eastern choreography.

She can also speak multiple languages, including fluent Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian and some Arabic.

Relationships and Family

Shakira has two children with Spanish soccer star Gerard Piqué – Milan, born 2013, and Sasha, born 2015.

She is the only child of her parents, but has eight older half-siblings from her father’s previous marriage.

Shakira’s Continued Relevance and Legacy

Even after 25+ years at the forefront of pop, Shakira shows no signs of fading away. Her recent work and enduring spirit keep her relevant.

Recent Career Developments

Shakira continues to evolve her sound, singing in both Spanish and English for global fans.

In 2020, she performed at the Super Bowl halftime show, securing her place as Latin pop royalty.

In 2022, she released the singles “Te Felicito” with Rauw Alejandro and “Monotonía” with Ozuna, blending reggaeton and EDM.

Impact on Pop Culture

Known for her intelligence, Shakira has become a pop culture icon beyond just music.

She’s been a mentor on The Voice and hosted the MTV Video Music Awards. Her iconic Super Bowl moment launched countless memes.

Inspiring Fans Worldwide

Shakira’s relatable stories of triumph, fiery stage presence, and multicultural pride have touched fans worldwide.

She proves that with persistence, “small-town girls can go far.” She gives hope to millions globally.


For over 25 years, Shakira has made history as the Queen of Latin pop. With smash hits, sensational dance moves and global philanthropy, she’s created an epic legacy.

Beyond the numbers, Shakira’s inspiring journey, multicultural pride and passionate persona have touched the hearts of fans. She proves that with vision and hard work, talented girls from any corner of the world can make their dreams reality.

Shakira shows no signs of slowing down. With continued creativity, activism and flair, she will keep conquering new frontiers and uplifting spirits worldwide. Her magic and music are truly gifts to global culture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking to learn more about global pop icon Shakira? Below are answers to some of the most common questions about the Colombian singer-songwriter’s background, music, and impact. Read on for key facts about Shakira’s inspiring career.

What is Shakira best known for?

Shakira is one of the most popular Latin pop artists ever, known for smash hits like “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Whenever, Wherever.” She’s sold over 80 million records worldwide thanks to her catchy songs, Latin-inspired beats, belly dancing skills and powerful voice. Her fiery personality and global activism also make her iconic.

Where is Shakira from originally?

Shakira was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia. She signed her first record deal as a teen in her home country before finding international fame. Shakira is proud of her multicultural heritage – her father is Lebanese and her mother is Spanish-Italian.

How did Shakira get started in music?

Shakira wrote her first song at age 8. She was discovered by a local theater producer at 10 and signed to Sony Music at 13 after appearing on a Colombian talent show. Though her first albums flopped, Shakira persevered, switching labels and releasing her major Latin breakthrough ¿Dónde Están los Ladrones? in 1998.

What languages does Shakira sing in?

While she started off recording mainly Spanish pop, Shakira crossed over into the English market in the early 2000s. She’s fluent in both languages and these days records songs in Spanish, English, and even Portuguese or French. Her lyrics often reference her mixed heritage.

How many records has Shakira sold worldwide?

Shakira has sold over 80 million albums and singles worldwide, making her the top-selling Colombian artist ever. She has over 30 Billboard Latin Music Awards and 3 Grammy Awards. Her tours have grossed $1 billion in ticket sales.

What are Shakira’s most iconic songs?

Some of Shakira’s most legendary hits include “Whenever, Wherever,” “Hips Don’t Lie,” “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),” “La Tortura,” and “Chantaje.” She’s known for uptempo Latin pop fused with rock, reggaeton, and Middle Eastern styles.

What philanthropy is Shakira involved in?

Shakira launched her Pies Descalzos Foundation in 1995 to aid impoverished youth in Colombia through education. She’s also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador focused on helping children globally. She’s supported causes like climate change awareness, education, and women’s rights.

Is Shakira still making music today?

Yes! Shakira may have over 25 years in the industry but she’s still going strong. She regularly releases new music – 2022 singles include “Te Felicito” and “Monotonía.” She performed at the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show and continues to evolve her sound.

Where can I learn more about Shakira?

Be sure to explore Shakira’s official website and social media for announcements. You can also check out additional blog posts here about Shakira’s life, music evolution, and impact on pop culture over the years. Enjoy diving into Shakira’s inspiring story!

About Kimberly J West

Kimberly J. West is a passionate fact aficionado and lead writer and curator for FactNight. As an experienced SEO content writer and researcher, Kimberly leverages her expertise to discover fascinating trivia and create engaging fact articles. You can reach Kimberly at

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