24 Facts: Shakira

2010-05-18 09:50
Browse photos in our latest Shakira gallery

1. Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born on February 2nd, in Columbia.

2. She's Catholic by religion, and speaks three languages: Spanish, Portuguese, and English.

3. Shakira has eight older siblings from her Italian father's first marriage, and her mother is Lebanese.

4. Her father was a writer, who crafted a story for her as a Christmas gift when she was seven years old.

5. Her papa went bankrupt when she was a young girl. But when she acted like the world had ended, he showed her street kids living even harder, and she realised she was actually lucky, and resolved to help the needy if she ever had the means.

6. Shakira's name is taken from the Arabic for "thankful"

7. Since becoming rich and famous, Shakira has created the Bare Feet Foundation. The charity builds schools for poor children in her home country.

8. She's a regular performer at benefit concerts and other community building and charitable events.

9. A talented tot, Shakira began belly dancing after her father took her to a restaurant and she entertained the other diners with her antics. She won a kids' singing competition called "Vinan Los Niños". But the music teacher in charge of the school choir rejected her, saying she sounded "like a goat".

10. Shakira recorded her first album, Magia, in 1990 when she was only 13 years old. Despite her Lolita belly dancing moves, it was a belly flop, as was her second.

11. But she hit the big time in Columbia with her own sound on her third record, Pies Descalzos (Bare Feet) and became a huge latin star with 1998's Dónde Están los Ladrones? (Where are the thieves?).

12. She made the cover of Time magazine in the article about the Latin American wave conquering the world, titled "Era of the Rockera"

13. Success in the English-speaking world followed, after she dyed her hair blonde and released Laundry Service together with a sexy music video for the hit single, "Whenever, Wherever".

14. "Hips Don't Lie" is the biggest US hit of the 21st century - so far.

15. Laundry service has two meanings: One: Shakira is clever enough to play to most male fantasies about maids, and two: an actual personal meaning for her - she says love makes her feel all clean and fresh. See "playing to male fantasies", above.

16. Yep, she's bright. Her reported IQ is around 140 (the average is 100) putting her in the top 2%. We bet Mensa is praying she'll join.

17. Her next album was called Oral Fixation after the Spanish, Fixation Orale, and followed up by Oral Fixation 2.

18. Shakira regularly appears in US men's magazine "Hottest women" lists, but hasn't topped one yet. But though she's famous for her hip-shaking dance moves and her sexy lyrics, Shakira claims to be a shy girl, who's not at all like the siren in her music videos.

19. At some point, she fired her style and beauty staff. The reason? She felt she was becoming too obsessed with the way she looked, and also decided against breast augmentation.

20. She' s literally a "shorty", standing only 1.57m tall in her socks... and we'll give you a minute to get that image out of your mind, boys and girls...

21. She loves chocolate balls. But she has very few real vices – or so it seems. She doesn't drink booze, or even coffee.

22. Although she claims to dislike wearing jewellery, she's apparently a fan of ring collecting, and owns more than 200 of the finger-trinkets.

23. She's won two Grammy awards, and another three Latin Grammy awards, so far. And you could say she's earned every one - she writes most of her own songs.

24.  Her most recent album, She Wolf has taken a much more dance-pop direction. 

Shakira sings the Official Song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup: Waka Waka - This Time For Africa, with local legends Freshlyground. You knew that already. Did you know that she also recorded a "Bamboo" version of her huge "Hips Don't Lie" for the 2006 Fifa World Cup. And what about these other 24 facts about the cutest babe in the pop business?

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