Shakira is one of the most beloved Colombians around the world and a great ambassador across borders. Her hip movements and unforgettable voice have left a trace on every corner of the planet. However, even if everybody knows her, there are some things only a few people know about the star, and we want to fill you in.
15 facts you didn’t know about Shakira.
1. Shakira, like most human beings on Earth (that’s what we’ve been told), hates to wake up early. If it were up to her, she’d schedule every “morning” recording session at around 11 am at the earliest.
2. The singer has been through a lot, which has given her an endless source of inspiration for her music. In fact, her album and eponymous song ¿Dónde están los ladrones?(Where are the thieves?)was named after losing the lyrics for her next album in a robbery.
3. In one of those harsh moments, her father took her to see one of the poorest neighborhoods in Barranquilla, her hometown. This lesson shaped her into one of the most important Colombian philanthropists.
4. Besides being a famous singer and songwriter, Shakira is also well known as the founder of the Fundación Pies Descalzos (Barefoot Foundation) and as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF since 2003.
5. Her full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll. Her first family name is of Lebanese origin and the second is Catalan, which makes her a great example of the rich cultural heritage and diversity of her home region, the Greater Colombian Caribbean.
6. The singer has a keen sense of smell: she affirms that she does better at recognizing someone by their smell rather than their face or name.
7. One of Shakira’s hobbies is working with clay. Many of the objects she has made are exhibited in her house as part of the decoration.
8. Did you know that Shakira missed her chance at the school choir? The director dismissed her, suggesting that her voice “sounded like a goat.” With millions of copies sold, and a couple of world records broken, her teacher’s vision became true: she’s a true G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time). What goes around comes around!
9. Building a career in the music business is always tough. You must try your best and work hard to achieve your goals, and Shakira is no exception: her first two albums, Magia and Peligro, were a disappointment for her. In fact, these two records are not recognized by her as part of her official discography and were discontinued.
However, even though these were not exactly hits, a huge opportunity came up for her: Sony, her record label, asked Shakira if she wanted to be part of Nuestro Rock, an anthology of Colombia’s greatest rock ballads. If so, they needed Shakira to select a song. The artist took her chances and composed and recorded a brand-new song for the album: “¿Dónde estás corazón?”, her first successful single. That’s why this song isn’t featured in any of her studio albums!
10. Shakira is a perfectionist. In fact, she works so hard, that sometimes she suffers of impostor syndrome. Yes, despite her incredible success, Shakira has experienced this condition, which reminds us that she’s human, too!
11. Did you know that Shakira’s favorite place to listen to music is inside her car? Full blast and windows rolled up, this is “the ideal place to talk to God, to talk to myself, to try to understand,” according to an interview published by The Guardian.12.
12. Shakira likes Japanese anime! We don’t know where this interest came from, but she owns it wearing Saint Seiya caps and another anime-related items on the streets. Her son, Milán, loves One Piece and other anime shows. Maybe it was him who introduced her to this world, who knows.
13. Remember Laundry Service? This was Shakira’s first worldwide hit. The album was recorded in Spanish and English and, despite some criticism, mostly for her accent while singing in English, it was a remarkable success. “Whenever, Wherever” changed everything for her for good.
14. Shakira has many influences. Just for ¿Dónde están los ladrones? the artist “numbers Led Zeppelin, Mexican mariachi, and Lebanese music among its influences”. Besides these genres and artists, Shakira has shown her love for Alanis Morrisette, The Police, Janis Joplin, The Cure, Madonna and many more through her own music. No doubt she’s a melomaniac!
15. Her music session with Bizarrap has taken over YouTube. In fact, it’s already clear that the goddess of Latin pop is also the goddess of the platform: just 24 hours after its release, its video reached more than 50 million views. This makes the collaboration the most played song and video by a Hispanic artist on the platform, a title previously held by J-Balvin and Nicky Jam with their song “X”. This, and many Guinness records broken with this hit song, shows just how powerful and talented the G.O.A.T from Barranquilla really is!
16. Shakira is an example of the extraordinary talent our country is capable of spawning and is definitely one of Colombia’s greatest ambassadors around the world.
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