International pop superstar Shakira is slated to hit the stage in Miami this Sunday on football’s biggest night, where she'll be celebrating her 43rd birthday in style with Jennifer Lopez in the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
To celebrate the birthday girl’s Super Bowl debut, we’ve rounded up our favorite fun facts about the Colombian singer!
She’s been a star since she was a teenager
American audiences first heard her unique vocals on “Whenever, Wherever,” and her biggest collaboration to date was 2006’s “Hips Don’t Lie,” with Wyclef Jean, but Shakira has been in the music industry for almost 30 years.
Shakira started her music career when she signed with Sony Music Colombia at just 13. She released her first successful album, “Pies Descalzos” when she was 18, and followed it with “Dónde Están los Ladrones” in 1998, but it wasn’t until her fifth studio album that she broke into the English-language market with “Laundry Service.”
She’s a genre-hopper
Shakira started her career as an edgy rocker chick, moved into English-language pop, jumped on the bachata train, and in between released songs with Indian and Middle Eastern influences. She has also worked with some of the biggest reggaeton artists in Latin America, and even recorded a duet with country star Blake Shelton.
She’s part of a power couple
She’s an international pop star, he’s a star soccer player, they live in a cosmopolitan European city, and their kids are fan favorites on social media. Nope, we’re not talking about David and Victoria Beckham- Shakira and her partner of almost 10 years, Gerard Piqué, are the Hispanic world’s Posh and Becks.
Piqué plays soccer for FC Barcelona, and while Shakira travels all over the world for work, the family calls Spain home.
You already knew that Shakira speaks Spanish and English, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Shak’s language skills. Shakira is also fully fluent in Portuguese, can chat in Italian and French, and can carry her own in Catalan, a language spoken in parts of Spain.
Shakira learned to speak English so she could record “Laundry Service” and she had a little help in the process from another Latina singer, Gloria Estefan. Shakira says the Cuban songstress “rescued the spirit of [the album’s songs] in Spanish and translated them to English.”
She’s always had a plan
In a 2002 interview with Rolling Stone, Shakira shared that she “always knew” she was going to be a public figure, saying that it felt like a premonition. In that same interview, she also said that she once had a premonition that she would give birth to two boys. Her sons Milan and Sasha are now 7 and 5 years old.
She has a wasp named after her
Shakira’s paternal grandparents are Lebanese, and she’s always had a strong connection with Middle Eastern culture as a result. Her name means “thankful” in Arabic, and she took up belly dancing when she was a young girl living in Barranquilla, Colombia. Her dancing style is so distinctive that in 2014, a new type of parasitic wasp was named after her. The Aleidoes shakirae is called that because it causes its host caterpillar to bend and twist its abdomen.