From poverty to a powerhouse performer: Shakira's unique rise to the Super Bowl stage.

Shakira celebrated her 43rd birthday with 100 million people.

The singing sensation stepped onto the Super Bowl stage, alongside Jennifer Lopez, to perform a career-highlight routine that featured sequins, hip-shaking, and an overall theme of female solidarity.

Dancing on the world stage, the public’s interest in Shakira inevitably skyrocketed – her music on Spotify has seen an overall streaming spike of 230 per cent in the seven days following the performance.

jennifer lopez shakira
Shakira and Jennifer Lopez at the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show. Image: Getty.

But beyond the increase in commercial success, was an inflated interest in how she got to where she is now - to be one of the greatest Latina performers of our time.

Many are unaware that Shakira came from a life of poverty, which put her on a mission to turn her family's life around. In an interview with The Guardian during 2009, Shakira reflected on the moment her father lost his business when she was eight-years-old in 1985.

"Looking back now, it sounds like such a small event, but you have to remember – I was seven, eight at the time. And came back to find no furniture. No car. We never had a car from then on, until I could buy one."

Her parents decided to take her to a park to show her that although she was now living in poverty, she was not the poorest child living in Barranquilla, Colombia.

"And there were all the kids sniffing glue, barefoot, just trying to survive. My parents wanted to show me a different reality, give me some perspective. When this happened, it left a mark in my impressionable mind forever – it was a turning point. After that visit to the park, I made myself a promise to succeed in life. To vindicate my parents, yes. But also to do something for those kids who were orphans."


Here is how Shakira turned that pivotal moment into a powerhouse career.

Shakira's singing career

At the age of 13, Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll secured her first record deal with Sony. They signed the teenager up for three albums, however the first two - Magia and Peligro - were considered 'commercial failures'.

Two years later, the singer returned for her third studio album, titled Pies Descalzos, in what became her international debutIt was a sizable success, debuting at number one on the charts in eight countries. She followed it up with Dónde Están los Ladrones in 1998, before releasing her first English album Laundry Service in 2001 at 19-years-old.

The latter album featured her song 'Whenever, Wherever', which launched her onto the scene in North America. It sold over 8.5 million physical copies.

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Shakira at a performance in 2000. Image: Getty.

Her second English album, titled Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 was released in 2005 and featured one of her most popular songs to date, 'Hips Don't Lie'. Her success only continued from there, Shakira collaborated with Beyonce in 2007 for 'Beautiful Liar' and recorded the official 2010 FIFA World Cup song, 'Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)', which became the biggest-selling World Cup song of all time.

Throughout her career, Shakira's hips have been almost as famous as her songs, thanks to her impressive belly-dancing skills.

In 2009, journalist Katie Couric asked Shakira how she makes her hips move so well.


"I'm not a trained dancer, but I grew up in a city that revolves around dance. Dance is such an important part of our culture," she said. "I learned how to dance even before I learned how to walk!"

Shakira's relationship

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Shakira and her boyfriend Gerard Pique. Image: Getty.

Shakira has been dating her boyfriend, Spanish football player Gerard Pique, for 10 years after first meeting him on the set of her music video for 'Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)'.

In September 2012, the couple announced they were expecting their first child and Shakira gave birth to a baby boy, Milan Piqué Mebarak, in January, 2013.

The couple now have two children together: seven-year-old Milan and four-year-old Sasha.


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Felices fiestas! Happy holidays! Shak

A post shared by Shakira (@shakira) on


Despite having kids with Gerard, Shakira has always been open about not wanting to get married.

Talking to 60 Minutes in January, the singer said: "To tell you the truth, marriage scares the s**t out of me.

"I don't want him to see me as the wife. I'd rather him see me as his girlfriend. His lover, his girlfriend. It's like a little forbidden fruit, you know?"

Shakira has also said that if it weren't for her incredible career, she would have liked to have had more kids.

"I would love to have eight or nine kids with Gerard - my own soccer team," Shakira said.

Tax evasion

In 2019, Shakira faced a Spanish court for tax fraud charges after she allegedly avoided paying 14.5 million euros in tax on income earned between 2012 and 2014.

Prosecutors claimed she stated she lived in the Bahamas, when she was a resident in Catalonia.

The singer paid the tax authorities the full amount.

"As soon as she learned how much she owed the Spanish tax authorities – and before a complaint was filed – Shakira paid the full amount, as well as providing the tax office with exhaustive information. For this reason, there is currently no debt whatsoever," a spokesperson for Shakira said in 2019.

Shakira at Superbowl

Shakira solidified her status as one of the best Latina artists alongside Jennifer Lopez when they performed together at the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show.

In 12 minutes, the two singers performed their chart-topping hits in an energy-packed routine that was met with widespread praise for their female-empowering production.

At 43-years-young, Shakira - reportedly worth over $US300 million - is showing no signs of slowing down soon.

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