Shakira is a massively popular singer, songwriter, dancer, and performer from Colombia. She is known and loved globally by her millions of fans but much about her past and childhood is kept secret.
While it is known that Shakira attended a Catholic high school in Colombia as a teen, the specifics of her education history are a bit vague and nonspecific. The singer attended an unnamed Catholic school in the early 1990s.
After high school and the runaway success of her career, Shakira continued her higher education and even opened some schools of her own.
Shakira’s Early Life
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia on February 2, 1977. Her mother is Nidya del Carmen Ripoll Torrado and her father is William Mebarak Chadid.
Shakira is one of many kids. She has eight half-brothers and sisters.
The singer was intrigued by performing at a young age and penned her first poem at four years old. She was given a typewriter at the age of seven and soon began writing more poems as well as her first songs.
Shakira became hooked on dancing as a four-year-old. She joined in with a belly dancing group one night when her father took her to a Middle Eastern restaurant.
After that event, Shakira was completely devoted to performing. Unfortunately, she was rejected from her school choir and was told she sounded like “a goat.”
A few short years later, Shakira’s hard work was noticed by theater producer Monica Ariz. Ariz connected Shakira with Sony Music Colombia where she was signed for a three-album deal.
Shakira released her first album, Magia, in 1991 when she was still a teenager. The album consisted of songs the singer had been writing since she was only 8 years old.
The record did well on the radio in Colombia but failed to sell many copies. Other performers, like international superstar Ricky Martin, took notice of Shakira in those early days and she began gaining a following.
Her second album, Peligro, was released in 1993 but the singer was unhappy with the production and refused to promote it. It was also a commercial failure.
Records of Shakira’s life at the time became a bit vague but it is well known that she took a break from recording after her second album so she could attend and finish high school.
The name of Shakira’s high school has never been divulged but it has been confirmed that she attended a Catholic school somewhere in her home country of Colombia. At the time, her career was put on hold so she could focus on her studies.
After graduating from the unnamed high school, Shakira got hard at work on her third album which would be titled Pies Descalzos.
The album was seen as a “last chance” for the performer. Luckily, it became a massive hit and launched her career forward in a major way.
Over the next few years, Shakira would release multiple albums and started a partnership with mega-producer Emilio Estefan. She then had her sights set on the American market and began producing music in English.
Shakira’s fifth album, Laundry Service, was released in America in November 2001. The album was a big success thanks to the hit singles “Whenever, Wherever” and “Underneath Your Clothes.”
Since that album’s release, Shakira’s global stardom has been secured and enhanced by multiple smash singles and major performances, including at Super Bowl LIV.
Even though Shakira had become an international sensation, she still had some personal goals she wanted to accomplish. Always interested in the world at large, Shakira decided she wanted to keep going to school.
Years into her career, the Colombian pop star attended a class at UCLA in California to further her education. The class she sat in on was Introduction to Western Civilization: Ancient Civilizations from Prehistory to Circa A.D. 843.
Intent on simply learning and not drawing attention to herself, Shakira was often disguised during class. Students and the professor didn’t recognize the singer.
Course lecturer Robert Cleve said that Shakira often discussed the class material with him and was “just an ordinary student.”
The singer’s dedication to learning isn’t just about her own. Shakira has opened seven schools for impoverished children in her home country of Colombia.
Shakira created the Pies Descalzos Foundation and has been building schools across the country for over 20 years. The singer focuses on rural and impoverished areas to build her schools to improve the country’s low education and high poverty rates.