Shakira is one of the most successful musicians of the 21st Century, achieving fame while recording in two different languages. There has been much talk about the singer’s IQ.
There is no accurate number for Shakira’s IQ available to the public. Several years ago, there were a number of articles stating that Shakira had an IQ of 140 and was a member of Mensa, however, the organization denied these reports.
For more on the rumors surrounding Shakira’s IQ and stories of her actual intelligence, read on.
The 140 IQ
In 2013, the Huffington Post published an article stating that Shakira had a 140 IQ and that this information had been released by Mensa International, the worldwide high IQ society.
Other names on this list included Madonna, who also had a 140 IQ, Quentin Tarantino with 160, and James Woods, who topped the list with a highly impressive 180.
Unfortunately, there was seemingly no factual basis for these claims whatsoever. This isn’t to say that the celebrities listed above don’t have IQs equivalent to their stated scores, perhaps even higher, but the claims that they had been tested and accepted by Mensa were untrue.
The group released a statement stating that they had not released any list of celebrity members. In fact, they said that they do not release any lists of member names or their IQ scores and that they were searching for the source of the claims.
The story spread, with several major news sites such as the Daily Mail including Shakira’s alleged IQ in articles, published a week after the Mensa statement. The Huffington Post article was later amended, stating that the IQ number might be untrue, after Mensa themselves denied any measure of truth.
An unfortunate result of exposing these inaccurate numbers is that people could start believing that these celebrities, Shakira included, are unintelligent.
Disregarding her IQ, this clearly isn’t the case, based on what we know about her. We know that Shakira is fluent or near-fluent in four different languages (Spanish, English, Portuguese, and Italian), demonstrating her linguistic abilities in numerous interviews and TV appearances.
Regular viewers during her time on “The Voice US” will have heard Shakira utilizing her extensive English vocabulary.
Shakira has talked about how she read poetry in English to help in her songwriting, particularly that of Walt Whitman, and would essentially write her early lyrics with an English dictionary in one hand and a thesaurus in the other.
It’s clear that her time spent reading some of the great poets has left Shakira with a stronger English vocabulary than many native speakers of the language.
She is also a keen historian when time allows. In 2007, she attended a month-long course in ancient western civilizations at UCLA, dressing down in order to remain inconspicuous.
The singer went by her middle name, Isabel, and, when asked, would only say that she was on vacation from Colombia and wanted to learn. She apparently has a passion for learning about the history and languages of locations she visits on tours, so this wasn’t out of character for her.
Though she wasn’t actually registered for the course and thus didn’t receive a grade, the course leader has spoken about how she was keen to discuss the content with him and that he was highly impressed by her intelligence.
During 2020’s Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, Shakira enrolled in a distance learning course with the University of Pennsylvania, studying Plato and his predecessors. This time, she did complete the course and shared a proud selfie holding her certificate.
Regardless of any IQ score, it’s fair to say that the Colombian superstar is highly intelligent.