In a career spanning more than two decades, Shakira has achieved great success in both the Spanish and English speaking world. Where is she originally from?
Shakira was born in Barranquilla, in the north of Colombia on the Caribbean coast. She spent most of her early life in the city, then moved to Miami after finding success singing in English. She currently lives in Barcelona with longtime boyfriend Gerard Pique.
For more on Shakira’s Colombian origins and where she has called home in more recent years, read on.
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoli was born on February 2 1977 in Barranquilla, Colombia. Barranquilla was founded as a fishing port and sits on the north coast of Colombia, on the Caribbean.
Her father was American, born in New York to Lebanese parents, while her mother was Colombian, with Spanish and Italian ancestry.
She spent her childhood living in Barranquilla but moved to the Colombian capital, Bogota, at 13 years old. The move was motivated by a modeling job that ultimately never came to fruition; Shakira’s life might have been very different if it had.
In the same year, Shakira signed her first record deal and released her first album, “Magia”. The album received mixed reviews but she drew enough notice to be selected to represent Colombia at the OTI Festival, an annual singing competition in Spain.
Unfortunately, Shakira was forced to drop out of the competition when organizers realized she hadn’t reached the minimum age of 16.
After another album, “Peligro”, which Shakira disliked, a stint on a soap opera “El Oasis” and finishing high school, Shakira achieved major success in 1996.
After a slow start, “Pies Descalzos” was a huge hit, selling more than four million copies worldwide and announcing her as a major star in the Spanish speaking world.
Shakira understood that there would always be a ceiling to her success as long as she recorded exclusively in Spanish.
In 2001, she released her first English language album, “Laundry Service”, which was a huge success, going on to sell more than 13 million copies globally. With her popularity having grown immensely in the US, Shakira relocated to Miami in 2001.
She settled on a six-bedroom home on North Bay Road Drive, a popular spot with celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and Matt Damon. The home offered beachfront views and featured a dock with access to the iconic Biscayne Bay.
Shakira stayed in the property for several years before relocating, although she kept it as a US base of operations until 2018. When she eventually decided to sell, the property entered the market at a staggering $11.6 million, overseen by her half-brother Antonio Mebarak, who is a real estate agent.
Following her difficult split from her partner of 11 years, Antonio de la Rua, Shakira began a relationship with FC Barcelona soccer star Gerard Pique.
The couple met during the filming of the music video for Shakira’s World Cup anthem “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” in 2010 and later became romantically involved. Shakira moved to Barcelona to live with Pique in 2011 and has lived in Catalonia ever since.
Shakira already had two half-sisters living in Spain in addition to Pique, so it must have been an easy decision to relocate.
The couple purchased a home in need of renovation in 2012 and moved in some time later, shortly after the birth of their first son, Milan. In 2015, they moved again, upsizing to a €5 million mansion together, likely motivated by the birth of their second son, Sasha.
Despite the lofty price, the mansion was apparently a bargain due to Shakira and Pique being able to complete quickly.
Shakira has lived on three continents and is a star around the globe but her incredible journey began in the fishing port of Barranquilla, Colombia.