Shakira has eight half-brothers and sisters from her father's previous marriage.As a child, Shakira wrote her first poem at the age of four.
Childhood: Shakira was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia, to Nidya del Carmen Ripoll Torrado and William Mebarak Chadid.
When one of her half-brothers was killed in a motorcycle accident, Shakira's father wore shades to hide his emotions and Shakira's first song was entitled 'Tus Gafas Oscuras' ('Your Dark Glasses').
Shakira's love of dancing and performing started when her father took her to a Middle Eastern restaurant and she joined in with the belly dancing.
Shakira would perform at local events in Barranquilla and it was here that she met Monica Ariz, a theatre producer.
Ariz organised an audition with Sony Columbia executive Ciro Vargas. Music Career: Shakira's debut album, Magia, was recorded in 1990. The album was a collection of songs that she had written since the age of 8.
Among the seven tracks released as a single, 'Underneath Your Clothes' was probably the most popular. The lead single from the album, 'La Tortura', featured the Spanish singer Alajandro Sanz.