Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born on February 2, 1977, in Barranquilla, Colombia. The name Shakira is Arabic for grateful. She is the only child of William Mebarak Chadid and Nidia Ripoll Torrado. Her paternal grandparents emigrated from Lebanon to New York City, where her father was born. When Shakira's dad was five, he immigrated to Colombia. She is Spanish (Catalan and Castilian) and Italian on her mother's side. She was raised Roman Catholic and attended Catholic schools. She has eight older half-siblings from her father's previous marriage. Shakira spent most of her childhood in Barranquilla, a city on the northern Caribbean coast of Colombia. She wrote her first poem, "La Rosa De Cristal (The Crystal Rose)," when she was four years old. Growing up, she was fascinated watching her father write stories on his typewriter and asked for one for Christmas. She got one when she was seven and has been writing poetry ever since. Those poems eventually morphed into songs.
Shakira was in a long-term relationship with Argentinian attorney Antonio de la Rúa for 11 years before their split in 2011. Although they ended their romantic relationship, the lawyer continued to oversee her business endeavors in the few months that followed their uncoupling. In 2012, he sued his ex for $100 million after she terminated her business partnership with him. His lawsuit was dismissed by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge in August 2013.
In July 2022, news broke that the “Suerte” artist was charged with six counts of defrauding the Spanish government between 2012 and 2014. Shakira rejected an out-of-court settlement that involved her admitting to wrongdoing.
Shakira was in an 11-year relationship with Argentinian attorney Antonio de la Rua from 2000 to 2011. In a 2009 interview, she said that their relationship was like a married couple and that "they don't need papers for that." When they split, de la Rua continued to oversee Sharkira's business and career interests. In the fall of 2012, he sued Shakira for $100 million he believed he was owed after she terminated her business partnership with him in October 2011. His lawsuit was dismissed by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge in August 2013.
Shakira and Spanish football player Gerard Piqué began dating in 2011. He plays for FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team. He is 10 years younger than Shakira. They met in the spring of 2010 when he appeared in the music video for her song "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa," the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Shakira and Gerard have two sons, Milan, born January 22, 2013, and Sasha, born January 29, 2015. Unfortunately Gerard and Shakira announced their split in June 2022.
When she was a child, her father took her to a local park to see orphans who lived there as a way of instilling gratitude in her. The images stayed with her, and she said to herself: "One day I'm going to help these kids when I become a famous artist." Shakira is the founder of the Pies Descalzos Foundation, which raises money for poor children in Colombia.