You may know that her “hips don’t lie,” but there are plenty of other interesting trivia tid-bits about Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira. For instance, did you know that she named her 2001 album Laundry Service for the “fresh, clean feeling” she has when she’s in love, or that the groovy song “Objection” from that album was the first song she wrote in English?
Keep reading for some more interesting facts about the belly dancer with the body that we all envy.
1) She has perfect pitch
Shakira has perfect pitch, which means that she can immediately recognize a note when she hears it, and she can also sing any note before she even hears it. Other famous musicians who have or had perfect pitch include Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Mozart, and Yanni.
2) She was going to play Mimi in Rent
According to IMDB, there were plans for the Broadway play Rent to be made into a mini-series before Chris Columbus turned it into that disappointing film that it eventually became. Shakira was in talks to play Mimi, while Neil Patrick Harris was to reprise his role as “Mark.” Additionally, Rikki Lee Travolta was scheduled to play “Roger,” and Wilson Cruz would reprise his role as “Angel.” The idea was canned, though, when the rights were pulled in order to let Columbus make his movie. (The mini-series sounds like it would have been the superior adaptation.)
3) She wrote a song in memory of her younger brother
Shakira had a younger brother who passed away in a motorcycle accident when she was only two years old. Six years later, she penned the tune “Tus Gafas Oscuras” (or, “Your Dark Glasses”), the inspiration of which being her father, who would always wear dark sunglasses to hide his sadness.
4) She had her first child at 35 years old
Would you believe Shakira is nearly 36 years old? She doesn’t look a day over 25! She had her first child, a son named Milan Pique Mebarak in January of 2013 when she was 35 years old, though the fact that she is in amazing shape probably (hopefully) made her experience less problematic than it could have been in other cases of high-risk pregnancy. Milan was 6 lbs, 6 oz. at birth, and his father is Gerard Pique, Shakira’s boyfriend since 2010. Shakira delivered him via caesarean section. Incidentally, Shakira was three months pregnant with Milan when she finished recording her eighth studio album. She returned to work two months after his birth to be a judge on the reality-TV singing competition, The Voice.
5) Two people were once killed at one of her concerts
In 1997, during the promotion of Pies Descalzos (her third studio album), Shakira returned to her hometown of Barranquilla, Colombia for a major homecoming concert. It was her first one since becoming a celebrity. Unfortunately, the night ended in tragedy, as 50,000 fans bum-rushed the stage, anxious and excited to see their superstar. Two people lost their lives when they were trampled to death, something that affected Shakira very deeply. She felt guilty and responsible that these people lost their lives to see her sing, and she considered sacrificing her career in the music business until her friends and family convinced her that the incident was not her fault and that she mustn’t give up on her dream.