What Shakira’s Name Means and The Moment She Knew She Wanted To Be A Performer

Shakira has been shaking those hips since she was 13. Now almost three decades later, the Colombian singer’s success is cemented with her upcoming Super Bowl halftime show with fellow superstar Jennifer Lopez. The choice of Shakira and Lopez as the show’s performers was made in September and since then, it’s been a countdown to Feb. 2, 2020.

Shakira
Shakira | M. Caulfield/WireImage

Find out what the She Wolf superstar’s exotic name means, plus when it was she knew she wanted to be an artist.

Her once-in-a-lifetime moment

Shakira can’t hide her emotion and excitement at being asked to be a part of the entertainment component of this year’s Super Bowl. It’s been a whirlwind of press interviews, getting in shape for that day, and planning, planning, planning. She and Lopez literally only have about ten minutes to do their entire halftime show, so you can count on it being intense, electric, and unforgettable.

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This is happening. 02.02.20

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She told Apple Music, “It’s a sports event but it has a huge relevance for us artists. Jay-Z is producing the show and he called me and asked me if I wanted to be a part of that. I think this is going to be an event to celebrate Latin culture and the importance of women in the industry.”

“It’s going to be very short, therefore very nerve-wracking. The wheels are already turning, I can’t stop thinking of ideas, every day I have new ideas, and now it’s a matter of making them all work.”

Shakira vs. Britney

Shakira, upon her arrival in North America in the late 1990s, was constantly compared to Britney Spears, a connection she didn’t understand, not because she didn’t respect Spears. The 42-year-old singer simply felt she and Spears were worlds apart musically.

“. . . I just want everybody to understand me,” she told The Guardian in 2002. “Just like all my Latin people understand me little by little with each album. They don’t compare me to Britney, you know. . .”

“Nothing wrong with Britney, she’s a great artist and very beautiful, but I was pretty surprised to be compared to her in America and Britain. But I think that’s because there isn’t a full understanding of my musical proposal here. That’s just a matter of time, though.”

How Shakira knew singing was her life and what her name means

Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll and whose Arabic name means “grateful,” knew from an early age that she was destined to sing and to dance. Her Lebanese roots have seemingly given her a love for expression through movement, especially belly dancing.

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It’s a red and Black day! Shak

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As a young child, her father took her to a restaurant where the doumbek, a drum used in belly dancing, was being played. Shakira recalls she couldn’t resist the desire to stand on the table and dance to the beat. The Hips Don’t Lie singer wowed those around her as a child with her precocious dance moves and performances.

“I fell in love with the sensation of being on stage,’ she recalled. ‘Right there, right then. It was all I could dream of.”

Read more: Shakira Tells ’60 Minutes’ Why She’ll Never Get Married