Few people in the UK may regard the Colombian as a major international influence on education, particularly as her best-known lyric is "My breasts are small and humble so you don't confuse them with mountains" (from "Whenever, Wherever"), but her dedication to school projects puts European celebrities to shame.
While Robbie Williams donated pound;50,000 to help his old school in Stoke-on-Trent get specialist status, Shakira has spent the past 10 years raising money for a series of schools for disadvantaged children.
Her educational charity, Pies Descalzos (Bare Feet), has provided shoes for 10,000 pupils, built two schools in Colombia and attracted hefty donations of pencils and classroom equipment. "Education is not a luxury, it is a right everyone should have," Shakira said.
The total she has raised is hard to gauge, though in 2006 more than pound;200,000 was given to the charity by her fans in Madrid alone.
But it is her latest fund-raising drive that deserves particular attention. Recently she decided to auction 40 items of clothing on the internet, raising around pound;40,000 in just one evening.
One fan was willing to pay more than pound;1,500 for a bra she had once worn. Not a small or humble contribution at all.
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