Shakira thought her parents were "the most incompetent business people in the world" when she was eight.

The 'She Wolf' singer said she was upset and frightened when her father, a jeweler, went bankrupt and had to sell most of the family possessions when she was a child.

The experience did, however, lead them give her a lesson she has never forgot about true poverty.

Shakira, 32, said: "I couldn't believe my parents! I thought they were the most incompetent business people in the world! And I was so upset.

"My dad and my mom took me to the park that day, where all the kids who were orphans are sniffing glue to deal with the tragedy of their own lives and hunger and the solitude of their lives.

"Little kids, like my age, sniffing glue and barefoot. They just wanted to show me another reality that was much worse than mine. Those images of those kids left a huge impression."

Shakira, who found fame in her native Columbia as a teenager, later went on to establish the Pies Descalzos Foundation, a charity which sets up special schools for underprivileged children across her home country.

She is also a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador and regularly performs at benefit concerts around the globe.

In February she also opened a new $6 million school in her hometown Barranquilla sponsored by herself and the Pies Descalzos Foundation.