Shakira has hailed Rihanna as the "sexiest woman on the planet" and said working with her was "utopia".
The pair have teamed up for new single Can't Remember To Forget You, which is released on January 13, and Shakira - who grew up in Barranquilla, a city on the north Caribbean coast of Colombia - found she had a lot in common with Barbadian Rihanna.
Shakira told US Glamour magazine: "Working with her was utopia. She's the sexiest woman on the planet. And at the end of the day, we're both just basically Caribbean girls. The chemistry was so good and so real. She taught me dance moves. She was a sweet teacher."
The 36-year-old Latin star - who had her big break globally in 2001 with English-language single Whenever, Wherever - said fame had crept up on her gradually.
Shakira revealed: "Success happened little by little for me. I tasted the flavour of fame in small doses: I started at 10 years old when I won a music contest; I was performing at birthday parties, company meetings.
"I met with a record executive when I was 13 and sang Material Girl to a cassette-tape boom box. I've shaken hands at every radio station, from Honduras to Ryan Seacrest's.
"One day I realised I was famous enough. But here's the thing: I'm still hungry. But I'm not hungry for fame - just the need to prove to myself that I can still do this."
The Hips Don't Lie singer - who has an 11-month-old son with Spanish footballer Gerard Pique - admitted she had been criticised by other Latinas for being too skinny.
She said: "I was criticised at the beginning . But my man, Gerard, prefers meat over bone. He doesn't like too skinny. That takes pressure off.
"I already have a lot to worry about. This month I'm not exercising because I have an album to finish and I have a baby. And I like these pastries in front of me."