Colombian superstar Shakira and FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique announced on Saturday that they are ending their decade-plus relationship.
The 45-year-old ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ singer is one of the biggest names in the global music industry and has sold over 60 million albums.
Spanish soccer hero Pique, 35, won the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship, and is a three-time Champions League winner with Barcelona.
The couple share two sons and have lived together for years on the outskirts of Barcelona.
“We regret to confirm that we are separating. For the well-being of our children, which is our top priority, we ask that (our) privacy be respected,” they said in a statement.
With her blend of Latin and Arabic rhythms and rock influence, three-time Grammy winner Shakira is one of Latin America’s biggest stars, scoring major global hits with songs such as “Hips Don ‘t Lie” and “Whenever, Wherever”.
In 2020, she performed with Jennifer Lopez at halftime at the NFL Super Bowl Championship Finals in Miami, typically one of the most-watched halftimes on American television.
The couple announced their separation just over a week after Spanish court documents put Shakira closer to trial in Spain for tax evasion after a Barcelona court rejected an appeal by the singer.
Spanish prosecutors accuse him of defrauding the Spanish tax authorities out of 14.5 million euros ($15.5 million) in income received between 2012 and 2014.
They say she moved to Spain in 2011 when her relationship with Pique became public knowledge but kept her official tax residency in the Bahamas until 2015.
Her lawyers say she only moved to Spain full-time in 2015 and insist that “her conduct in tax matters has always been impeccable in all the countries where she has had to pay taxes”.
In a 2019 interview with AFP, Shakira said temporarily losing her voice two years earlier had been “the darkest moment of her life” and had “deeply affected her”.
She then recovered her voice naturally, without the need for surgery as recommended by doctors and went on a world tour in 2018.
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