Shakira says she put her career ‘on hold’ for ex Gerard Pique

Shakira has said she put her “career on hold” for a long time be with her former partner Gerard Pique as he continued playing football.

The Colombian pop superstar and former professional Spanish footballer, who share sons Sasha, nine, and Mila, 11, together, announced they were separating after 11 years together in June 2022.

Ahead of releasing her first album in seven years, the 47-year-old Grammy winner discussed how it helped her “exorcise a lot of the demons”.

Soccer – UEFA Champions League – Group H – Celtic v Barcelona – Celtic Park
Barcelona’s Gerard Pique (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Reflecting on the time that has passed since she released 2017’s El Dorado, she told The Times: “For a long time I put my career on hold, to be next to Gerard, so he could play football.

“There was a lot of sacrifice for love.”

Over the last couple of years, the singer has also been fighting a tax dispute case with Spanish authorities who alleged that she failed to pay more than 14.5 million euro (£13 million) between 2012 and 2014.

In November, she resolved the long-running case by accepting the charges and was fined more than £6 million.

She said she settled the case for the sake of her kids, saying in a statement at the time: “While I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that my lawyers were confident would have ruled in my favour, I have made the decision to finally resolve this matter with the best interest of my kids at heart who do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal wellbeing in this fight.”

Discussing her upcoming album Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran, which translates to Women No Longer Cry, she said it represents “the transformation of pain into creativity, frustration into productivity, anger into passion, vulnerability into resilience”.

She added: “There were so many pieces of my life that crumbled in front of my eyes and I had to rebuild myself in a way, picking up the bones from the floor and putting them all together. And the glue that kept it all together was music.”

The album includes her hit single Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53, which has been referred to as a “diss track” against the 37-year-old former Barcelona footballer.

The Times reports that another track on the album titled Ultima (Last) also hears her sing: “Surely with time you’ll regret it/ And some day you’ll want to come back to my door.”

Asked if this was also in relation to Pique, she replied: “Voldemort, that one that shouldn’t be mentioned? It’s hopefully the last song that I will write about this, and to him.”

She added: “I felt that there was still something there, stuck in my throat, and I needed to get it out.

“I played it to the marketing head at Sony and he started crying. I’d never seen a man cry in my studio before.”

She also said the new album had helped her “exorcise a lot of the demons that were tormenting me”.

The singer, known for hits including Hips Don’t Lie and Waka Waka, has been hailed as one of the most successful Latin artists of all time having sold more 95 million records worldwide.

Across her career she has also won three Grammys and a host of Latin Grammy Awards.