MADRID – Together they were one of the world’s most famous couples, but more than a decade later Colombian superstar Shakira and FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique have called it quits on their relationship, they announced on Saturday.
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 Championships and is a three-time Champions League winner with Barcelona.
Shakira sang her infectious hit Waka Waka, the official song of the 2010 World Cup, at the event’s closing ceremony in South Africa.
They met while filming the anthem video and had exchanged messages a few weeks before the closing ceremony.
Once official, they quickly became paparazzi darlings.
The couple have two sons together and have lived together in the suburbs of Barcelona for years.
“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,” the couple said in a statement.
Blending Latin and Arabic rhythms and rock influences, three-time Grammy winner Shakira is one of Latin America’s biggest stars, scoring big hits around the world with songs like “Hips Don’ t Lie” and “Whenever, Wherever”.
In 2020, she appeared with Jennifer Lopez on the NFL Super Bowl Championship Finals halftime show in Miami, one of the most-watched halftime shows on American television.
With Shakira by his side, Pique’s fame reached a new level and the couple expanded their influence beyond music and sports.
Pique has also become a successful entrepreneur.
In 2015, they hosted a dinner party with Japanese online retailer Rakuten, which resulted in one of Barcelona’s biggest sponsorship deals.
Pique’s sporting interests weren’t limited to football. His investment fund Kosmos acquired the Davis Cup in 2018 in a 25-year deal valued at $3 billion.
Pique also used the off-season to pursue a master’s degree at Harvard University.
The couple announced their split just over a week after Spanish court documents put Shakira on trial for tax evasion in Spain after a court in Barcelona rejected an appeal by the singer.
Spanish prosecutors have accused her of defrauding Spanish tax authorities of 14.5 million euros ($15.5 million) in income from 2012 to 2014.
She says she moved to Spain in 2011 when her relationship with Pique became public knowledge, but maintained her official tax residency in the Bahamas until 2015.
Her lawyers say she only moved to Spain full-time in 2015 and insist that “tax conduct has always been impeccable in all the countries where she has had to pay tax”.
“THE DARKEST MOMENT”
Pique, facing his own legal setbacks, saw Spain’s Supreme Court overturn a lower court ruling in December ordering him to pay the tax authorities 2.1 million euros in back taxes and fines.
Shakira was also named in one of the biggest leaks of financial documents in October 2021, known as the “Pandora Papers”, among public figures linked to offshore assets.
In a 2019 interview with AFP, Shakira said the temporary loss of her voice two years ago was “the darkest moment of her life” and “hit her deeply”.
She later regained her voice naturally without having to undergo doctor-recommended surgery, and went on a world tour in 2018.
- Editor/ additional report by AFP