The Untold Truth Of Shakira

Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, scored a major gig in September 2019 when she was announced as a performer at the Super Bowl LIV halftime show in Miami on Feb. 2, 2020. The "Whenever, Wherever" singer was picked to perform alongside Jennifer Lopez, an incredible pairing apparently honoring Miami's many Latinx communities. Shakira was born and raised in Colombia, while Bronx native Lopez was born to Puerto Rican parents.

Of course, headlining the Super Bowl halftime show is a big deal, as superstars like Beyonce and Prince have had the honor of gracing the stage in years past. And here's hoping the two pop superstars don't go down the same disastrous path as Justin Timberlake did — twice. Regardless, the honor comes with a lot of attention, so it's understandable some fans are curious about her background and long history in the spotlight. We expose all the juicy details in the untold truth of Shakira.

Marriage 'scares the s**t out of' Shakira

Shakira and Gerard Piqué reportedly met after the musician filmed the video for "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)," a song to promote the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Piqué is one of the soccer stars who appears briefly in the video, and after Shakira spotted the "cute" athlete, an associate took it upon themselves introduce them. The meeting was more than serendipitous for the "Hips Don't Lie" singer, who told Elle in 2013 that before her chance encounter with the star FC Barcelona player that she had "started to think that there was no God. And suddenly I meet Gerard and the sun comes out."

Three years after syncing up, the couple welcomed their first son, Milan, in 2013, and their second son, Sasha, arrived in 2015. Amid all the happy news, some fans are curious whether the two will ever tie the knot. The answer? That's a hard no. "To tell you the truth marriage scares the s**t out of me. I don't want him to see me as the wife," she revealed in a January 2020 interview with 60 Minutes. "I want him to see me as the lover, the girlfriend. I want to keep him on his toes. I want him to think that anything's possible depending on behavior."

Marriage doesn't necessarily have to change the dynamics of a relationship, so perhaps Shakira will come around to the idea in time. But if she doesn't, that's her prerogative. 

Shakira's boyfriend has enforced this strict rule

As a bonafide superstar, Shakira is often around fellow celebrities and fans vying for attention. Gerard Piqué has handled this situation in an interesting way, as the singer revealed to Billboard via (ABC News) in 2014. "He's very territorial, and since he no longer lets me do videos with men, well, I have to do them with women," Shakira said, adding, "It's more than implied in our relationship that I can't do videos like I used to. It's out of the question." Say what?

Although some people might label the soccer star's stance as problematic or controlling, Shakira admitted she "likes" the rule. "I like that he protects his turf and he values me, in a way that the only person he would ever let graze my thigh would be Rihanna." For reference, the mom-of-two and RiRi appeared alongside one another in the 2014 video for "Can't Remember to Forget You."

Our final word on this eyebrow-raising relationship tidbit? To each their own, we suppose. 

Shakira's work-life balance has taken a toll

It's no secret celebrity parents often struggle to maintain a successful work-life balance, and Shakira is no exception to this rule. But not many people might know how long she is typically separated from her family, as she lamented to Viva (via Hola!) in September 2019, "Sometimes it's very hard when you can not see your sons for a month or even more. It is so hard. But we call each other via FaceTime, so we are in constant communication, that helps."

Luckily for Shakira, she has Gerard Piqué to lean on when things get hectic. "We have never been a traditional couple," she shared. "We don't have a written deal to share the tasks or anything like that, but we both are very involved in parenting and try to sort it out the best we can, we support each other and we also find a huge help in our families. We don't know a different way to do it!"

It sounds like these two are doing just fine, all things considered.

Did Shakira cheat on an ex?

Rumors that Shakira cheated on her boyfriend of 10 years, attorney Antonio de la Rúa, first surfaced in August 2018, after Gerard Piqué announced his retirement from Spain's national team, per The drama occurred when the singer shared an Instagram message in support of Piqué, writing, "Love, you have just finished a stage that we will always keep in our hearts. One of the happiest moments of my life was also seeing you win in 2010 with the team and celebrate Spain the champions!" For context, the winning soccer game occurred in July 2010, a month before Shakira's official split from Rúa. 

It's unclear whether the allegations are true, although it's obvious there's bad blood between Ruá and the entertainer. Case in point: In 2012, the lawyer sued the "Hips Don't Lie" singer for $100 million, claiming he deserved compensation for the "deals he conceptualized, originated, negotiated and executed" on her behalf, per Rolling Stone. Rúa, who began working with Shakira in a professional capacity in 2004, also took umbrage with how he was supposedly let go as her business manager. The lawsuit complained that, while Shakira claimed on her website they would continue as "partners" in their "business and professional lives" post-breakup, she allegedly told an attorney to "terminate de la Rúa, as if he were a mere employee."

Rua's lawsuit was eventually dismissed in 2013, with Shakira stating about the victory, per Billboard, "I hope this harassment will now come to an end."

Shakira thought her career had come to an end

Shakira encountered a serious roadblock in 2017 when she suffered a hemorrhage in her vocal cords. This happens when a "blood vessel within the cords ruptures, causing it to collect within the cords," and can be caused by using the voice in an "extreme way, such as with screaming, singing or talking," per UCI Health.  "I always thought there were going to be things in my life that would go away, like beauty, youth, all of that stuff," Shakira said about the terrible experience, according to The Guardian. "But I never thought that my voice would leave me, because it's so inherent to my nature. It was my identity. So when I couldn't sing, that was unbearable."

Not only was the musician devastated about her predicament, but she was also fearful it would change her life forever. After the Colombia native revealed her vocal hemorrhage was more like a "vascular lesion," she confessed a depressing possibility to the BBC, "So you can imagine, there were times when I doubted I would ever be in front of a crowd again singing my songs."

Wow, we can't imagine what the entertainment industry would look like without Shakira's influence. The good thing is the singer was able to recover "naturally" without surgery. Phew.

Sorting out Shakira's confusing tax problem

Unfortunately for Shakira, in February 2018 she had to pay a huge sum of $25 million in back taxes to the Spanish government following an investigation launched in December 2017. The superstar was accused of not paying income tax between the years 2011 and 2014, which is problematic because if a person spends more than 183 days in Spain, they're considered a legal resident who is required to pay taxes on any and all income earned internationally, per El Periódico. Shakira's reported defense? She argued her primary residence was the Bahamas during the period in question, which investigators checked up on by reportedly questioning her hairstylist and studying "numerous photos of the star out and about in Spain," according to People.

The mom ultimately coughed up the dough for 2011, and in December 2018, Spanish tax authorities charged her with tax evasion for the other years. Although Shakira changed her residence from the Bahamas to Spain in 2015, the Spanish government claims she lived in Catalonia between 2012 and 2014, with the performer supposedly being spotted around the area often. Shakira countered this allegation, with her PR company stating following a court appearance in June 2019 that "there is currently no debt whatsoever," per The Guardian.

At the time of this writing, it appears the case is ongoing, but don't worry about Shakira going broke to pay her back taxes. The "Try Everything" singer has a reported net worth of $300 million.

The important lesson Shakira learned as a child

Many fans might not know this, but Shakira's life transformed dramatically after her father's jewelry business in Colombia went "bankrupt" when she was 7. The singer was sent to "family friends in Los Angeles" while her parents dealt with the fallout, and when she returned home, "everything had changed" in her life, as she recalled in an essay for Newsweek." Our two cars that I had ridden in to school or to play with my friends were gone," the performer penned. "The air conditioner that cooled us during the brutally hot Colombian summers had been sold. Our color television had been traded in for a smaller, black-and-white version. Foods that I loved were replaced with the bland staples a mother buys when food becomes sustenance instead of something to be enjoyed."

Although Shakira was disappointed in the changes, her parents put their situation in perspective by taking them to a public park where "street children" lived. "They lived in the dirt, in tattered clothes and with bare feet, scrounging through garbage for anything to eat," she wrote. "Many sniffed glue to dull the pain of their existence." The mom-of-two made a promise then and there that she would help in any way she could, a vow she upheld by creating the Pies Descalzos Foundation in 1997. The foundation's name translates to "barefoot" in English, it aims to give Colombian children in need access to education. 

Shakira's heritage is integral to who she is

Shakira might hail from Colombia, but the other half of her roots come from Lebanon. The entertainer's dad, William Mebarak Chadid, is Lebanese and she's very proud of this ancestry. In fact, according to the BBC, Shakira's "distinctive hip-shaking belly-dance moves [come] from her father's mother," but we're glad she didn't go with "My Grammy's Hips Don't Lie" for the tile of her hit song. That doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

Anyway, Shakira herself once attributed her "movements" to "Arab culture" during a TV appearance in which she also made a point to reference stereotypes about the region. "It is important to make it clear only a very small number of people in the Middle East are violent. It is very painful to see how there is a tendency to generalize," she said.

The "She Wolf" singer has also visited and performed in Lebanon multiple times, telling concertgoers at an event there in 2018, per Reuters, "This means so much to me to be singing in the land of my grandparents. I feel so proud of these cedars, so proud of my heritage and so proud of you."

Shakira's hidden talent "freaks" people out

Outside of Shakira's long list of accomplishments, she's just like any other person out there with some interesting hidden talents. "I'm double-jointed," she confessed to Marie Claire in 2014. "I can put my legs over my head, which freaks people out." Considering Shakira is an epic dancer, we're not too shocked by this factoid. One tidbit supporters might find surprising? "I'm a closet nerd," the singer confessed to the mag. "I love to study history and visit museums."

Perhaps the "Waka Waka" musician felt drawn to more serious subjects as an escape from her career, which hasn't always been smooth sailing. "I never made it to the school choir because the music teacher didn't like my voice," she revealed in 2009 (via Digital Spy). "I was pretty sad. But he was probably right, I did have a voice a bit like a goat but my dad told me to never give up and to keep going and it's paid off."

We think it's safe to say Shakira showed her naysayer teacher, especially since she was chosen to perform at a Superbowl halftime show. You go, girl.