Shakira is opening up about the emotional toll of her split with Gerard Piqué.
The Colombian superstar — whose 12-year romance with the former pro soccer player came to a messy, tabloid-obsessed end in June 2022 — revealed she’s still “exorcising some demons” in a new cover story for Billboard.
“I’ve gone through several stages: denial, anger, pain, frustration, anger again, pain again,” she told the outlet. “Now I’m in a survival stage. Like, just get your head above water. And it’s a reflection stage.”
Shakira’s split went public amid allegations of infidelity on Piqué’s part, and it’s not lost on her that the separation ultimately led to the star’s massive second wind in her career, although she told Billboard that her true dream had been to raise her children with their father.
“My priority was my home, my family. I believed in ‘till death do us part.’ I believed that dream, and I had that dream for myself, for my children. My parents have been together, I don’t know, 50 years, and they love each other like the first day, with a love that’s unique and unrepeatable. So I know it’s possible,” she said. “It’s what I wanted for myself and my children, but it didn’t happen. If life gives you lemons, you have to make lemonade. That’s what I’m doing: making lemonade.”
In the hitmaker’s new music video for “Copa Vacía,” with Manuel Turizo, Shakira is a pink-haired siren who sings while surrounded by rats crawling around her. At one point she’s captured and held inside a tank.
“The siren is a symbol that represents that part of me that was abducted and taken from a world where she belongs, to a world where she doesn’t belong. A world she had to make enormous sacrifice to be in,” she told Billboard.
“A world where perhaps she lacked oxygen. But in the end, she returns to the sea because it’s her destiny, just like I returned to Miami. This siren was first abducted and then, for love, is next to this man, captive and locked up in a way. Sacrificing her own well-being and what is natural for her for love. And then she ends up thrown in the trash and surrounded by rats.”
Shakira dedicated another new song, “El Jefe,” with Fuerza Regida, to Lili Melgar, the nanny who allegedly discovered Piqué’s affair.
At the end of the music video for “El Jefe” — which came out Wednesday — the “She Wolf” singer gives a shout-out to Melgar, who also briefly appears in the music video as Shakira salutes her.
The corrido has generated lots of buzz online, where rumors have spread that Piqué allegedly fired Melgar without severance pay after the caregiver found out about his affair with Clara Chía Martí. It’s rumored that Shakira later paid Melgar the lost wages out of her own pocket.
During the outro of the song, Shakira says, “Lili Melgar / This song is for you, because you didn’t get severance pay,” according to Remezcla, which translated the lyrics from Spanish to English.
Shakira and Fuerza Regida released the track — which sympathizes with overworked and underpaid members of the working class — more than a year after the couple’s breakup. The Colombian musician, 46, and the Spanish athlete, 36, were together for about 11 years and share two children, Sasha Piqué Mebarak, 8, and Milan Piqué Mebarak, 10..
This isn’t the first time Shakira has used music to throw shade at her ex. Earlier this year, the Grammy winner collaborated with Argentine DJ Bizarrap on a scathing diss track roasting both Piqué and Martí, who was revealed to be dating the former footballer after he and Shakira called it quits.
Last week, Shakira received a lifetime achievement award and delivered an electrifying performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. While accepting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, Shakira thanked her fans and the Latin American community for inspiring her and supporting her “through thick and thin.”
“Thank you so much for being my army,” she said, “and helping me fight all my battles.”
De Los editorial director Fidel Martinez contributed to this report.