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Shakira and Gerard Pique, a footballer, have split up after 12 years of marriage

Shakira, a Colombian singer, and Gerard Pique, a defender for FC Barcelona, announced on Saturday that their decade-long romance was coming to an end.

The 45-year-old “Hips Don’t Lie” singer is one of the most well-known figures in the music industry, having sold more than 60 million albums worldwide.

Pique, 35, is a three-time Champions League winner with Barcelona and has won the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championship.

The couple had been living together on the outskirts of Barcelona for years and had two sons.

“We hate to inform you that we will be splitting up. We request respect for (our) privacy for the sake of our children’s safety, which is our top priority “In a statement, they stated.

Shakira, a three-time Grammy winner with a combination of Latin and Arabic rhythms and rock influences, is one of Latin America’s biggest artists, with songs like “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Whenever, Wherever” garnering massive global hits.

She performed with Jennifer Lopez at the NFL’s Super Bowl championship game halftime show in Miami in 2020, which is normally one of the most-watched half-hours on US television.

The couple announced their split barely over a week after Spanish court documents pushed Shakira closer to facing tax fraud charges in Spain after a Barcelona court refused her appeal.

Prosecutors in Spain accuse her of cheating the Spanish tax office of 14.5 million euros ($15.5 million) in earnings between 2012 and 2014.

They claim she moved to Spain in 2011 after her connection with Pique became public, but she kept her legal Bahamas tax residency until 2015.

Her defence attorneys claim she only came to Spain full-time in 2015 and that her “tax behaviour has always been faultless in all the nations where she had to pay taxes.”

In a 2019 interview with AFP, Shakira described losing her voice two years prior as “the saddest time of her life” that had “seriously damaged” her.

She then recovered her voice naturally, without the need for surgery, as physicians had advised, and went on to perform a world tour in 2018.

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