Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic Gerard Pique and Shakira
The pop singer and her longtime boyfriend announced their separation in a joint statement on June 4, 2022.
"We regret to confirm that we are separating," the pair said, requesting privacy for the well-being of their children, who are their "maximum priority."
The couple first met in 2010 on the set of the "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)" music video. The track was the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup held in South Africa, and multiple footballers made an appearance in the video, including Spain's Gerard Piqué. The FC Barcelona defender caught Shakira's eye.
"I wasn't a soccer fan, so I didn't know who he was," Shakira told 60 Minutes in a 2020 interview. "When I saw the video, I was like, 'Hmm, that one's kind of cute. 'And then someone decided to introduce us.' "
Piqué was equally as smitten, telling Spain's TV3 in 2016 about their encounter.
"It all started when we were together in South Africa and I wrote to her," he said. "She was already there because she sang in the opening ceremony, and I asked her what the weather was like. It's the typical stupid question, and the normal answer is to tell me to bring a jacket [The summer months are winter in South Africa]. But she started telling me what the weather was, like, every minute, and it got to the point where I told her we [The Spanish team] would have to get to the World Cup final to see her again — she was singing at the final."
Spain went on to win the 2010 World Cup, and the couple confirmed their relationship in 2011. They later welcomed two children together, sons Milan and Sasha.
Read on to learn more about Shakira and Gerard Piqué's relationship.
June 2010: Shakira and Gerard Piqué meet on the set of her music video
Robert Marquardt/Getty Shakira and Gerard Piqué
The pair met in 2010 when Piqué appeared in Shakira's music video for "Waka Waka," the official song for the World Cup in South Africa. It was a brief cameo, but enough to make a lasting impact on the superstar singer and her faith.
"I think, if you can prove the existence of God, it can only be proven through love," she said in an interview with Elle in 2013. "I even had lost my faith for a while. I was becoming an agnostic. And it was really hard, because I was always very religious, and for a few years, maybe because — it sounds so corny — I was not feeling the love like it was supposed to be, I started to think that there was no God. And suddenly I meet Gerard and the sun comes out."
March 29, 2011: Shakira and Gerard Piqué make their relationship social media official
Shakira and Piqué put all rumors to rest by confirming their relationship on social media. In a photo posted to Twitter and Facebook, the Barcelona defender is seen hugging the singer from behind, alongside the caption "Les presento a mi sol" (I present to you my sun).
May 2011: Shakira and Gerard Piqué share a kiss onstage
Shakira treated Piqué to an impromptu dance lesson during the Barcelona stop of her "The Sun Comes Out World Tour." The footballer and several of his Barcelona teammates came on stage to learn a few of Shakira's signature moves following their victory over Manchester United. Before swiveling their hips, the couple shared a kiss and embraced in front of the exuberant crowd.
January 2012: Shakira and Gerard Piqué make their first red carpet appearance
The "Hips Don't Lie" singer stunned in a red gown as she accompanied Piqué to the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or Awards gala in Switzerland. The pair took a moment to gaze into each other's eyes as they made their way into the ceremony.
September 2012: Shakira reveals she and Gerard Piqué are expecting their first child
Shakira pulled out of the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival for a very good reason. The Grammy Award winner announced that she and Piqué were expecting their first child.
"As some of you may know, [boyfriend] Gerard [Piqué] and I are very happy awaiting the arrival of our first baby!" she wrote on her website. "At this time we have decided to give priority to this unique moment in our lives and postpone all the promotional activities planned over the next few days."
Jan. 22, 2013: Shakira and Gerard Piqué welcome their first child
Milan Piqué Mebarak came into the world on January 22, 2013, at 9:36 p.m. in Barcelona, Spain. Shakira and Piqué's baby boy weighed in at 6 lbs., 6 oz. The new parents gave some insight into their son's name in a statement on Shakira's website.
"The name Milan (pronounced MEE-lahn), means dear, loving and gracious in Slavic; in Ancient Roman, eager and laborious; and in Sanskrit, unification. Just like his father, baby Milan became a member of FC Barcelona at birth."
At an NBCUniversal press event, the Voice coach admitted to PEOPLE that motherhood was challenging but praised her partner for being a hands-on parent.
"Thank God [Milan's] father has been really involved," Shakira said. "He's been amazing. The baby spends as much time with me as he does with his dad. He's the kind of dad who is full hands-on. He changes diapers; he enjoys bathing him. That's a real help for me."
Aug. 28, 2014: Shakira reveals she and Gerard Piqué are expecting their second child
In August 2014, Shakira announced on Facebook that Milan would be a big brother.
"Yes, we are expecting our second baby!! Thank you for all your well wishes!" she wrote.
It confirmed what the singer had already revealed in the September 2014 issue of Cosmopolitan en Español.
"Well, yes, the truth is that, yes, I am pregnant," she said.
Jan. 29, 2015: Shakira and Gerard Piqué welcome their second child
It was another January baby for Shakira and Piqué. Sasha Piqué Mebarak was born on January 29 at 9:54 p.m. in Barcelona. Just like with older brother Milan, Shakira and Piqué shared the name origin of the latest member of their family.
"The name Sasha is of Greek and Russian descent and means' defender of mankind' and 'warrior,' " the birth announcement read.
The parents had initially tried to keep the sex of their baby under wraps, but Shakira's parents let the news slip during a visit to their daughter in Spain.
"Yes, another little boy. A playmate for Milan," they told Hola! Magazine.
May 2017: Shakira and Gerard Piqué enjoy family time in Boston
Shakira, Piqué and their two sons spent Memorial Day weekend in Boston, where they explored several of the city's hot spots. The family was seen at the New England Aquarium, Boston Duck Tour, Boston Common, the Charles River and on the Swan Boats.
They stopped by Antico Forno in Boston's "Little Italy," where they reportedly ordered rigatoni puttanesca, focaccina con caprino, a flat homemade aromatic bread with mixed greens, goat cheese, grilled zucchini, and fresh cherry tomatoes and pizza tradizionale with meatballs.
A restaurant rep told PEOPLE the family was "very polite and kept to themselves."
Jan. 29, 2018: Shakira and Gerard Piqué sing a song dedicated to their love to celebrate her Grammy win
Shakira won the best Latin Pop Album trophy at the 60th Grammy Awards in 2018. The singer couldn't make it to the ceremony at Madison Square Garden, but she took some time to celebrate with her man. The two jumped on trampolines while singing "Me Enamoré," the hit single from the winning album El Dorado. The song documents how the couple met and fell in love.
Aug. 11, 2018: Shakira pays tribute to Gerard Piqué after his retirement from international football
Piqué announced his retirement from professional football on August 11, 2018. Shakira showed her support for him with a tribute on Instagram. "Love, finished the stage that we will always keep in our hearts," she wrote in Spanish alongside a photo of Piqué. "One of the happiest moments of my life has also been seeing you win in 2010 with the national team and celebrate with Spain champions! Shak."
November 2019: Shakira opens up about her relationship with Gerard Piqué during a tough time
Shakira experienced a bout of depression after suffering a hemorrhage of her right vocal cord in 2017. She described losing her voice and inability to sing as "unbearable." It also made communicating with her family very difficult and allowed Piqué to see her at her most vulnerable.
"He jokes that you would think you would want your wife to shut up — but when I had to remain quiet, he felt like one of those ex-convicts who are given their freedom and don't know what to do with it," Shakira told The Guardian of her and Piqué's interactions.
"I was not positive. I was so pessimistic. I was a bitter person to be around," she said before adding, "Gerard saw the worst of me."
January 2020: Shakira explains why she is resistant to marrying Gerard Piqué
"To tell you the truth, marriage scares the s--- out of me. I don't want him to see me as the wife. I'd rather him see me as his girlfriend," she explained.
"His lover, his girlfriend. It's like a little forbidden fruit, you know? I wanna keep him on his toes," Shakira teased. "I want him to think that anything's possible depending on behavior."
February 2022: Shakira reveals the one reason she and Gerard Piqué fight
On the Planet Weirdo with Holly H podcast, Shakira admitted that she and her Spanish footballer don't see eye to eye on one thing — punctuality.
"My poor husband, slash boyfriend, slash baby daddy, whatever you want to call him, he has to wait up for me so long. He's tired of waiting up," she laughed. "Cause Colombian time is not the same as Catalonian time, Spanish time."
As an athlete, Piqué typically adheres to a strict, regimented schedule, while the Colombian singer is a lot more flexible.
"His mind is structured like that and mine … I've become a lot more punctual since I met him," she said. "[But] the times that we actually fight is because I'm late and he's waiting up."
June 4, 2022: Shakira and Gerard Piqué announce their separation
After 11 years together, the couple announced their separation in a joint statement on June 4, 2022.
"We regret to confirm that we are separating," the statement read. "We ask for privacy at this moment for the well-being of our children, who are our maximum priority. Thank you in advance for your understanding and respect."
News of Shakira and Piqué's split came after the Spanish news outlet El Periodico reported that Piqué was living separately from the singer and their children.
September 2022: Shakira calls the days since split from Gerard Piqué the "darkest hours of her life"
In an interview with Elle, Shakira opened up about her separation from Piqué for the first time. The singer referred to the grieving period as "the darkest hours of my life," though she added that music has been a source of light.
"I've remained quiet and just tried to process it all," she said. "It's hard to talk about it, especially because I'm still going through it, and because I'm in the public eye."
Shakira said it has been equally challenging for her two children, whom she shares with Piqué.
"I've tried to conceal the situation in front of my kids. I try to do it and to protect them, because that's my number one mission in life," she explained. "But then they hear things in school from their friends or they come across some disagreeable, unpleasant news online, and it just affects them, you know?"