She may be doing great now, but things were on very shaky ground for Shakira for a few months there.
The Hips Don't Lie singer is promoting her new film concert film Shakira in Concert: El Dorado World Tour, which documents her triumphant return to music after a severe vocal injury.
For those who don't know, Shakira had to postpone her big tour due to a vocal hemorrhage in late 2017. After a few days rest she found out it was more serious — a vascular lesion that could end her singing career for good!
Related: Miley Cyrus Having Vocal Chord Surgery?
And now that she's on the other side of it she's opening up like never before about just what a dark place that possibility put her in.
In a new interview with The Guardian, she explains:
"I always thought there were going to be things in my life that would go away, like beauty, youth, all of that stuff. 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. There were times I couldn't even get out of bed — I was so depressed."
In another interview with NME, she takes that even further, saying:
"That was a really dark moment in my life. I didn’t feel joy again until I got my voice back."
It wasn't just singing; Shakira couldn't even speak! She told The Guardian:
"I had to communicate through signs and nobody could understand me."
That put a particular strain on her relationship with hubby Gerard Piqué:
"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."
But it wasn't all joking. Not at all. Shakira admits:
"I was not positive. I was so pessimistic. I was a bitter person to be around. Gerard saw the worst of me."
Difficult to imagine Shakira that way!
The singer was told by doctors she would need surgery, but she wasn't convinced. She knew she needed something though, whether it be "surgery or divine intervention."
So she went for everything she could think of first. That included hypnosis, meditation, and — like a good Catholic girl — holy water.
Seriously, she journeyed to the French city of Lourdes to get water known for its healing properties. The spring there is considered to be naturally blessed after a woman named Saint Bernadette had a vision about in the mid 19th century. (The water has even been tested by scientists, but there's nothing they can detect to account for the beliefs — or the business — surrounding it.)
While she doesn't specifically credit the water, or any of the other things she tried, with her vocal chords healing, Shakira did eventually sing again — without surgery. She says using her voice again "felt like I was having some kind of religious experience."
So what lesson did she take from the scary experience of losing her most precious gift? She told NME:
"I learned that I had probably taken my career and everything I had achieved for granted. I also learned that I love what I do. I love singing. It really is a gift that life has given me. One of the things that makes me happiest in the world is to share that with my fans. I think I have the best fans that an artist can have — a friendship that is bulletproof. I think that tour was a homage to that friendship."
On a separate note, The Guardian did ask about Shak's biggest upcoming show yet — she's performing the Super Bowl Halftime Show with friend Jennifer Lopez in February.
It was a controversial choice as a lot of artists the past couple years have turned down the gig out of respect for the players like Colin Kaepernick who were poorly treated for engaging in peaceful protest against police brutality. But for the Colombian singer, there was another important political issue at play: how America is treating Latinos under Donald Trump.
In fact, she says the whole reason she decided to do the show was to help sway people in whatever way she can:
"Well, you know, I think it’s the right thing to do for the Latino community because we’ve also been through so much in Trump’s America, with walls being built. It’s an opportunity to celebrate our culture, you know?"
What do YOU think about that answer? Will celebrating Latinx culture — with two of the most beloved stars on the planet — remind some viewers they aren't the subhumans the Unindicted Co-Conspirator-In-Chief has made them out to be?
If so, seems like a good way for Shakira to use her returned gift to us.
[Image via Sean Thorton/WENN/Shakira/YouTube.]