Shakira had a major scare before she performed in the Halftime Show during Super Bowl LIV. In 2017, the Columbian pop star feared she'd never sing again. Her voice did return, however, just in time for the "Hips Don't Lie" singer to take one of the biggest stages in the world.
A hemorrhage in Shakira's vocal cords caused a long period in her life where she could barely speak, let alone perform. She'd had to postpone her El Dorado tour while she tried to recover her voice. The experience left Shakira shaken. In an interview with the Guardian, she said, "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." Shakira described the loss as "unbearable."
Not only did the star have to put her career on hold, but even communicating with her family was a struggle. "I had to communicate through signs and nobody could understand me," the singer explained. Her two sons, then 2 and 4 years old, didn't know how to read yet, so during the periods when Shakira couldn't speak at all, there was no way for her to communicate with them. The loss of her singing voice on top of it all drove Shakira into a depression so deep, the singer said, "There were times I couldn't even get out of bed — I was so depressed."
Shakira sought ways to recover her voice, though she was wary of surgery because she wasn't sure it would work. Instead, she went to hypnotists and even turned to holy water. "Either I needed surgery or divine intervention," Shakira said. Eventually, her voice did return. Shakira recalled that "it felt like I was having some kind of religious experience." When she returned to the stage, the experience was different because she felt like she was a better singer, explaining, "I was out there because I wanted to feel the pleasure of singing." The difference was certainly clear during her Super Bowl performance.
In the lead up to the Super Bowl, tabloids couldn't help but pit two highly successful female performers against each other using made up info. The blog Naughty Gossip reported that Jennifer Lopez didn't want to share the Super Bowl stage with Shakira. Gossip Cop investigated the rumor and found it false. Weeks before, Lopez had gushed about Shakira to Entertainment Tonight, calling her a "dynamic performer," and saying, "there's nobody like her."
Just a few weeks before the big show, In Touch published an article claiming that Lopez and Shakira were feuding over the Halftime Show. A supposed source told the outlet, "J.Lo sees herself as the bigger star and she hates the thought of Shakira stealing her thunder." Gossip Cop had some doubts about this so-called insider, so we reached out to an individual in Lopez's camp, who confirmed it was total nonsense.