Colombian music star Shakira says she will pay homage to Latin culture alongside Jennifer Lopez at the 2020 Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show in Miami. Speaking Monday (Nov. 4) in Barcelona, Spain where she lives with her long-term partner, Spanish soccer star Gerard Piqué, and their two children, Shakira told The Associated Press she was fulfilling a dream which also had “a very important purpose.”
“To celebrate that culture, to showcase it in a country where Latinos have also struggled a lot,” she said. “I feel really humbled and with a great responsibility in my hands to represent the Latino community.” The Grammy winner, who turns 43 on Feb. 2, the day of the Super Bowl, is currently promoting a documentary and live concert album from her 2018 “El Dorado World Tour,” to be released worldwide on Nov. 13.
In late 2017, Shakira left fans worried after she was forced to postpone the European part of the tour due to a vocal cord hemorrhage. “That was probably one of the most difficult times of my life. It was really a nightmare,” she recalled. “I didn’t know if I was ever going to sing again.”
At the time, doctors recommended surgery that carried risks. Shakira chose not to have it, and her voice slowly recovered. But it meant she couldn’t speak for long periods of time — a real challenge for a mother of two young children. “I healed miraculously, really, because the doctors were convinced I needed a medical procedure,” she said, adding that without support from her fans she wouldn’t have been able to return to the stage.
“I felt so much gratitude, so much joy to be able to sing again,” she said. “I think at some point in my life I had taken it for granted.” But the singer has not slowed down since releasing last month a remix of the song “Tutu” with singers Camilo from Colombian and Pedro Capó of Puerto Rico.
Shakira is also scheduled to perform at the closing ceremony of the Davis Cup tennis tournament in Madrid on Nov. 24. Shakira has in the meantime witnessed turmoil in the city she calls home in Spain’s northwest region of Catalonia. The conviction of Catalan separatists over an illegal independence referendum has sparked massive and sometimes violent street protests.
Shakira says the issue requires dialogue between the separatists and Spain’s national authorities. Piqué backs the right to a vote on the region’s independence. “I think that in a country where there are clearly disagreements and differences like this one, the best would be to try to build bridges and listen to each other,” Shakira said.