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Shakira's relationship with her soccer star partner Gerard Pique was hit badly in 2017 after she lost her voice due to a vocal cord haemorrhage.
The Hips Don't Lie singer was forced to postpone her El Dorado world tour due to the health issue, and feared she'd never be able to sing again.
While recovering, she was left unable to speak, and her enforced silence took its toll on the Barcelona defender, with whom she shares two young children, as it caused them to argue.
"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," the 42-year-old told The Guardian. "I was not positive. I was so pessimistic. I was a bitter person to be around. Gerard saw the worst of me."
Explaining how difficult it was to communicate, the Colombian popstar added: "I had to communicate through signs and nobody could understand me."
The superstar found losing her voice especially tough as she has expressed herself through singing since she was a child.
"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," she explained. "There were times I couldn't even get out of bed - I was so depressed."
Medical experts told her she needed surgery, but she declined, worrying it might make the problem worse. Instead, she tried hypnosis and meditation, and even obtained holy water from the Catholic shrine in Lourdes, France.
Eventually, her voice returned, a blessing she described as like a "religious experience".
Shakira subsequently completed her El Dorado trek, and has now signed up to appear at next year's Super Bowl, alongside Jennifer Lopez.