Shakira has one of the most distinctive and recognizable singing voices – but there was a time when she feared she would never be able to perform again.
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The Whenever, Wherever hitmaker suffered an "unbearable" health diagnosis towards the end of 2017 which left her so depressed, she couldn't even bring herself to get out of bed on most days. Shakira was told that she had hemorrhaged her vocal cords and wouldn't be able to speak let alone sing.
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"I always thought there were going to be things in my life that would go away, like beauty, youth, all of that stuff,” she told The Guardian in 2017. "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."
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Shakira admitted that her partner, Gerard Piqué, saw her at her absolute worst as she was not pleasant to be around during her illness.
Shakira reveals her partner saw her at her worst
"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," she previously told the BBC.
"I was not positive. I was so pessimistic. I was a bitter person to be around. Gerard saw the worst of me."
The singer was told that without surgery, she would never be able to sing again, but she couldn't take the risk of going under the knife.
Instead, she tried hypnosis and meditation and even traveled to Lourdes in France for holy water after admitting she needed a "divine intervention".
Shakira was unable to speak or sing after her diagnosis
Luckily, Shakira's voice did return without the need for surgery, something she later called a "miracle".
"I remember praying," she said in her conversation with the BBC. "I had forgotten to pray for a while, but when you go through hardship you suddenly recover your faith!
"I was promising God if I could ever use my voice again, I would celebrate every night – and that's what I’m doing."
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