Shakira Stresses Importance of ‘Being Faithful to Ourselves’ After Split from Ex Gerard Piqué

“This has been a year of seismic change in my life,” the Colombian singer revealed at Billboard’s first Latin Women in Music gala

Tracey Harrington McCoy is a celebrity news writer at PEOPLE Digital. She has been working at PEOPLE since 2022. Her work has also appeared in Forbes, Newsweek, Parents Magazine, AOL, and Huffington Post.

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Shakira at Billboard Latin Women In Music held at the Watsco Center on May 6, 2023 in Coral Gables, Florida. The show airs on Sunday, May 7, 2023 on Telemundo.

Shakira. Photo: Christopher Polk/Billboard via Getty

After a year of “seismic change,” Shakira realized women are ” stronger than we think, braver than we believed, more independent than we were taught to be.”

The Colombian singer seemingly shared her thoughts about her headline-generating split from ex Gerard Piqué on Saturday while accepting Billboard’s first Woman of the Year award at the inaugural Latin Women in Music gala.

“This has been a year of seismic change in my life where I’ve felt more than ever — and very personally — what it is to be a woman,” Shakira told the audience while accepting her award.

“It’s been a year where I’ve realized we women are stronger than we think, braver than we believed, more independent than we were taught to be,” the 46-year-old singer continued.

“Because what woman hasn’t at some time in her life forgotten herself because she’s seeking the attention and love of someone else? It happened to me, more than once,” she added.

Shakira, who announced her separation from the soccer star last June after first confirming their relationship in March 2011, then talkedaout realizing her worth as a woman.

“But there comes a time in the life of every woman where she no longer depends on someone else to love and accept herself just as she is,” she said. “A time when the search for someone else is replaced by the search for oneself.”

Shakira added, “A time when the desire to be perfect is replaced by the desire to be authentic, and where finding someone who is faithful is less important than being faithful to ourselves.”

The “Hips Don’t Lie” hitmaker then shared that music has always helped her in her lowest moments but that other women taught her the most “important lessons” in life.

After thanking her mom and her friends, Shakira gave a shout-out to all women: “Thank you for this recognition, and I share it with those incredible women I call sisters who have taught me so much because they understand their own vulnerability, but also their own strength.”

2023 BILLBOARD MUJERES LATINAS EN LA MUSICA -- "2023 Billboard Mujeres Latinas en la Musica" -- Pictured: Shakira at the Watsco Center on May 7, 2023Shakira. Jason Koerner/TELEMUNDO via Getty

Shakira reflected on her rough year last month during a visit to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where she discussed her single “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53” and how she collaborated with Bizarrap for the project.

“The thing with this song is it has become an anthem for so many women out there. I’ve had a very rough year after my separation, and writing this song has been so important to me,” she said, referencing her June 2022 split from longtime boyfriend Piqué, 36.

“It’s been a healthy way to channel my emotions,” Shakira added.

The song helped Shakira break 14 Guinness World Records, and the lyrics seemingly allude to the split, its aftermath and Piqué’s current girlfriend, Clara Chia Marti.

In it, she sings “You go around saying you’re a champion / And when I needed you / You gave your worst version.”

Shakira and Gerard Pique arrive at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 18, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Gerard Piqué and Shakira in 2014. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

“After we put out this song, I really felt like I don’t even have fans out there,” Shakira told host Jimmy Fallon on the show. “I have a sisterhood of women who have been through the same things that I have been through, who think the way I think, who feel the way I feel, who had to put up with so much crap the way I had to.”

“And you know, I did write the song for me,” she added. “But also, I feel that it was meant to be — and probably for so many women out there that needed a forum, too, and a voice to represent them in so many ways.”

Shakira added during the discussion that it was her and Piqué’s 10-year-old son Milan who encouraged her to work with Bizarrap.

“He told me, ‘Mom, you’ve got to collaborate with Bizarrap. You have to get on a song with Bizarrap, because you guys are gonna be No. 1,’ ” she told Fallon, 48. “And he sent a voice note to my manager, Jaime. He said, ‘You got to put my mom together with Bizarrap on a song because they’re going to be No. 1.’ And he was right.”

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