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Today, February 2, 2021, is international pop-star Shakira’s birthday, and the star has been through a number of enormous challenges throughout her life. One of the most memorable came in 2012 when Shakira told her Facebook followers that she had been “attacked” by a sea lion in a bizarre turn of events. Speaking about the attack whilst on tour, Shakira wrote: “Special Report: Attacked by a Sea Lion.”

Shakira continued: “This afternoon I happened to see some sea lions and seals… Suddenly, one of them jumped out of the water so fast and impetuously that it got about one foot away from me, looked me in the eye, roared in fury and tried to bite me.

“Everyone there screamed, including me. I was paralysed by fear and couldn’t move. I just kept eye contact with it while my brother ‘Super Tony’ jumped over me and literally saved my life, taking me away from the beast.”

Although her brother saved her just in time, Shakira noted they both had their “hands and legs scratched” by the rocks during their swift escape.

The star added: “I believe what happened is that it confused the shiny reflection of the Blackberry I was taking these pics with, with some sort of fish. It probably thought I was teasing it with food and then taking it away from it.” 

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The assailant was a 19-year-old man who was never named, and was arrested by Sydney police, before later being charged with offensive behaviour, assaulting police, and resisting arrest.

Shakira was victim to criticism in 2020 when she performed alongside Jennifer Lopez at the Super Bowl halftime show. The pair’s raunchy performance received 1,300 complaints to the TV station, with viewers calling it “porn-like”

Shakira was at risk of never singing again in 2017, after an illness almost took her voice from her.

After suffering a haemorrhage in her vocal chords, Shakira could no-longer speak – and she was at risk of the damage becoming permanent.

In an interview with the Guardian in 2019, Shakira confessed: “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.”

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Shakira continued: “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.”

However, she explained how she was saved in a “miraculous” way.

The singer ventured to the religious pilgrimage location, Lourdes, where she sought a cure for her injured vocal chords.

Shakira continued: “Either I needed surgery or divine intervention.”

When her voice did return – without any kind of operation – she said: “It felt like I was having some kind of religious experience.”

It hasn’t all been doom and gloom for the platinum-selling star, though, as she met her long-term partner, professional footballer Gerard Piqué, in 2010 at the filming of her music video, Waka Waka (This Time For Africa).

After first meeting, Gerard told Shakira: “I’m going to win the World Cup just so I can see you again at Finals.”

His team went on to win the cup, bringing the pair together once again.

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