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Shakira Proves Living Well Is the Best Revenge With Her Epic VMAs Return, New Music and Hot Romance (Exclusive)

The September 12 MTV VMAs had a few major moments this year, but the highlight of the evening was easily Shakira’s powerhouse performance, a 10-minute medley of hits like “Hips Don’t Lie” and “TQG.”

Later, she accepted the Video Vanguard Award with an emotional speech. “I want to share this with my fans, who always support me through thick and thin,” she said. “Thank you so much for being my army and helping me fight all my battles.”

It’s been a rough year for Shakira. In June 2022, the star, 46, split from her boyfriend of 11 years, former pro soccer player Gerard Piqué. (They share sons Milan, 10, and Sasha, 8.) It’s been widely reported that Piqué, 36, cheated on her with his current girlfriend, 24-year-old Clara Chia Marti. Shakira later called the breakup “the darkest hour of my life.”

Now multiple sources tell Us the Colombia native — who relocated to Miami in April and has been romantically linked to NBA star Jimmy Butler, 34, since the summer — is finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. “It’s a new chapter for Shakira,” says one source, “and she’s feeling better than ever.”

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The crowd went wild for Shakira’s MTV VMAs performance on September 12. Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Shakira opened up about her painful breakup with Piqué last September. “I’ve remained quiet and just tried to process it all,” she told Elle. “It’s hard to talk about it, especially because I’m still going through it.”

In January, she seemed to address his relationship with Marti in a diss track she recorded with Bizarrap, featuring the lyrics: “I’m worth two 22-year-olds / You traded a Ferrari for a Twingo / You traded a Rolex for a Casio.”

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And in June, Shakira appeared to confirm cheating rumors when she said she learned she was “betrayed” by her ex while her beloved dad was in the hospital following a fall.

“Shakira’s lowest point was finding out Gerard cheated on her when her dad was in the ICU,” says a second source. “She doesn’t know how, but somehow she made it through.”

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The singer and her sons attended an L.A. Dodgers game in July. Courtesy of Shakira/Instagram

She turned to music, writing and recording songs for her long-awaited new album. “All the pain and emotions she’s experienced — the anger, the frustration, the tears, it’s all there,” says the second source, noting that Shakira will likely release the album at the end of the year. “She wants it to be perfect.”

While she’s due to stand trial in November over alleged tax fraud charges (and, in July, a Spanish court announced a second investigation), the second source says Shakira “believes she’ll be vindicated.”

Shakira Felt Free to Make Music Again After Gerard Pique Split

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As for her relationship with Piqué, the source says it remains “tepid at best” for now. “There have been digs from both sides,” notes the source. “When they do communicate, it’s just about the boys. Shakira isn’t ready to be friends yet.”

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Shakira and Butler first sparked romance rumors in July. Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Last November, after an intense custody battle, Shakira was given permission to relocate from Piqué’s native Spain to Florida with their sons in the spring.

“Today we start a new chapter in pursuit of happiness,” she wrote via Instagram on April 2 in a farewell message to Barcelona. “Thanks to everyone who surfed along with my many waves… the city where I learned that friendship is undoubtedly longer than love.”

Shakira s Family Album See the Singer s Sweetest Pics With Her and Gerard Pique s 2 Kids Over the Years 519

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Since putting down roots stateside, she’s been enjoying the 305, hitting up the Miami Grand Prix alongside Tom Cruise and taking wakeboarding lessons with her sons. “Shakira loves Miami and the energy, music and people,” says an insider, noting that the singer’s been meeting with famous pals like Gisele Bündchen for dinner. “She’s going surfing and experiencing the nightlife and everything else Miami has to offer.”

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Shakira spent time with Tom Cruise at the Miami Grand Prix in May. CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Shakira was first spotted out with Miami Heat star forward Butler in July. According to the first source, things are “going well” between the two. “They’re growing closer every day,” adds the source, who previously told Us Shakira “appreciates how he takes the lead in the relationship.”

Still, she’s not in a rush to settle down again. “Shakira has a lot on her plate,” says the source. “Her main priority is her kids and career. But she’s definitely optimistic about finding love again.”

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