Shakira named Latin Grammy Person of the Year
Her hips don't lie and neither do her massive album sales.
International pop star Shakira was honoured as the 2011 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year in Las Vegas Wednesday night during a star-studded tribute dinner that saw the Colombian singer share an intimate moment with her father and close the night in a burst of song dedicated to her hometown of Barranquilla.
A parade of Latin music's biggest stars paid homage to the 34-year-old "Hips Don't Lie" singer during the concert at the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip. They performed hits such as "La Tortura" and "Estoy Aqui" in a two-hour salute to a career that has spanned decades and continents.
Shakira gleefully took in the performances, occasionally bouncing in her chair to show her appreciation, or standing up to dance amid a maze of banquet tables. After each song, Shakira climbed on stage and embraced the performers that included Venezuelan singer Franco De Vita, Mexican rocker Alejandra Guzmán and salsa legend Gilberto Santa Rosa.
But it was a performance from her father, William Mebarak, that marked the emotional crescendo of the night. Mebarak, who sat next to Shakira for most of the show, took to the stage mid-way through the celebration and sang "Mi Nina Bonita" to his daughter. The song, which translates to "My Pretty Girl," is a staple father-daughter tribute often heard at Hispanic weddings and birthday parties.
Puerto Rican crooner Marc Anthony presented Shakira with a crystal plaque to mark the honour. He called her a close friend and a humanitarian. Shakira's Pies Descalzos Foundation has raised millions of dollars to fight poverty and educate the poor.
"We are in the presence of one of the most special human beings, one of the most talented human beings you will ever meet," Anthony said.
Shakira, who has sold more than 60 million albums in Spanish and English, is the youngest person to receive the Latin Recording Academy's most prestigious award. Previous honourees include Carlos Santana, Gloria Estefan and Ricky Martin.
"I'll carry this night with me always," she said in Spanish after receiving the award. "It's an honour that I am not sure I deserve, but you've made me very happy."
Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, was only 14 when she released her first album, "Magia". She rose to fame in Latin America and Spain in 1995 with the release "Pies Descalzos" and the 1998 release of her Spanish rock album "Donde Estan los Ladrones?"
She made her name in the English-language world with the hit single "Whenever, Wherever" in 2001, selling more than 13 million copies worldwide of the album "Laundry Service."