Shakira gave a sweeping, dancified career performance at the 2023 MTV VMAs that had everyone at New Jersey’s Prudential Center up on their feet. Before accepting her Video Vanguard Award on Sept. 12, the four-time VMA and three-time Grammy winner hit the stage to belt out a medley of hits like “Hips Don’t Lie,” “She Wolf,” “Objection (Tango),” and many more, proving once again why she’s more than deserving of this year’s honor. The 10-minute performance marked her first time back on the VMAs stage in 17 years.
Shakira’s good friend and collaborator Wyclef Jean later presented her with the Vanguard Award before she gave a heartfelt speech, in which she thanked her two kids (sons Sasha, 8, and Milan, 10) as well as MTV “for being part of my career since I was 18 years old.” The Colombian-born singer, who was nominated in three categories this year — including artist of the year — also dedicated the award to her fans, thanking them for “always, always supporting me.” She added, “Thank you so much for being my army and helping me fight all my battles.”
Shakira, 46, made history this year as the first South American and second Latina artist to receive the Vanguard Award, which saluted her stellar achievements across music. Ahead of the VMAs ceremony, MTV paid tribute to the international superstar — who’s been part of the show’s unforgettable moments through the years — as an icon who continues to move the world with her impact. “Shakira is a true global force who continues to inspire and influence the masses with her unique, musical prowess,” Bruce Gillmer — president of music, music talent, programming and events, Paramount and chief content officer, music, Paramount+ — said in a press statement. “She’s a trailblazer for women around the world and one of the first artists to lead the globalization of Latin music. Her massive impact across the musical landscape will be long-lasting as she continues to create and entertain at the highest level.”
Shakira’s latest honor follows after a tumultuous year, in which she endured a very public breakup with ex Gerard Piqué and her tax-fraud case in Spain. With her Video Vanguard trophy, she now joins past honorees like Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliott, Beyoncé, Madonna, Janet Jackson, and many more. Check out her speech and epic performance ahead.