“Thank you MTV. Thank you for being such a big part of my career since I was only 18 years old,” the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer, 46, told the crowd at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
The mother of two gave a shout-out to her two sons — Milan, 10, and Sasha, 8 — for giving her a moral boost.
“Thank you so much for cheering me up and making me feel that Mama can do it all,” Shakira, who shares her children with ex Gerard Piqué, said during her acceptance speech.
Shakira also gave thanks to a handful of people while accepting the award, including her label, her parents and the “amazing women” she works with who “always help [her] push through all [her] challenges while wearing so many hats.”
Introducing the internationally famed artist, Wyclef Jean noted that Shakira has sold “95 million records worldwide” which the rapper shared makes her one of the “best-selling artists of all time.”
Other artists who have been given the annual MTV award include Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna and Missy Elliott.
Along with accepting the award, which is comparable to a lifetime achievement award, the Grammy-winning artist also graced the stage to perform a handful of her biggest hits.
Shakira took the stage in a sheer skin-tone body suit with a matching sequined skirt and bandana top.
She gave a lively and danced-filled performance as she belted out a mix of her hits such as “Whenever, Wherever” and “Hips Don’t Lie.”
At one point the singer added a pink metallic bomber jacket to her performance attire.
Midway through a song, Shakira was lifted by fans and crowd-surfed as she sang to another platform that elevated the singer above the cheering crowd.
Later in the evening, Shakira — who stunned in a backless chainmail gown on the red carpet — took home the award for Best Collaboration for her song “XQG” with Karol G.
The singer was also nominated for three other awards, including Artist of the Year.
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She was also nominated for Best Latin for the same song she made with Karol G, as well as her solo single “Acróstico.”
The Colombian singer has previously taken home four other VMA awards going back as far as her first award for the International Viewer’s Choice (Latin America North) in 2000.
Two years later, Shakira won an award in the same category for her song “Whenever, Wherever.”
In 2006, the singer’s hit “Hips Don’t Lie” took home the award for Best Choreography, which was also the last time Shakira performed onstage at the award ceremony.
The following year, she and Beyoncé’s song “Beautiful Liar” won a VMA for Best Collaboration.
Shakira’s big night comes just over a year after the singer’s dramatic breakup in June 2022 with longtime partner Piqué, 36.
The former couple — whose two sons, Milan, 10, and Sasha, 8, appeared alongside their mother on the red carpet Tuesday — separated amid cheating rumors.
A source told us in January that the pop star was “devasted” after discovering that her former beau had been having an affair with girlfriend Clara Chia Marti “in the house they shared with their children.”
The insider told us at the time the two were“very much still together” when fans spotted Marti in the background of a zoom interview in 2021.
“It’s devastating for her to learn that this affair had been going on for a lot longer than she imagined,” the source added.
Shakira has since been linked to NBA star Jimmy Butler after the two were spotted in London on a cozy dinner date last month.