Latin GRAMMYs: Inside the Shakira Person of the Year Gala

I was there! Reporting exclusively for Fox News Latino as a star-studded red carpet of Latin GRAMMY nominees, celebrities and music industry VIPs unfolded to honor Shakira as the Person of the Year.

Not televised or broadcast anywhere, our team gained exclusive access to capture some of the most heart-felt and emotional words from artists and nominees who gathered to reflect on the music and philanthropic contributions of Shakira.

This recognition puts Shakira’s name next to Plácido Domingo, Carlos Santana Gloria Estefan, Gilberto Gil, Julio Iglesias, and Ricky Martin, among others as recipient of this incredible award by the Latin Recording Academy.

"It is truly an honor to be in the company of some of the greatest artists and legends of Latin Music," said Shakira about this one-of-a-kind distinction.

As the youngest artist to ever receive such recognition, the evening was set to bring many surprises to the stage. With opening remarks by Neil Portnow, President/ CEO of The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation and Chair of the Board of the GRAMMY Museum, followed by artists’ introductions by Luis Cobos, the night was unexpected, emotional and filled with Colombian spirit.

Starting with a performance by Alejandra Guzman with Natalia of La 5a Estación followed by Cristian Castro and Franco de Vita, Shakira quickly got teary eyed. There is no greater emotion that witnessing her peers and the biggest names in Latin music paying tribute to her work by singing the lyrics, songs and messages that capture the essence of who she is.

However, the peak of emotion was reached when Shakira’s father William Mebarak surprised her with a performance that got her crying. With a slide show of baby pictures and personal family moments, Shakira was moved by her dad’s heartfelt performance.

Other artists included Víctor Manuelle, Gilberto Santarosa, Estopa and Jorge Celedón, whose vallenato sound filled the room with the authentic rhythms of Shakira’s native Colombia.

Toward the end of the evening, the Person of the Year Award was officially presented after a special appearance and speech by Marc Anthony. After a thanking her family, team and the Recording Academy for such great honor, Shakira closed the night with an anthem to her city, Barranquilla…”En Barranquilla me quedo”, which got guests dancing and standing.

It is evident that Shakira’s career is a testament of drive, passion, cause and related purpose that has made her unique.

Besides her impressive musical track record as seven-time Latin GRAMMY winner and two-time GRAMMY winner, Shakira’s focus on philanthropy and education sets her apart. She founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation, a charity providing special schools for underprivileged children throughout Colombia.

She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, served as Honorary Chairperson for the Global Campaign for Education and in 2009 People En Español announced Shakira as the "Humanitarian of the Year."

A major portion of the net proceeds from the gala will benefit Shakira's Pies Descalzos Foundation as well as the Latin Recording Academy's Latin GRAMMY in the Schools educational efforts.

Congratulations Shakira for being an inspiration, example and ambassador to Colombians and Latinos around the world. You have demonstrated that a purpose driven career is what it takes to be truly successful. ¡Felicitaciones!

For continuous coverage of the Latin GRAMMY Awards for Fox News Latino, follow Lili on twitter @liligil. 

We will be hosting and interviewing from the green carpet on November 10th.

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