Colombian superstar Shakira was feted Wednesday night by a wide of array of performers, including her father, at what may have been the best-attended Person of the Year event in the 12 years since the Latin Grammys kicked off.
Shakira, decked in a long, Grecian-themed blue dress, arrived at the ballroom at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas by the time guests were eating their dessert and took her palace at her table flanked by her parents. She watched intently as one act after another performed her songs, beginning with Natalia Jiménez and Alejandra Guzmán singing a duet rendition of “Ciega, Sordomuda.” Accompanied by a stellar house band directed by pianist Cheche Alara, a roster of acts that included Franco De Vita, Jorge Drexler, Cristian Castro, Vicentico, Victor Manuelle and Jorge Celedón followed, imparting each of Shakira’s unique songs with different point of view.
The evening’s performance-produced by Afo Verde, the head of Sony Music’s Latin region-was highlighted by a collaboration by Manuelle and Celedón with accordionist Jimmy Zambrano. But the night’s emotional high point came when Shakira’s own father performed a song for her, singing about the joys of having a daughter. The rendition brought tears to Shakira’s eyes and the audience to its feet.
Finally, the Person of the Year award was presented to Shakira by Marc Anthony, who made a surprise appearance for the occasion.
“It’s an honor to be in your same area code,” said Anthony, marveling at Shakira’s accomplishments. “And you did it your way, you did it your way, you did it your way.”
Shakira closed the evening, singing not one of her major radio hits, but the salsa song “En Barranquilla Me Quedo,” an homage to her hometown on Colombia’s coast.