Colombian singer/songwriter Shakira will be honored as the 2011 Latin Recording Academy person of the year, the Latin Grammy organization has announced. The tribute gala for the songstress will be held Nov. 9, one day before the 12th annual awards show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
Shakira, also nominated for three Grammy awards, including album of the year, was selected as the person of the year for her artistic achievements and philanthropic contributions.
“It is truly an honor to be in the company of some of the greatest artists and legends of Latin Music,” Shakira said in a statement.
Shakira is scheduled to attend a dinner at Mandalay Bay where her music will be performed by fellow artists and friends as they celebrate the honoree.
As a child in Colombia, Shakira was already showing her vocal chops by meshing rock, Latin and Mediterranean influences in her music. By the early ’90s she was already a recording artist, but in 1996 her “Pies Descalzos” album made the music industry take note as she produced hits such as “Estoy Aqui” and “Se Quiere … Se Mata.”
Later she released the critically-acclaimed “Donde Estan Los Ladrones,” and in 2000 “Shakira: MTV Unplugged” earned the artist her first Grammy award for best Latin pop album. At the first Latin Grammy awards in 2000, she also received two Latin Grammy awards.
Expanding her musical resume, Shakira released her first English-language album, “Laundry Service,” in 2001. The set was a huge success and introduced her to a global audience.
In 2005, her album “Fijacíon Oral Vol. 1,” featured the popular single “La Tortura” (featuring Spanish singer/songwriter Alejandro Sanz). The album and the single earned her four Latin Grammy awards.
“La Tortura” has the record for the most weeks at No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart, with a staggering 25 frames atop the 25-year old tally. It is one of nine No. 1s on the chart for Shakira.
The singer has also had five No. 1s on the Top Latin Albums chart, including her most recent “Sale El Sol,” which spent 12 weeks at No. 1. Shakira’s album sales to date are at 9.9 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
At 18 years old Shakira founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation, a charity created to provide underprivileged children support with their academic needs. Additionally, the singer is also a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. As an honorary chairperson for the Global Campaign for education, she has been an advocate for universal education.
Through benefit concerts, Shakira has also had impact in the name of supporting victims of natural disasters as she did with the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative. She received a commitment of $40 million from the Spanish government to provide support for those in need.
Shakira is the youngest artist to receive the person of the year honor and joins a roster of other singers including Placido Domingo, Carlos Santana, Gloria Estefan, Gilberto Gil, Julio Iglesias and Ricky Martin.
“We are honored to pay homage to this dynamic, socially conscious woman whose illustrious career has touched so many people around the world, both musically and personally,” says Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy.
The Latin Grammys will air live from the Mandalay Bay Events Center on Nov. 10.