Shakira will make history at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 12, becoming the first South American artist to receive the Video Vanguard Award. The Colombian-born superstar will become the second Latina artist to receive that marquee award. Jennifer Lopez, who was born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents, received the honor five years ago.
Women have thoroughly dominated this category in recent years. Shakira follows Rihanna (2016), P!nk (2017), Lopez (2018), Missy Elliott (2019) and Nicki Minaj (2022). There was no recipient in 2020-21. The last man to win the award was Kanye West in 2015.
Shakira is also set to perform on the VMAs for the first time in 17 years. This maintains a recent VMAs tradition. Starting with Justin Timberlake in 2013, the Video Vanguard award has been accompanied by an extended performance from the recipient, usually featuring a career-spanning medley of hits.
Shakira is very likely to perform her 2023 smash “TQG,” a collab with Karol G that debuted and peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March. Karol G has already been announced as a performer on this year’s show (along with Demi Lovato, Måneskin and Stray Kids).
This has been one of Shakira’s biggest and busiest years. In January, she debuted and peaked at No. 9 on the Hot 100 with the Bizarrap collab “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53,” which made her the first female vocalist to reach the top 10 with a Spanish-language track. That single enabled Shakira to set 14 Guinness World Records, including the most streamed Latin track on Spotify in 24 hours, most viewed Latin video on YouTube in 24 hours, fastest Latin track to reach 100 million views on YouTube, and most streamed Latin track on Spotify in one week.
And that was just the start of Shakira’s red-hot year. As noted above, she reached No. 7 on the Hot 100 in March with “TQG,” making 2023 the first year in which she has had two songs peak in the top 10 on the all-genre chart. In April, Shakira was named Billboard’s Latin Woman of the Year. In July, she became the first artist to hold down the top three spots on Billboard’s Latin Pop Airplay chart in the list’s nearly 30-year history.
“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 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.”
The 2023 VMAs will air live from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Shakira is a four-time VMAs nominee this year. She’s up for artist of the year; best Latin and best collaboration for “TQG”; and best Latin again for “Acróstico.”
The four-time VMAs winner took home her first Moon Person in 2000 for International Viewer’s Choice (Latin America North). She won again in that category in 2002. In 2006, she won best choreography for “Hips Don’t Lie,” which featured Wyclef Jean. The following year, she won Most Earth Shattering Collaboration – yes, that was an actual, competitive category – for “Beautiful Liar,” a collab with Beyoncé.
Shakira’s most recent VMAs performance was in 2006, where she teamed with Jean to perform the aforementioned “Hips Don’t Lie,” which was a video of the year nominee and a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100. In 2005, she made VMAs history with the show’s first performance entirely in Spanish – “La Tortura” featuring Alejandro Sanz. Shakira made her VMAs performance debut in 2002, with “Objection (Tango)” featuring her signature belly-dancing moves and an impressive crowd surf.
MTV and Toyota Motor North America, which is presenting the Video Vanguard Award for the first time, will celebrate Shakira’s honor through longform, music-centric content set to debut during the VMAs broadcast.
The Video Vanguard Award, which is presented to an artist for their “outstanding contributions and profound impact on music video and popular culture,” has arguably come to rival video of the year as the most anticipated award of the night.
The award was named in honor of Michael Jackson in 1991, but the channel has been moving away from the association in recent years, since the 2019 drama Leaving Neverland put a new focus on molestation allegations. The press release announcing Shakira as this year’s recipient included his name just once out of five references to the award.
Other artists who were thought to be in contention for the Video Vanguard Award this year included Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Drake, Selena Gomez, Bruno Mars, Jonas Brothers, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar and Katy Perry.
Taylor Swift leads this year’s nominations with eight nods, followed by SZA (six), Doja Cat, Kim Petras, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Olivia Rodrigo and Sam Smith (five each), and BLACKPINK, Diddy and Shakira (four each). Shakira is the only one of these artists who has been confirmed as a performer on the show, though more artists are expected to be announced later this week.
Fans can vote for their favorites across 15 gender-neutral categories by visiting vote.mtv.com through Friday, Sept. 1; voting for best new artist will remain active into the show. Nominations for socially-voted categories, including group of the year and song of summer, will be announced at a later date.
MTV has yet to announce the host of this year’s show or the Global Icon award recipient. Last year’s show was co-hosted by LL Cool J, Nicki Minaj and Jack Harlow; the Global Icon award went to Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Bruce Gillmer and Den of Thieves co-founder Jesse Ignjatovic are executive producers of the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards. Barb Bialkowski is co-executive producer. Alicia Portugal and Jackie Barba serve as executives in charge of production. Wendy Plaut is executive in charge of celebrity talent. Lisa Lauricella is music talent executive.