Whenever, Wherever

Shakira Will Return to the VMAs Stage After 17 Years To Win An Iconic Award

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you, and neither are her hips: after 17 years, Shakira is returning to the Video Music Awards, where she’ll perform and accept the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.

The award is in recognition of an artist who’s made outstanding contributions to pop culture throughout their career, especially via music videos. Shakira’s win makes her the first South American artist to earn the award, which many consider the biggest of the night, an even greater honor than Video of the Year.

It only makes sense for Shakira to snag this win after her outstanding year. Her 2023 collaboration with Karol G, “TQG,” peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. And Shakira’s made waves outside of the music world with her masterful handling of her divorce from athlete Gerard Piqué, which involved jam-based detective work and a diss track for the ages, her collab with Bizarrap, “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53,” which took shots at Piqué and his new girlfriend Clara Chia.

Shakira’s win also carries on a tradition of women taking home the Video Vanguard award. The last man to win was Kanye West in 2015, and since then, Rihanna, P!nk, Jennifer Lopez, Missy Elliott, and Nicki Minaj have taken it home.

“Shakira is a true global force who continues to inspire & influence the masses with her unique, musical prowess. She’s a trailblazer for women around the world & one of the first artists to lead the globalization of Latin music,” Bruce Gillmer, chief content officer of music at Paramount+ and president of music, music talent, programming and events at Paramount, said in a statement. “Her massive impact across the musical landscape will be long lasting as she continues to create and entertain at the highest level.”

Fans couldn’t be more excited for her return to the stage, and speculation about what songs will make the cut for her performance is already swirling. (I’m a “Waka Waka” stan, personally.)

This announcement marks a few full-circle moments for Shakira. Her breakthrough English hit “Whenever, Wherever” came out 22 years ago in 2001, marking the start of her international success. And 18 years ago in 2005, Shakira made VMAs history with the first ever performance entirely in Spanish at the awards show with her hit song “La Tortura.”

Whatever songs make it into her medley, one thing’s guaranteed: Shakira’s performance will be nothing short of iconic.

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