MTV VMAs 2023: Shakira Thanks Her Sons For “Cheering Me Up” During New Life Chapter

Shakira returned to the MTV Video Music Awards for the first time in 17 years to receive the coveted Video Vanguard Award, making her the first South American artist to be honored with the accolade.

By Angie Orellana Hernandez Sep 13, 2023 2:07 AMTags

Whenever, wherever—Shakira continues to forge her musical legacy.

The "Hips Don't Lie" singer was honored at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards with the Video Vanguard Award, making her the first South American artist to receive the career accolade. (See the complete list of winners here.)

Taking to the stage in a blush pink outfit, Shakira thanked her collaborators and her record label, as well as her two sons Milan, 10 and Sasha, 8.

"I want to thank my parents and my kids, Milan and Sasha, who are here," she said onstage. "Thank you so much for cheering me up and making me feel like mama can do it all. Especially I want to share this award with my fans who always, always support me through thick and thin. Thank you so much for being my army and helping me fight all my battles."

The top honor marks Shakira's fierce return to the VMAs for the first time in 17 years. It also comes amid a career renaissance for the 46-year-old, who has released emotional new songs since her June 2022 split with Gerard Piqué.

One of those songs included the buzzy and record-breaking collab with Bizarrap, titled "Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53," which appeared to throw shade at Gerard, 36, who is now dating 24-year-old Clara Chia Marti.

Shakira & Gerard Piqué's Family Album

"I've had a very rough year after my separation, and writing this song has been so important to me," Shakira said in a March 10 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. "It's been a healthy way to channel my emotions."

In May, Shakira further reflected on her life-changing year, which also included moving away from Barcelona, Spain with her and Gerard's sons.

"This has been a year of seismic change in my life where I've felt more than ever and very personally what it is to be a women. And what it means," Shakira said at Billboard's Latin Women in Music gala, per Billboard. "It's been a year where I've realized we women are stronger than we think, braver than we believed, more independent than we were taught to be."

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for MTV

Shakira was formally announced as the 2023 Video Vanguard Award honoree in August, joining past recipients such as Beyoncé, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and more.

Ahead of the VMAs, Bruce Gillmer—a Paramount music executive—called Shakira a "true global force."

"She's a trailblazer for women around the world & one of the first artists to lead the globalization of Latin music," he continued in a press release statement. "Her massive impact across the musical landscape will be long lasting as she continues to create and entertain at the highest level."

Keep scrolling to see all the stars at the 2023 MTV VMAs.

Nicki Minaj

In Dolce & Gabbana.

Taylor Swift

In Versace dress and Ariel Saidian, Anita Ko, and Maria Tash jewelry.

Cardi B

In Dilara Findikoglu.

Shakira with sons Milan & Sasha

In Versace.

Demi Lovato

Olivia Rodrigo

In Ludovic de Saint Sernin.

Doja Cat

In Oscar De La Renta.

Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini

Her in Mônot.

Selena Gomez

In Oscar de la Renta dress and Jimmy Choo shoes.

Megan Thee Stallion

In Brandon Blackwood.

Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick & Justin Timberlake of *NSYNC

Emily Ratajkowski

In Jean Paul Gaultier dress and Melissa Kaye jewelry.

Dove Cameron

In Coach dress and Simon G jewelry.

Tiffany Haddish

In Jason Wu.

Charli D'Amelio

In Shushu/Tong.

Lil Nas X

In Palomo Spain with Bible bag by Aylah Gallardo.


Sabrina Carpenter


In Area.

Dixie D'Amelio

In Maticevski.

Sofia Carson

In Alexandre Vauthier.

Bebe Rexha

Madelyn Cline

In Givenchy.


In Schiaparelli dress and Gianvito Rossi shoes.

Coco Jones

In Moschino.

Nelly Furtado

Karol G

In Ashi Studio dress and Jacob & Co. jewelry.


Chlöe Bailey

In Roberto Cavalli.


In David Koma.

View More Photos From MTV VMAs 2023: Red Carpet Fashion
Catch up on every jaw-dropping 2023 Video Music Awards moment and red carpet look at E! News' VMAs blog.