Shakira's Woman of the Year Speech at Billboard's Latin Women in Music Alludes to Gerard Piqúe Breakup

Shakira at Billboard Latin Women In Music held at the Watsco Center on May 6, 2023 in Coral Gables, Florida. The show airs on Sunday, May 7, 2023 on Telemundo. (Photo by Natalia Aguilera/Billboard via Getty Images)
Natalia Aguilera/Billboard via Getty Images
Natalia Aguilera/Billboard via Getty Images

Billboard and Telemundo hosted their first-ever Mujeres en la Música (Latin Women in Music) event on Saturday, May 6, at the Watsco Center in Miami, and the program aired on Sunday, May 7, on Telemundo and Peacock. The inaugural event, which was cohosted by reggaeton legend Ivy Queen and television personality Jacqueline Bracamontes, honored Latin women in Spanish music. Several changemakers received awards, including Mexican pop icon Thalía; Grammy-nominated Mexican singer/songwriter Ana Gabriel; Venezuelan actress and singer Evaluna; Afro-Colombian singer and rapper Goyo; and Argentinian urban pop superstar Emilia Mernes. But the most prominent award went to global pop star Shakira, who was honored with the woman of the year award.

Shakira's attendance at the Mujeres en la Música event was her first public appearance since moving to Miami last month. She gave a very emotional speech that appeared to have moved the audience.

"It's true that when I felt most lost, music put me in the road back to myself," the artist said, per Billboard, seemingly alluding to her recent public breakup with soccer star Gerard Piqúe. "But the most important lessons I learned from other women, and for them I wrote what I wrote and I sang what I sang. Because only a woman can love until she's ripped apart; can speak with the most brutal honesty; can sing with anger; dance in ecstasy and be brought to tears with emotion. Only a woman can do that."

Since her breakup from Piqúe, Shakira has put out back-to-back singles that have broken numerous records: 2022's "Monotonía" had the biggest debut ever for a woman on Spotify in Mexico and Colombia, and her famous diss track "BZRP Music Sessions, Vol. 53" from January debuted at No. 9 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, making her the first woman to reach the top 10 on the chart with a song in Spanish. The megahit was also the most streamed Latin track in 24 hours in Spotify history and the most viewed Latin track on YouTube in 24 hours with 63 million views, breaking 14 Guinness World Records.

It is for this reason that Billboard chose Shakira as its woman of the year.

"It was important to get for Woman of the Year, somebody that was super relevant for everybody, so I can't think of anybody better than Shakira," Billboard's chief content officer for Latin/Español, Leila Cobo, told POPSUGAR in an exclusive interview. "Shakira is a global superstar. She's recognized all over the world, [and] she's the most listened-to female artist."

Check out the clip of Shakira's speech below!

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