Billboard held its inaugural Latin Women In Music event in Coral Gables, Florida — not far from Shakira’s reported new permanent residence after splitting from Gerard Piqué last year— on Saturday, May 6, and Shakira was honored with the first-ever Woman Of The Year award.
Maluma was on hand to present the honor to Shakira, but no assist was necessary for her acceptance speech, which appeared to hint indirectly at what Shakira has learned from her painful breakup from Piqué after roughly 11 years together. The two share two children.
.@shakira, la MUJER DEL AÑO de la primera edición de #BBMujeresLatinas, compartió unas poderosas palabras: “Cuando me sentí más perdida, fue la música la que me puso de regreso a mí misma.”
Watch more on @telemundo: https://t.co/CMmBymqAlj pic.twitter.com/eYAohxXDSy
— billboard latin (@billboardlatin) May 8, 2023
Billboard transcribed the speech and translated it from Spanish to English. It can be read in full below:
“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. 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. Because what woman hasn’t at some time in her life forgotten herself because she’s seeking the attention and love of someone else? It happened to me, more than once.
But there comes a time in the life of every woman where she no longer depends on someone else to love and accept herself just as she is. A time when the search for someone else is replaced by the search for oneself. A time when the desire to be perfect is replaced by the desire to be authentic, and where finding someone who is faithful is less important than being faithful to ourselves.
It’s true that when I felt most lost, music put me in the road back to myself. 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.
And there is one special woman who has inspired me more than anyone else: my mother, Nidya Ripoll. Mami, despite the hardships you’ve faced this year, you’re still standing with limitless love and resilience. You, Mami, have been my woman of the year. So, this recognition is for you, and also for my friends who have supported me and who hold me up when my legs give out. And for all those single moms who defend and protect their children like lionesses. Claudia, I love you! You’re one of those.
I receive this honor with lots of love, but for me, more than celebrating the women of the year, we should celebrate the year of the woman. A year where us women have touched subjects that couldn’t be touched, and said things that couldn’t be said. And though some may have complained, there’s no going back. Together, we’ve taken a step forward, and with each step we’re more free and more fulfilled.
Thank you for this recognition, and I share it with those incredible women I call ‘sisters’ who have taught me so much because they understand their own vulnerability, but also their own strength.”
Shakira more directly took aim at her Spanish footballer ex in her January single with Bizarrap, “BZRP Music Sessions, Vol. 53,” and she didn’t hold back whatsoever. Piqué responded in more ways than one, and it even caused Adele to claim Piqué “is in trouble!” More recently, Piqué has spoken out about Shakira’s fans harassing him online.