Shakira Honored As 2011 Person Of The Year By Latin Recording Academy

11/10/2011 09:33 am ET | Updated Jan 10, 2012

As precursor to tonight's Latin Grammy broadcast, the Latin Recording Academy threw a VIP party last night for their Person of the Year, Shakira. It was not to be missed.

Latin music's biggest stars were in attendance, paying homage to their peer and friend, the 34-year-old singer from Colombia who's hit songs - in Spanish and English - have often become global anthems.

The luminaries came to Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas to perform some of Shakira's greatest hits during a two-hour party which had its share of laughs, dancing and tears. By all accounts, the evening's highlight came when Shakira's father, William Mebarak, sang a classic ditty, "Mi Niña Bonita" (My Beautiful Little Girl), to Shakira, instantly connecting with generations of father-daughter bonds through this song which is often heard at birthdays, weddings or quinceañeros.

Shakira was moved to tears, hugging and thanking her father for the song.

During the presentation of the Person of the Year Award, Marc Anthony - a possible future honoree - praised Shakira's humantiarian efforts across the world, and specifically her leadership of the Pies Descalzos Foundation, which has built schools and community centers across Colombia. In introducing her, he said "We are in the presence of one of the most special human beings, one of the most talented human beings you will ever meet."

Wrapping up the stellar evening, Shakira took to the stage to celebrate the journey which has taken her from Colombia to the world, performing "En Barranquilla Me Quedo" (I'll Stay In Barranquilla), a classic salsa song by the late Joe Arroyo. She danced, she sang and she reminded everyone in attendance why she has captured hearts and feet around the world, selling over 60 million records since beginning her career 20 years ago.

Past years have celebrated the achievements of Latin music standard bearers such as Gloria Estefan, Juan Luis Guerra, Ricky Martin and Carlos Santana.