Shakira Kicks Off MTV's Latin America Video Awards

MEXICO CITY (October 20, 2006) — Colombian diva Shakira donned a flowing red-and-black dress for a mariachi trumpet-backed performance that got thousands of fans on their feet Thursday night to open the MTV Video Music Awards Latin America 2006.

Shakira’s brief appearance notably devoid of hip-shaking was followed by accordion-toting Julieta Venegas, who joined up with Puerto Rican reggaeton sensation Daddy Yankee for a duet.

Venegas, a Tijuana native, took home the best singer award. She competed in five other categories, including best video, artist of the year and song of the year.

Venegas, who writes many of her songs, topped the nominations for this year’s MTV Video Music Awards Latin America in Mexico City, the first MTV Latin America awards show held outside the United States.

Venegas, whose album “Limon y Sal” “Lemon and Salt” also garnered her four Latin Grammy nominations, won the 2004 Latin Grammy for best vocal rock album, “Si.”

“I’m thrilled, a little overwhelmed and happy about what is happening,” Venegas recently told The Associated Press.

Also nominated for video of the year were Puerto Rican duo Calle 13 for “Atrevete Te Te,” Argentine rocker Gustavo Cerati for “Crimen,” the Mexican rock band Mana for “Labios Compartidos” and Miranda!, a techno-pop band from Argentina, for “El Profe.”

Previously held in Miami, the awards last year were planned for the swanky Caribbean resort of Playa del Carmen, but had to be canceled when Hurricane Wilma ravaged the area.

A crowd of some 10,000 packed the Palacio de los Deportes for the awards show hosted by irreverent rap band Molotov and Mexican actress Ana de la Reguera, who starred in the movie “Nacho Libre” and walked on stage doing a striptease.

The Mexican pop-rock band Mana was honored with a legend’s award.

The show will reach about 215 million people around the world, organizers said.

MTV said the winners were chosen by fans who cast more than 5 million votes on its Web site and via text message.

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