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Shakira shakes up the Latin Grammy awards in tribute to immigrants

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New York (dpa) - Colombian superstar Shakira has won four Latin Grammy awards, including album of the year, best song and best record to confirm her status as the crossover music queen in the US.

The belly-dancing songstress, dedicated the Thursday night victory to her country. "It has been a magical night," she said. "I am happy, so happy for the people of my country, the Colombians who have merited the recognition for so many years and finally have it."

Shakira also won for Female Pop Vocal Album and picked up Song of the Year and Record of the Year awards for "La Tortura," her duet with Spanish pop star Alejandro Sanz. The fetching duo opened the ceremony this year with a slightly tamer version of their break-up ballad/revenge fantasy, not quite matching the tone of their sexed-up video.

Shakira also used one of her acceptance speeches to pay tribute to millions of Hispanic immigrants who, she said, "came to this country with a dream, as I did one day." She added that she hoped they would "soon be acknowledged by the government with the visa for their dreams, which they deserve."

Shakira was the leading nominee with five nods and the only award she missed out on was the best video prize, which went to Puerto Rican reggaeton duo Calle 13, who were also named best artist and won in the best urban album category.

Argentine rocker Gustavo Cerati was the night's other multiple winner, picking up Best Rock Solo Album and Best Rock Song.

Besides Shakira, other artists also highlighted the immigration issue, with musician Fer of the Mexican group Mana blasting the border wall approved by the US government last week.

"It's so sad that this is happening to the Latinos who put the bread and the fish and the water on the tables of all the Americans," he said. "Terrorism is not going to stop that way. Terrorism is only going to stop when the US has cleaner external politics."

Copyright 2006 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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