Shakira has thanked her sons for "cheering her up" after a tough year.

Shakira took her sons along to the MTV Video Music Awards

Shakira took her sons along to the MTV Video Music Awards

The pop superstar brought her two boys - Milan, nine, and Sasha, seven - along to the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Tuesday night (12.09.23) and she dedicated her Vanguard Award to them in an emotional speech in which she credited them with helping her get back on her feet and move forward with her career after her devastating split from their dad Gerard Pique.

In her speech, she gushed: "Tonight I want to thank people who have played a key role in my visual history. I want to thank my parents. I want to thank my kids, Milan and Sasha, who are here. Thank you so much for cheering me up and making me feel that Mama can do it all."

The singer added: "Especially I want to share this award with my fans who always, always support me through thick and thin. Thank you so much for being my army and helping me fight all my battles."

Shakira split from her footballer partner in June 2022 after 11 years together and they later reached a custody agreement which allowed her to leave her adopted home of Barcelona, Spain and move to the US with her sons.

Speaking to Elle magazine last year, Shakira admitted she's been through an incredibly "difficult" time.

She explained: "It’s hard to talk about it, especially because I’m still going through it, and because I’m in the public eye and because our separation is not like a regular separation. And so it’s been tough not only for me, but also for my kids. Incredibly difficult."

Shakira also insisted she's tried to protect her boys by hiding the fall out from the couple's split from them, but it's been a tough task. She added: "I try to do it and to protect them, because that’s my number one mission in life. But then they hear things in school from their friends or they come across some disagreeable, unpleasant news online, and it just affects them, you know?"