The Columbian singer will receive 'the Foundation's most prestigious medal' in recognition of her music and charity work at the annual Cultural Rhythms festival which is held at Sanders Theatre on the grounds of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on February 26th 2011.
Acknowledging the world's most celebrated artists, scientists and leaders for their humanitarian efforts, the initiative is the college's centre for intercultural arts and sciences.
The foundation's director S. Allen Counter said Shakira had been chosen to receive the accolade this year because of her musical contributions to culture and her work helping children in impoverished areas such as Haiti.
He said: 'The students and faculty of the Harvard Foundation are honoured to present multi-platinum artist Shakira with the 2011 Artist of the Year award. Her contributions to music and distinguished history of creativity have been applauded by people throughout the world, and she is greatly admired worldwide for her humanitarian efforts through her Barefoot Foundation.'
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