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MTV Latin America Hands Out Awards

Colombian diva Shakira donned a flowing red and black dress for a mariachi trumpet-backed performance that got thousands of fans on their feet to open the MTV Video Music Awards Latin America 2006.

British pop star Robbie Williams, who won for best international pop artist Thursday night, wore decidedly less — he pulled down his pants and bared his buttocks while performing "Rudebox" during the live show. It was not clear if producers used their three-minute delay to delete William's mooning.

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 that closed the opening act with relatively tame fireworks.

The video of the year award went to Mexican pop-rock band Mana, for "Labios Compartidos" — "Shared Lips" — and the group was honored with a legends award for its career spanning 20 years.

Venegas took home the best solo artist award but lost in five other categories, including best video, artist of the year and song of the year at MTV Video Music Awards Latin America Thursday night in Mexico City, the first MTV Latin America awards show held outside the United States.

The biggest winner of the night was the rock band Panda with three awards. The group from the northern industrial city of Monterrey took home the best new artist, best alternative artist, and best band awards.

MTV organizers promised that Thursday's show, the fourth annual, would be a rocking concert headlined by Williams, Evanescence, Nelly Furtado and Shakira, who won on her single nomination for song of the year for "Hips Don't Lie."

"I took seven awards last year, and it was only fair that someone else won this year," Shakira told reporters.

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.

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

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. The show was expected to reach about 215 million people around the world, organizers said.
By Olga R. Rodriguez

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