The Harvard Foundation, the university's center for intercultural arts and science initiatives, gave Shakira its 2011 Artist of the Year award on Saturday.
Foundation director S. Allen Counter says the Latin music artist, who has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, was honored for her "distinguished history of creativity" as well as for her charitable contributions
After accepting the award, Shakira challenged Harvard students to do more to improve education in developing countries.
Shakira founded the Barefoot Foundation to provide education and nutrition to children in impoverished areas of her native Colombia. She is also a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador.
Previous winners of the Harvard award include Sharon Stone, Will Smith, Jackie Chan and Herbie Hancock.
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