Colombian singer Shakira has spoken of her pride in her Lebanese heritage and her sadness at the way some people view the Middle East. The 28-year-old, whose father is of Lebanese descent, was speaking ahead of the MTV Europe Music Awards in Lisbon where she was named best female. "Many of my movements belong to Lebanese culture," she told Portuguese TV. "It is important to make it clear only a very small number of people in the Middle East are violent," she added. "It is very painful to see how there is a tendency to generalise."

Distinctive  Shakira – whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripolli – was born in Barranquilla, Colombia in 1977. She learned her distinctive hip-shaking belly-dance moves from her Lebanese grandmother. The singer will release Oral Fixation, her first English-language album since 2002’s Laundry Service, later this month. A Spanish-language version of the album was released in June.