Get right: Jennifer Lopez and Shakira bring fire, feminine energy back to Super Bowl halftime

Lyndsey Parker
Editor-in-Chief, Music

Following lackluster and critically panned Super Bowl halftime show performances from Maroon 5 last year and Justin Timberlake in 2018, this year it was time for the Super Bowl to get right, so to speak. That meant recruiting two powerhouse divas, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, for the first girl-powered halftime show — and certainly the most thrilling halftime show — since another female pop superstar, Lady Gaga, rocked the field in 2017.

The dazzling production, which marked the first time in Super Bowl history that two Latina artists took the halftime stage together, was brimming with both feminine energy and sociopolitcal symbolism. That pointy stage was shaped like a Venus symbol, for instance. And in a stunning cross-generational moment, another star in the making, Lopez’s 11-year-old daughter Emme, and many other children were hatched from gilded cages as “symbols of the American dream.” (Yes, this could have been very Spinal Tap, but it worked, and it was powerful.)

Emme then impressively belted Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” while her beaming mom, who is of Puerto Rican descent, draped herself in a feathered Puerto Rican flag-cape. It was an important moment for the audience in Miami — a city with a Latinx population of roughly 70 percent — and for the NFL, as the post-Kaepernick league looks to become a more inclusive organization. (In another subtly symbolic and undoubtedly universal moment, as Emme sang, a giant cross on the field illuminated in the Lakers’ colors, purple and yellow, in honor of the late Kobe Bryant.)

And speaking of feminine energy, J.Lo may not be nominated at next Sunday’s Academy Awards, but she got her best Hustlers-centric revenge this Sunday — by starting off her set by purring “Jenny From the Block” while leaning nonchalantly against a neon pole, then hustling in earnest as she demonstrated her Cirque-worthy pole skills during the club banger “Waiting for Tonight” and fiercely straddled the shoulders of her pyramid-formation, Chippendales-esque backup dancers.

And what about that GIFable knee slide in her leather chaps? Lopez won’t win an Oscar this year, but she won the Super Bowl, and she won at life.

Shakira mostly served as J.Lo’s opening act, disappearing for much of the middle of the show. But she definitely rocked the Hard Rock Stadium, hard —opening with her howlingly good “She Wolf” before sexily segueing into “Empire” mixed with a bit of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” and executing an epic crowd-surf during “Hips Don’t Lie.” (Can’t you see, baby, this is perfection, indeed.) She also dueted with Bad Bunny on “I Like It Like That,” while J.Lo teamed with another crowd-pleasing reggaetón star, J Balvin, for “Mi Gente.”

By the time J.Lo and Shakira finally joined forces for a figuratively fiery and literally rump-shaking finale medley of “Let’s Get Loud” and “Waka Waka,” the joy and excitement so palpable both in the stadiumsup (as evidenced by a viral Instagram video by J.Lo’s proud boyfriend, Alex Rodriguez) and on Twitter, it was genuinely anti-climactic to have to return to the actual game. It was clear that J.Lo and Shakira were already Super Bowl LIV’s true MVPs.

This was first Super Bowl halftime show, which can be seen in full below, that was co-produced in partnership with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. The setlist was:


SHAKIRA:

“She Wolf”

“Empire”

“Whenever, Wherever”

“I Like It Like That” with Bad Bunny

“Chantaje”

“Hips Don't Lie”

“Waka Waka”

 

JENNIFER LOPEZ:

“Jenny From the Block”

“Get Right”

“Waiting for Tonight”

“Love Don't Cost a Thing”

“Mi Gente” with J Balvin

“On the Floor”

“Born in the USA” with Emme Maribel Muñiz

“Let's Get Loud”

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