After last year’s dreadfully forgettable Super Bowl Halftime Show by Maroon 5 and a shirtless Adam Levine, just about any artist would’ve been a vast improvement for this year’s performance in Miami, where the San Francisco 49ers faced off against the Kansas City Chiefs.
But who could’ve guessed just how infectiously joyous the combo of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira would be, smiling and dancing their way through an energetic set that was short on over-the-top spectacle — there were no giant tiger puppets or high-flying entrances — but abundant in jaw-dropping choreography, Top 40 hits and celebrations of Latin culture.
The performance kicked off with Shakira, who took the stage in a glittery, fringed red dress and delightfully showed what a Renaissance woman she is: playing electric guitar during “Empire” and provocatively dancing with a rope when she wasn’t fiercely working her way through playfully sexy pop anthems “Hips Don’t Lie,” “Whenever, Wherever” and the (hugely underrated) “She Wolf.”
She then ceded the stage to Lopez, who descended on Hard Rock Stadium in a revealing, black-leather bodysuit, where she was flanked by backup dancers in colorful tutus for early hits “Jenny From the Block” and “Get Right.” Further reminding Oscar voters what a mistake they made in not nominating her for last year’s stripper drama “Hustlers,” Lopez brought out a stripper pole and did a breathtaking routine in a diamond-studded ensemble as she sang a slowed-down version of “Waiting for Tonight.”
But the highlight of the halftime show was when Lopez was joined by a children’s choir and her 11-year-old daughter, Emme Maribel Muñiz, who sweetly sang Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” as Lopez returned to the stage draped in a feathery, Puerto Rican flag. It was an unsubtle political statement on one of the world’s biggest stages.
Lopez, 50, and Shakira, 43, further brought Latino representation to the show by inviting Bad Bunny and J Balvin, who performed their Spanish-language verses of Cardi B’s “I Like It” and “Mi Gente,” respectively. The women wrapped the performance by dancing and embracing each other, capping one of the best Super Bowl halftimes of the past decade.
Lady Gaga at pre-Super Bowl show: I 'better hear no lip-syncing' in J. Lo, Shakira's halftime show