J.Lo and Shakira highlight diversity on the Super Bowl half-time stage

From pole-dancing moves pulled straight out of Jennifer Lopez's film Hustlers to Shakira's crowd-surfing and hip-shaking, the Latina singers brought unparalleled energy to their historic Super Bowl half-time performance.

The 12-minute performance included their hits, signature moves and even J.Lo's daughter

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez perform onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday in Miami, Fla. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

From pole-dancing moves pulled straight out of Jennifer Lopez's film Hustlers to Shakira's crowd-surfing and meme-worthy tongue, the Latina singers brought unparalleled energy to their historic Super Bowl half-time performance.

That's the online reaction from many who watched the 12-minute show, including Lady Gaga, who played the same stage in 2017.

"What a fun halftime show," said Lady Gaga. "I danced and smiled the whole time."

Even Jeb Bush, former Florida governor and younger brother of former President George W. Bush, weighed in. 

Shakira, 43, opened the performance with her hit, She Wolf, surrounded by a notably diverse set of dancers. Her set included the chart-topping tracks Whenever, Wherever and Hips Don't Lie. In between, she played the electric guitar, crowd-surfed and of course, belly-danced.

Shakira performs onstage surrounded by a diverse set of dancers. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

But it was that two seconds of tongue-flicking, a traditional Arabic chant called a Zaghrouta, which launched a new meme. Shakira's family has Lebanese ancestry and her name is Arabic for grateful.

J.Lo, 50, picked up her part of the performance midway with the same level of energy. She rocked and pole-danced — moves she no doubt picked up during the filming of her 2019 stripper crime film Hustlers — through a medley of classics including Jenny From The Block, Ain't It Funny, Get Right and Waiting for Tonight.

But what brought the performance together and elevated it to another level was a brief but unmistakable nod to diversity and women.

'Let's get loud' ... and political

Lopez's daughter, Emme Muñiz, led an all-girls' choir in a slowed down version of Let's Get Loud. Some of the young singers, including Muñiz, appeared on stage in glowing cages.

Some saw this statement as a political one on immigration and family separation at the U.S-Mexico border.

"If you want to live your life/Live it all the way and don't you waste it," Muñiz sang. "Every feelin' every beat/Can be so very sweet/you gotta taste it."

As her mother returned to the stage draped in a feathered cape, Muñiz belted out Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA. J.Lo's cape revealed a giant Puerto Rican flag on one side, and the American flag on the other. Lopez was born in New York City to Puerto Rican parents.

Emme Muñiz performs next to her mother, J.Lo, who's wearing a cape with the Puerto Rican flag on one side, and the American flag on the other. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Colombian-born Shakira cheered on the girls as she played the drums. With mother and daughter side-by-side, it was a picture-perfect moment of women's empowerment as well as a celebration of what opportunity can create: the American dream.

Altogether, it lasted about 40 seconds before Lopez transitioned into an upbeat version of the same song. Shakira wrapped with her 2010 official World Cup song, Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) before the pair finished together with a powerful finale of Latin-inspired dance moves.

WATCH J.Lo and Shakira's full half-time performance:

Far cry from last year's heat

The overwhelmingly positive reaction is far from the lukewarm response last year's band received after performing on the half-time stage.

In 2019, Maroon 5 was named as the Super Bowl's musical act by the NFL much later than usual, after both Rihanna and Cardi B said they turned down the lucrative opportunity to perform in support of Colin Kaepernick. The rock group, known for songs such as Memories and Moves Like Jagger, took a lot of heat for accepting the gig.

Kaepernick — whose former team, the San Francisco 49ers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in this year's Super Bowl 31-20 — remains unsigned after three seasons. In 2016, he refused to stand for the Star Spangled Banner in protest of racial inequality.

This year was the first time Jay-Z's entertainment agency, Roc Nation, advised the NFL on its musical performance in Miami. The result: Two high-profile Latina artists were selected who speak to the flavour of the host city's diverse community.

It was also the first time two Latina women performed together for the half-time show.

Before the game, pop star Demi Lovato sang the Star-Spangled Banner and gospel singer Yolanda Adams sang America the Beautiful.

Puerto Rican raggaeton singer Bad Bunny and Colombian raggaeton artist J. Balvin, whose hit, Mi Gente, featuring Beyoncé was a huge international success, also joined Shakira and J.Lo during their performance.

Shakira, left, and Jennifer Lopez perform onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium Sunday in Miami, Fla. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The half-time performers aren't paid but the NFL covers performance-related expenses. Artists typically see major jumps in sales immediately following the high-profile event.

When Lady Gaga took the stage in 2017, sales of her digital songs and albums went up more than 1,000 per cent right after her performance, according to Billboard. And despite the tepid reviews of Maroon 5's performance, the group's sales spiked nearly 500 per cent.

Perhaps actor-comedian Billy Eichner captured the Internet's overall love for the performance best.

"I miss the Halftime Show," he joked immediately after the show had ended.


Zulekha Nathoo

Digital/Broadcast reporter, L.A.

Zulekha Nathoo is a breaking news and entertainment reporter based in Los Angeles. From the Oscars to the Grammys, she's interviewed some of the biggest names in showbiz including Celine Dion and Denzel Washington. She also works on-air covering news events and spent more than a decade at CBC stations across Canada, including Toronto and Calgary. Follow her on Twitter/Instagram: @zulekhanathoo.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?