For twelve minutes in Miami on Sunday night, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira made history as the first Latinas to lead a Super Bowl half-time performance. Lopez honored her heritage by wearing a feathered cape that showed the U.S. flag on one side and the Puerto Rican flag on the other. She opened the cape up to show the Puerto Rico side as her daughter Emme Muñiz and a children’s choir joined her for the opening notes of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.” An hour after Demi Lovato delivered a flawless rendition of the national anthem, Lopez’s performance was an unmissable combination, particularly on a night when Donald Trump and Mike Bloomberg had also aired campaign ads.
The special guests included J Balvin and Bad Bunny, two Latin American superstars who had a breakthrough in the U.S. in 2019.
Lopez was born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents, and she has donated at least $1 million to the island’s recovery efforts since Hurricane Maria. The Puerto Rican flag flashed as the iconic Springsteen song played, as if to remind viewers that Puerto Ricans are American citizens. While Muñiz was singing, other children were dancing in cage-like structures—a subtler reference, but a possible nod to the thousands of children, most from Latin American countries, who have been detained at the border.
Shakira, opening for Lopez, started with her 2009 hit “She Wolf” before stepping behind the guitar for 2014’s “Empires.” A belly-dancing interlude led to 2001’s “Whenever, Wherever.” Bad Bunny joined the singer for a rendition of Cardi B’ s “I Like It.” As Shakira danced, he sang his recent hit “Callaíta” before ceding the stage to Lopez.
Last August, Lopez began a global headlining tour that grossed over $56 million, and the setlist usually started with her newest single, but at the Hard Rock Stadium field in Miami, in a full leather bodysuit, she started with 2003’s “Jenny From the Block.” After an interstitial moment of her #1 song “Ain’t It Funny,” she segued into 2004’s “Get Right,” replacing the radio version’s samples with an actual marching band. For “Waiting for Tonight,” she climbed to the top of a large pole, having switched into a mirrored bodysuit by Versace, and replicated some of the moves from Hustlers before joining Balvin for a rendition of his song “Mi Gente.” Muñiz sang the beginning of “Let’s Get Loud” before her mother came onstage. Eventually Shakira joined Lopez for a duet of her 2010 World Cup song “Waka Waka.”