After Demi Lovato kicked things off with a thunderous national anthem, followed by Yolanda Adams and the Children’s Voice Chorus chilling the spines of everyone watching with “America the Beautiful,” the tone was set for Super Bowl LIV’s halftime show. It had to be bigger, better, and more emotional than not only what came before it tonight, but also last year, when Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi brought a multi-genre explosion to the enormous field. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira had their work cut out for them.
But also, did they? Because their holy union on a platform in the middle of the field at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, felt very much like they actually invented the Super Bowl halftime show. In the moment, everything else that came before it felt quite irrelevant. The two legends quickly proved how they were the perfect pair for this job and how the fact that no one had given them this platform previously feels quite frankly outrageous.
J.Lo and Shakira had never collaborated before today (February 2), so they made sure to create a showstopper. Shak kicked things off glimmering in a sparkly red dress amid a fleet of likewise-clad dancers and ripped right into “She Wolf.” A dozen string players segued Shakira into a gentle moment that gave way to her clutching an even sparklier red guitar (and quick tease of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”) before the big moment: Shakira’s belly dancing interlude.
As she contorted, she utilized a rope, tying herself up and swinging it around in equal measure, and for a moment my livestream cut out, which I have no choice but to assume meant the program was simply too fire to be allowed to continue. And yet it did! Her dancers returned for big, bold, red fireworks to boom their way into “Whenever, Wherever” and eventually, the first of two surprise cameos: none other than Bad Bunny, dressed in his own sparkles, a wonderful futuristic overcoat that shouted SPACE.
And this was still all before J.Lo even took the stage. When she finally did — after a magnificent, horn-filled “Hips Don’t Lie” that found Shak crowd surfing in a sea of red — it was with an essential question. “Miami, are you ready?” she announced from atop a spire, like King Kong surveying his land. First up was “Jenny From the Block” with a cavalcade of her own dancers bedecked in leather jackets, hats, and colorful skirts.
“Ain’t It Funny” and “Get Right” followed, but the focus wasn’t on the music. It was all eyes on J.Lo herself, star of Hustlers, doing a full rock star knee slide, twirling a jeweled cane, and eventually climbing a great pole, spinning and having her moment, owning everything. The risers did it all; she was quite literally higher than everyone for most of the performance, with the exception of second surprise guest J Balvin.
After “Mi Gente” mingled with “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” creating a decade-fusing celebration, the focus moved just offstage to a field of glowing orbs. A chorus of singing girls, led by J.Lo’s daughter Emme Maribel Muñiz, stole the moment (thanks to some drumming from Shakira) and joined her mom onstage as she sported a massive American flag-adorned robe.
The time was right to get loud, so the stars brought things home with “Let’s Get Loud,” finding themselves on a riser high above the field shaking their booties side by side as fireworks rained down above them. Two quick signoffs — Shakira’s “Muchas gracias!” and J.Lo’s “Thank you very much!” — and they were out.
If you missed any of this epic display, as well as the others of the night, you’re in luck. The NFL has released a visual album, updated throughout the night with all of the performances so far. Head on over to your favorite streaming service and download it so you’ll forever have these memories.
Relive J.Lo and Shakira’s endlessly thrilling Super Bowl LIV halftime show up above.