MIAMI – Jennifer Lopez and Shakira showed Latino pride on Sunday in a thrilling halftime show at the United States’ main sporting event, a more Hispanic Super Bowl than ever featuring stars of urban music such as J Balvin and Bad Bunny.
Emme Muñiz, daughter of Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, made her world debut as singer, leading a choir of children dressed in white, while Shakira played the drums. Lopez, alongside her daughter, donned a cape that initially seemed to be of the American flag, only to end up becoming that of Puerto Rico, from where Muñiz’s four grandparents hail.
The 12-minute show was exactly what both artists had promised: a celebration of Latino culture and a message of unity and hope for children, especially children of ethnic and demographic minorities in the US, where a polarized presidential election process begins this week.
US President Donald Trump became the first president in office to buy advertising space for his proselytizing campaign at the Super Bowl, with an estimated viewership of about 100 million. His 30-second advert would have cost him about $10 million.
However, Trump was absent, although he was in his mansion in the neighboring Florida city of West Palm Beach. The president was booed the last time he attended a major public sporting event in the fifth game of the baseball league final in October.
Former New York mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg, Democrat Party pre-nominee, was the other politician who took the opportunity to appear before the millionaire audience of the sporting event with a very expensive announcement.
Although commercial adverts tend to be the most commented part of the Super Bowl – sometimes more than the result – the halftime show leaders were the social networks stars.
The show was started by Shakira, who – dressed in red – sang some of her main hits. The Colombian singer-songwriter shared the stage with urban artist Bad Bunny.
She played guitar and performed her well-known belly dance and – although there were segments in Spanish – most of her show was in English.
Jennifer Lopez, meanwhile, performed an updated version of her recent shows, with the addition of a pole dance. Her guest was reggaeton performer J Balvin, who sang a segment of his hit “My People.”
Shakira sang with a Puerto Rican and Lopez with a Colombian. One more message of union and rapport between Latinos. They danced and sang salsa, cumbia, merengue and reggaeton.
The two Latin artists ended up singing the “Waka Waka” – official song of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa – together, they said goodbye with a loud “Thank you” and “Gracias,” another example of the Latino community’s growing presence in the US.
The party had begun at noon. The streets around Hard Rock Stadium, north of Miami, had been filled with fans of the two finalists: the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs – who won 31-20.
As the doors opened, 65,000 people – who had each paid at least $2,000 – filled the stadium’s social spaces, where shows were offered with artists ranging from Pitbull to orchestras of salsa, soul, rock or even batucada.
Rivers of fans, dressed in red, the color of both teams, made long lines to buy mainly Latin food: arepas, empanadas, croquettes, churros, tacos and dulce de leche, among many others. Most tried these for the first time.
Before starting the game, Demi Lovato sang the United States anthem.
The American singer-songwriter of Mexican origin demonstrated extraordinary vocal rank and impeccable control and was applauded vigorously minutes after tribute was paid to basketball player Kobe Bryant, her daughter Gianna, 13. The pair and another seven people were killed aboard her helicopter Jan. 26 in Los Angeles.