Last night’s Super Bowl halftime show has people talking.
Talking about the headliners, pop stars Shakira and Jennifer Lopez. Talking about their outfits. Talking about their songs. Talking about the language in their songs. Talking about everything.
If nothing else, it captured everyone’s attention.
If you’re still thinking about what the pop stars sang, what they were wearing and what exactly Shakira did with her tongue, we’re here to help.
Let’s start here: You should know a few things about Shakira and Lopez. Lopez’s parents are from Puerto Rico, whose flag she showed off toward the end of the halftime show. Lopez’s music features heavy influence from hip-hop and Latin music, and Forbes once called her “the world’s most powerful Latino celebrity.”
Shakira was born in Colombia. Her father is Lebanese, and her name is Arabic for “grateful.” She’s been recording music for a major label since she was a teenager, and though she has several hits in the United States, she’s incredibly popular elsewhere.
The halftime show was just part of the Super Bowl performances, which all featured people of diverse backgrounds. Yolanda Adams performed “God Bless America,” and Demi Lovato followed with the national anthem. And guests during the halftime show featured Puerto Rico’s Bad Bunny and Colombia’s J. Balvin. The performers were selected because of the NFL’s deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, where the rapper helps curate the halftime show and other major NFL events.
Lopez and Shakira were not the first Latin headliners of the halftime show. Many outlets have reported that as fact, but Cuban singer Gloria Estefan headlined the event in 1992. She closed out the halftime show with “Live for Loving You” and “Get On Your Feet.” Many other Latin performers have played the Super Bowl, including Estefan again in 1999, Christina Aguilera and Enrique Iglesias in 2000 and Bruno Mars, who has performed multiple times.
What was Shakira doing with her tongue? During the performance, Shakira looked into the camera and made noise with her tongue. Some made fun of it, but it may have been an ululation, a celebratory noise made in Arabic cultures. Shakira incorporates several different cultures into her performances with her use of belly dancing and Arabic phrases.
What did you think of the costumes? A lot of people are debating whether Shakira and Lopez’s bedazzled, skin-tight costumes were appropriate for the telecast. It wasn’t much different than you’d see on either of the pop stars in their concert performances, and they weren’t far off from what many performers wore at the Grammy Awards a few weeks ago. And remember last year’s halftime show? Maroon 5’s Adam Levine spent a large part of that show shirtless.
Lopez had some special guests. As many know, Lopez was first known as a Fly Girl dancer on “In Living Color.” During the halftime show, she danced in lock-step with numerous professional dancers, including a salsa group from Colombia’s Swing Latino.