The half-time show is one of the spectacles that make the Super Bowl unlike any other sporting event on the planet. For 12 minutes, the eyes of nearly 100 million people in the United States and many more millions around the globe are fixed on one musical act.
J-Lo and Shakira
Jennifer Lopez and Shakira shared the performance for Super Bowl LIV, which has become a trend for acts over the last few years. One performer has usually headlined the event before being joined by a supporting act. Although both singers had their own time to shine in the spotlight, they shared the stage during the last few minutes of the show.
It had a Latin theme given the heritage of both performers and featured hits from Lopez from the late nineties and early 2000s, while Shakira provided a modern feel given her more recent success in the charts. Shakira toured around the world in 2018 and has won 11 Latin Grammys and three Grammys during her career. Lopez has focused more on her acting career of late, last appearing in the film ‘Hustlers’ in 2019.
Between the two women, there was enough star power and they pulled off one of the greatest half-time shows in recent history.
There might have been less pressure on the duo as they weren’t following a spectacular display from the previous year. Maroon 5 appeared at Super Bowl LIII and were met with middling reviews at best for their performance in Atlanta as their songs failed to match the atmosphere of the event amid support from Travis Scott and Big Boi.
Justin Timberlake took the reins before them in Minnesota at Super Bowl LII and perhaps enjoyed the best success of acts in recent years. Timberlake issued a solid string of his hits over the years, while special effects were used during the middle of one song to project the image of the late musician Prince – a Minnesota native.
However, Timberlake was also part of one of the most infamous moments in Super Bowl half-time show history in Jacksonville in 2005. Janet Jackson joined Timberlake on stage and unfortunately had a wardrobe malfunction in the middle of the performance, which was picked up by the television cameras. It caused huge embarrassment for Jackson, the NFL and Fox covering the game.
On the other end of the spectrum, half-time shows can also dominate the zeitgeist for weird and wonderful reasons. Katy Perry’s performance at Super Bowl XLIX included the appearance of shark costumes for her support dancers during one of her numbers. Right shark was a hit with his dancing on social media, prompting memes and costumes at Halloween. It is a performance that will live long in the memory.
Performing at the Super Bowl is a daunting prospect for even the most experienced of acts, but between them, Shakira and Lopez had the stage presence to produce a top performance.