It was a historic night as Shakira and JLo took the stage at the Super Bowl LIV Pepsi Halftime show, making them the first Latinas to solo headline the entire show in the 54 year history of the game.
Previous to Shakira and JLo, Gloria Estefan also left her mark on the event in 1992 (and again in 1999) making her the first Latina to ever be included in the halftime show line-up, performing along with other artists. Gloria gave her approval via insta:
Christina Aguilera and Spanish-Filipino artist Enrique Iglesias, made their debut at the 2000 game, also along with other artists.
Bruno Mars headlined in 2014 and then made an appearance with other artists (including Beyonce) in 2016 where Coldplay headlined.
Now, in 2020, twenty years since the last Latina performed, we had two Latinas representing as the main headliners, viewed by millions across the nation. This was a moment. Let’s take it all in.
The game – which took place in Miami Gardens, FL – had Latinx culture all around.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Chef Dayanny de la Cruz made history as the first female and first Latina head chef to lead the Super Bowl catering. Chef de la Cruz was in charge of seven kitchens, 167 suites, seven all-inclusive clubs and 25 concession stands.
If you were like us, we were hoping to see Pitbull make a cameo on the main stage, however, Mr. Worldwide / Mr. 305, did perform before kickoff at the tailgate party.
Tigres del Norte also made history as the first norteño group to be included in the show in any capacity. A lot of us were bummed that they didn’t actually play, but rather, they had a video shown where they narrated the history of the NFL and the Latino community, as part of the league celebrating 100 seasons. If you were waiting for the video, so were we, but it only aired on Fox Deportes.
The game began with each time lining up at their 24-yard line, in honor of Kobe Bryant, and held a moment of silence in remembrance of the nine people that were tragically killed in the helicopter accident last week, which included NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi.
Next, Demi Lovato (one of our own, from Dallas, TX!) took the stage and belted out a dynamic rendition of the national anthem. After her powerful performance at the Grammys, it is clear that Demi is officially back. She was looking beautiful and regal chic in all white; we were absolutely here for it!
Actress, producer, director, activist, and overall mogul; one of our favorite Tejanas, Eva Longoria, and one of our favorite Texas stores H-E-B showed up on game day! This was all kinds of Texas magic happening on our TV’s
Colombia – We had Sofia Vergara – who is still the highest paid TV actress and one of the top 10 highest paid film actresses – had a full commercial for Procter & Gamble but it was this short clip for Bounty Paper Towels that had Latinx social media cracking up.
Dominican Republic – This was a big moment for Presidente, the Dominican beer company. Former Yankee and baseball icon, A-Rod, recently joined on as a co-owner and chairman of the company, this was their Super Bowl debut commercial. A-Rod – who is Dominican – gave us a heartfelt authentic welcome. We’re here for it, SALUD!
Another baseball icon, former Red Sox legend David “Big Papi” Ortiz (who is also Dominican) had a cameo in the Hyundai “wicked smaht” commercial based on of the best SNL skits: Hyundai Super Bowl commercial
Singer / songwriter Becky G (Mexicana) made a cameo in the Sabra Hummus ad (which also included the first time Jersey Housewives Teresa and Caroline reunited!) Sabra Hummus Super Bowl commercial
Ok so technically there were no Latinos in this commercial, however, avocados originated from Mexico, so they are Mexican. We will take it. Avocados from Mexico Super Bowl commercial
Shakira – who was celebrating her birthday – gave us all the hip-shaking vibes that we were dying for! She opened up with some of her biggest English hits and although we (personally) were waiting for some classic brunette Shakira from the days of Pies Descalzos or ¿Dónde Están los Ladrones? we did catch a glimpse of our favorite rockera as she took the electric guitar and ROCKED OUT with a nod to Zeppelin!
She gave the world like 4 – 5 different dance genres, guitar, drums, singing in different languages…in seven minutes! Is there anything she can’t do??? A true international artist. We stan AND salute!
Shakira is Colombian and Lebanese, folks forget her name means “grateful” in Arabic. She definitely had two standout moments where she honored both parts of her identity, which the fans appreciated.
Another big moment was Shakira paying tribute to her home country of Colombia, specifically honoring Afro-Colombian Congolese Soukous dance and music, and bringing those dances to the national stage. Colombians recognized the moves right away and were ecstatic online.
Champeta and El Mapalé are native dances to Shakira’s hometown of Barranquilla, created by African Caribbean descendants of Colombia. La Shak is not Afro-Latina but she did want to recognize the Afro-Colombian heritage of Colombia so she took her search online and found a fellow Barranquillera, phenomenal Champeta dancer – 18 year old Liz Dany Campo Díaz – via Instagram, she then reached out to Liz to invite her to be a part of this herstoric moment. Once Liz realized this wasn’t a hoax, she was hyped to join in. Shakira flew her out and she (Liz) choreographed the Champeta and Mapalé routine, while Shakira trained intensely to learn it; Liz also performed alongside Shakira during the big show.
JLo – livin’ la vida Lopez! She SLAYED, let it be known she is a hell of an entertainer. She gave us 4-5 different genres of dance and music, taking us through 20 years of memories in those seven minutes…and then some. First of all, how did she get all those costume changes in, amazing. JLo took us all the way back to On The 6 and kicked off her set by representing her New York roots with “Jenny from the Block” and her huge dance hits “Ain’t It Funny” and “Get Right,” giving us that Bronx girl edge that we love about her.
Then the green lasers came out and we feel twitter user XorjeO put it best:
Same Xorje, same…we gasped! Also, no one is really giving her credit for that incredible feat of athleticism ala Hustlers, she climbed up the pole and suspended her body weight in mid air! Do people not realize how much body core strength that takes!? AH – M A Z I N G
Side note, was that a dig to being snubbed at the Oscar with no nomination for Hustlers? We sure hope it was.
Reggaeton artist were also included in this year’s halftime show, making history for the genre. Reggaeton music – which is also rooted in African Caribbean beats – originated in Panamá, before grabbing hold in Puerto Rico. The genre has come a long way, from being negatively labeled low-brow “underground music,” to Afro-Puerto Ricans being policed by the state government in the 90s, to now having reggaeton represented on the main stage at Super Bowl in 2020. Recently, reggaeton artist have called out the Latin Grammys for having snubbed reggaetoneros from nominations despite it now being the most popular genre streamed, so this was actually a very big crossover moment for reggaeton music.
While we were bummed Ivy Queen didn’t make an appearance, we were stoked to see special guest, reggaetonero stars – Bad Bunny and JBalvin – join the reinas on stage! El Malo Conejo (Puerto Rican) and JBalvin (Colombian) are newer reggaeton artist, but they have been popping out hits for years, including their huge crossover summer hit, the remake of “I Like It” a collab with Cardi B (Dominican/Trinidadian) which Bad Bunny performed with Shakira. JBalvin – who performed with JLo – is actually the most streamed artist on Spotify, surpassing “Champagne Papi” Drake.
Cardi B took to the internets to show some love on social media, sharing her thoughts and how moved she was that “I Like It” was included in the set list.
U.S. audiences also got a taste of Salsa, particularly Salsa Caleña from the Salsa capital of the world, Cali, Colombia. JLo reached out to Swing Latino, a dance group who she had met on “World of Dance” (where the group made it to the finals and took third place in the competition) afterwards, JLo invited them to join her on her It’s My Party tour and this past Sunday she also included them in the halftime show.
If you were like us, dancing all over your living room to the high energy JLo set, one of the major moments that you may have missed was the political message included.
As “Get on the Floor” ended, the music quiets down and the lights dimmed, the next set change opens with children sitting in mock cages. JLo’s own daughter Emme, takes the mic and begins a slow paced version of “Let’s Get Loud” while standing inside the cage. Emme, then joins her mother on stage as she (JLo) appears wearing magnificent feathered cloak, she then turns to the audience and says “Latinos, let’s get loud” as Emme then sings “Born in the U.S.A.” and JLo repeats “let’s get loud,” she then unveils the cloak to be a giant flag of Puerto Rico! Dancers hold the flag up and then turn it around where we see the United States flag is on the other side. Shakira then joins in on the drums (because she is multi-talented and plays multiple instruments) as a sign of solidarity, as the two began to perform the last song together.
The entire moment lasted less than one minute and yet spoke volumes. In a bold move, through the choreography, JLo and Shakira (who are both mothers) reminded viewers that there are children – predominantly Latino children – that are currently sitting in cages, having been separated from their families by this administration.
It was also an important moment for Puerto Rico, who has suffered massive devastation due to Hurricane Maria and then was recently hit with multiple earthquakes, which added to the destruction; and yet the people continue to be ignored by the government even though Puerto Rico is technically a U.S. territory. A sentiment reinforced with the dual flag and the lyrics “Born in the U.S.A.”
In a time when the Latinx community is continually under attack, and just a short seven months after the tragic mass shooting in El Paso, TX; the Super Bowl halftime show was an empowering fourteen minutes of celebrating parts of our multi-layered culture and was a much needed respite.
As we enter a new year, 2020…a new decade, and also an election year, the final message we took away from that electrifying performance was, LATINOS, LET’S GET LOUD!