Super Bowl Halftime Show A Win for Diversity

With performances from four different Latin entertainers, the NFL did a great job representing a multi-cultural America.

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Kylie McAllister, Staff Writer

Super Bowl LIV saw a halftime show with the biggest Latin-based representation ever, headlined by Shakira and Jennifer Lopez. They put together a performance that mixed cultures, and made for a great show.

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira were the first Latina women to ever headline the Super Bowl halftime show. This year, the Super Bowl was played in Miami, where the population is 70% Hispanic or Latino. Jennifer Lopez is a Puerto Rican woman who grew up in the Bronx, and said “Two Latinas doing this in this country at this time is just very empowering to us.” Shakira is Columbian and grew up in Columbia. She said, “It’s very important for us to convey a message of unity, and also to show what a relevant force the Latin community is in this country.” The performance they said, was to honor their Latin roots.

The performance included many songs in both English and Spanish, including songs “Hips Don’t Lie,” “Mi Gente,” “Let’s Get Loud,” “Jenny from the Block,” “I Like It by Cardi B,” “She Wolf,” “On the Floor,” and “Waka Waka.” While performing they were joined by J. Balvin of Columbia and Daddy Yankee of Puerto Rico.

Along with the immense Latin performers, they also had lots of Middle Eastern representation in dancing and their actions, as Shakira’s father is of Lebanese origin. Shakira belly-danced, which is often done and originated in Middle Eastern cultures. They performed with Lebanese instruments the mijwiz and deberke, and included the song “Ojos Asi,” which includes Arabic lyrics. Shakira also did the Zaghrouta, which is a traditional way to express happiness.

A more secret and deeper reference included in the performance was the children’s choir, led by JLo’s 11-year-old daughter Emme, with a nod towards the border-migrant crisis. On the bottom of the stage some children were in cages representing the children and adults split up and put into cages. The choir sang “Let’s Get Loud”, which had parts of “Born in the USA” in it.

These cultural representations made a show enjoyed by many. A poll done by Hollywood Reporter revealed 32% of readers consider Lopez and Shakira’s performance was the best of the decade. Followed by 18% saying Lady Gaga, 12% saying Beyonce’s, and 11% saying Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers was the best of the decade.