After much speculation, Jennifer Lopez has confirmed she’ll be headlining the Super Bowl LIV halftime show and she won’t be alone. Shakira is taking the stage with the singer as the first acts to perform during the coveted set under the direction of the NFL’s recently appointed “live music and entertainment strategist” Jay-Z.
Lopez and Shakira each teased that they’d be taking the stage by posting images of each other with their own faces cropped out onto their respective Instagram pages Thursday. Then, minutes later, the singers revealed the official promo poster for the Pepsi-sponsored Super Bowl LIV halftime show, which will take place on Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami, Florida.
“Going to set the world on 🔥🔥🔥 @shakira #PepsiHalftime #SuperBowlLIV @pepsi,” Lopez captioned her post. Meanwhile, the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer wrote, “It doesn’t get any bigger than this! So excited about getting on that #SuperBowlLIV #PepsiHalftime stage! 🤩🔥 @jlo #nosvemosMiami #happybirthdaytomeee.”
According to PepsiCo senior vice president Adam Harter, the lineup has been in the making among the league’s partners.
“We’ve been working closely behind-the-scenes with our long-standing partners at the NFL, and now alongside Roc Nation to bring these mega superstars together,” Harter said in a statement. “It is a testament to our partnership and commitment to push the envelope of what is possible.”
Rumors have swirled for a while that Lopez would take the stage at the highly viewed event next year, but the surprise came when Shakira was revealed to be joining her. Still, it should not be all that unexpected when the Colombian singer’s record label is taken into account. She’s signed to Roc Nation, which Jay-Z founded in 2008. Through the entertainment agency, Jay is in charge of putting together the halftime show as well as other events by attracting A-list talent to perform.
Fans have been reacting to the Jay-Z-curated lineup in various ways online.
“Very very smart move by NFL having Jennifer Lopez and Shakira for the Super bowl halftime show in Miami. You have to wonder the influence Jay-Z may have had on this decision, HOV all about that international branding 🤑”
“So this is what Jay-Z @S_C_ and @RocNation fought for?? To have @JLo and @shakira represent Black people and our social views at the Super Bowl?? 😂😂🤦🏾♂️🤷🏿♂️ @NFL #HalftimeShow @Kaepernick7 @nessnitty”
Jay’s NFL partnership was announced in August to much controversy, considering the rapper had backed ousted quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt in protest of the killing of Black people by police during his time with the San Francisco 49ers. Since Kaep became a free agent in 2017, he’s allegedly been blackballed by the NFL.
In 2017, Jay performed on “Saturday Night Live” wearing a jersey embellished with “Colin K” on the back and the number “7” on each side for the QB’s old jersey. That same year, Jay reportedly turned down performing at the halftime show in a show of solidarity with Kaepernick.
Still, the “4:44” album creator has recently defended his present partnership with the NFL.
“I think we’ve moved past kneeling and I think it’s time to go into actionable items,” he said during an August press conference. Acknowledging he has no issue with kneeling, Jay continued, “I think everyone knows what the issue is — we’re done with that. … And I’m not minimizing that part of it because that has to happen, that’s a necessary part of the process. But now that we all know what’s going on, what are we going to do? How are we going to stop it? Because the kneeling was not about a job, it was about injustice.”