When I first saw the Super Bowl LIV promo image of the Colombian singer and the Bronx diva together on J.Lo’s Instagram — yes, I follow her, and not Shakira — I had to rub my eyes a few times in disbelief that Lopez wasn’t simply headlining on her own. But every time I opened them back up, Shaki was still there, looking awkwardly inserted into the picture, as if by a bad Photoshop job.
The announcement in the fall that these two Latina stars would share top billing on Sunday at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium — in the middle of that other face-off between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers — left me shook. And not in the good way that they shake their booties.
It just doesn’t make sense. Well, not unless you factor in that Shakira is managed by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. And in August, Hova just so happened to cut a controversial deal with the NFL for him and the company he quarterbacks to consult on live music entertainment, including the Super Bowl halftime show. Coincidence? The only thing more suspect would have been Blue Ivy getting the gig.
Let’s be real: La Lopez has been in the midst of a major moment. Last year, she got engaged to former Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, took her It’s My Party tour on the road and turned 50 in fierce, fabulous fashion. And she didn’t slow her roll after hitting the big 5-0 in July: She scored a hit with her stripper flick “Hustlers,” shut down Milan fashion week by walking the Versace spring 2020 show in a re-creation of that iconic green jungle dress, and even hosted “Saturday Night Live.”
Meanwhile, Shakira’s biggest claim to US fame in recent years has probably been her forgettable stint as a coach on “The Voice.” Her recording career in the English-language market hasn’t been the same since, well, the ’00s, when she crossed over with hits such as “Whenever, Wherever,” “Hips Don’t Lie” and “She Wolf.”
Of course, Shakira’s music career has been far bigger and better when it comes to her Spanish-language output. This week she hit No. 6 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart with “Me Gusta,” her new single with Anuel AA.
And with the Super Bowl taking place in Miami — where there is a large Spanish-speaking population — it makes total sense to have a headlining act who has recorded in both English and Spanish.
But Shakira isn’t the only one who’s done that; Lopez has, too.
At the end of the day, this is just J.Lo’s time. Sorry, Shaki, but Jenny doesn’t need you on her block.