“Bigger names have shared this stage and don’t pretend anyone owes them anything.”
Jennifer Lopez is facing backlash after revealing she was unhappy sharing the stage with fellow artist Shakira at Super Bowl 2020.
The duo took the stage at the legendary annual halftime show by storm, with their history-making performance garnering tons of praise from fans and celebrities worldwide.
Shakira opened with a live rendition of her 2009 hit “She Wolf” before performing a string of her chart-topping hits like “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Waka Waka.”
And then, in the second half of the show, J.Lo got the crowd going wild with a slew of her biggest songs, including “Jenny From The Block,” “On The Floor,” and her closing hit, “Let’s Get Loud,” for the she was accompanied by Shakira.
But it turns out that despite the apparent success of performing together, J.Lo wasn’t very pleased with the NFL’s decision to put her and Shakira on stage together, admitting in their upcoming Netflix documentary: halftimethat she thought it was “the worst idea in the world”.
The film, which chronicles Jennifer’s long and diverse career, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this week.
As the name indicates, halftime has a broad focus on Jennifer’s Super Bowl 2020 performance and gives viewers tons of inside information on how things were going behind the scenes leading up to the show.
And we’ve now learned that Jennifer was frustrated by the organizers of the halftime show because they gave her and Shakira the same time any solo artist would get, rather than doubling it.
For context, in the halftime show, performers typically have 12-16 minutes on stage. Previous solo artists like The Weeknd and Beyoncé have used the time to transition from song to song medley style, resulting in a flashy compilation of their greatest hits.
But it’s also not uncommon for multiple artists to share the stage at a performance of this length. At the recent Super Bowl, for example, the stars Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent teamed up to deliver a stunning performance that had each member take center stage with just a few minutes in the spotlight.
However, J.Lo was clearly unhappy with the idea of her and Shakira splitting time between them, telling her music director Kim Burse on her Netflix documentary, “We’ve got six friggin’ minutes. We have 30 seconds of a song and if we take a minute, that’s it, we have five left. But there still have to be certain songs that we sing. We need to have our singing moments.”
“It’s not going to be a damn dance revue. We have to sing our message,” she said, before calling it “the worst idea in the world.”
“This is the worst idea in the world, having two people do the Super Bowl. It was the worst idea in the world,” she said.
The documentary also showed Jennifer and Shakira discussing how they want to divide their time. “They said 12 minutes. I got a pretty good confirmation that we could have a minute or two longer, so we’re at about 13, 14 minutes now. I think Shakira what we should have is you should have half the time and I should have [have half]’ Jens said.
“If it was going to be a double headliner, they should have given us 20 minutes,” she added. “They damn well should have done that.”
Meanwhile, Jen’s manager Benny Medina also spoke out against the NFL’s decision, calling it “an insult.” “Usually you have a headliner at a Super Bowl,” he said. “This headliner is building a show and should they choose to have other guests, that is their choice. It was an insult to say that it took two Latinas to do the job that an artist has done in the past.”
Shortly after Jennifer’s comments surfaced online, fans called out to her, “justifiedattitude, arguing that despite the time constraints, she and Shakira were still able to put on a fairly iconic show.
And although Jennifer did not comment directly on Shakira, many users quickly interpreted their frustration as a dig at the “Chantaje” singer.
“Bigger names have shared this stage and don’t pretend anyone owes them anything,” tweeted another.
And before long, fans were being reminded of the stark difference between Jennifer and Shakira’s promotion to the Super Bowl ahead of her performance.
Both artists shared promotional photos on their respective Facebook pages in the weeks leading up to the event. But while Shakira’s image focused on both members in question, J.Lo’s featured just herself.
A Twitter user now brought this up, writing: “I remember when she posted the promo poster with her alone while Shakira posted that with both of them. The energy was clear from the start.”
However, some users came to J.Lo’s defense, arguing that she had every right to demand more stage time — not just for her, but for Shakira as well.
“I’m not a JLo apologist, but in the film she says she was unhappy that the NFL booked two official headliners but forced them to split the 13-minute time slot normally allotted to an act,” wrote journalist Tess Garcia. “I have seen the doctor several times and there is no slander from Shakira,” she added.
A Twitter user echoed that sentiment, suggesting that the stage was “not necessary” as both artists were capable of creating a memorable show in their own right.
“Even though their performances were groundbreaking, @JLo and @shakira deserve their own halftime show! They’re icons for a reason and there was no need to share the stage! You both have the ability to create a memorable show to remember!” they wrote.