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“Bigger names have shared that stage and don’t act as if someone owes them something.”
Jennifer Lopez is facing backlash after revealing she was unhappy about sharing the stage with fellow artist Shakira at the 2020 Super Bowl.
The duo took the stage by storm at the iconic annual halftime show, with their history-making performance attracting tons of praise from fans and celebrities worldwide.
Shakira opened with a live rendition of her 2009 hit “She Wolf” before going on to perform a range of her chart-topping tracks, such as “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Waka Waka.”
And then, in the second half of the show, J.Lo made the crowd go wild with a bunch of her biggest songs, including “Jenny From the Block,” “On the Floor,” and her closing hit “Let’s Get Loud,” for which she was joined by Shakira.
But it turns out that despite the evident success of the joint performance, J.Lo wasn’t too pleased with the NFL’s decision to have her and Shakira take the stage together, admitting in her upcoming Netflix documentary, Halftime, that she thought it was “the worst idea in the world.”
The tell-all film, which reflects on Jennifer’s long-running and multifaceted career, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this week.
As its name suggests, Halftime has an extensive focus on Jennifer’s 2020 Super Bowl performance, giving viewers tons of inside scoops on how things were behind the scenes ahead of the show.
And we’ve now learned that Jennifer was frustrated with the organizers of the halftime show for giving her and Shakira the same amount of time that any solo performer would receive rather than doubling it.
For context, performers at the halftime show are usually given 12 to 16 minutes onstage. Past solo artists, such as the Weeknd and Beyoncé, have used the time to switch from song to song in a medley style, resulting in a flashy roundup of their greatest hits.
But it’s not uncommon for multiple artists to share the stage for a performance of this time length, too. The most recent Super Bowl, for example, saw stars Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 Cent team up to deliver a showstopping act, with each member only receiving a few minutes directly centered in the spotlight.
However, J.Lo was clearly unhappy with the idea of her and Shakira dividing the time between them, telling her music director, Kim Burse, in her Netflix documentary: “We have six fucking minutes. We have 30 seconds of a song, and if we take a minute, that’s it, we’ve got five left. But there’s got to be certain songs that we sing, though. We have to have our singing moments.”
“It’s not going to be a dance fucking revue. We have to sing our message,” she said before going on to label the entire thing “the worst idea in the world.”
“This is the worst idea in the world to have 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 planned on dividing their time. “They said 12 minutes. I got kind of a good confirmation that we could have an extra minute or two, so now we’re at, like, 13, 14 minutes. I think, Shakira, what we should have is you should have half the time and I should [have half],” Jen said.
“If it was going to be a double headliner, they should have given us 20 minutes,” she added. “That’s what they should’ve fucking done.”
Meanwhile, Jen’s manager, Benny Medina, also spoke out against the NFL’s decision, calling it “an insult.” “Typically, you have one headliner at a Super Bowl,” he said. “That headliner constructs a show, and, should they choose to have other guests, that’s their choice. It was an insult to say you needed two Latinas to do the job that one artist historically has done.”
Shortly after Jennifer’s comments began surfacing online, fans called her out for her “entitled” attitude, arguing that regardless of the time constraints, she and Shakira were still able to put on a pretty iconic show.
And although Jennifer made no direct comments toward Shakira, many users quickly interpreted her frustration as a dig at the “Chantaje” singer.
“Bigger names have shared that stage and don’t act as if someone owes them something,” another tweeted.
And before long, fans were reminded of the distinct difference in Jennifer’s and Shakira’s promotions of the Super Bowl ahead of their performance.
Both artists shared promotional photos to their respective Facebook pages in the weeks before the event. But while Shakira’s picture centered on both members in question, J.Lo’s simply included just herself.
Bringing this up now, one Twitter user wrote: “I remember when she posted the promo poster with her alone while Shakira posted the one with both of them. The energy was clear from the beginning.”
However, some users came to J.Lo’s defense, arguing that she was well within her rights to request more stage time — not just for her sake, but for Shakira’s, too.
“I’m no JLo apologist, but in the film, she says she was unhappy that the NFL booked 2 official headliners but made them split the 13-minute time slot that’s usually allotted to one act,” journalist Tess Garcia wrote. “I’ve seen the doc multiple times and there is no Shakira slander.”
Agreeing with this sentiment, one Twitter user suggested that the stage “wasn’t necessary,” as both artists were capable of creating a memorable show in their own right.
“Even though their performances were groundbreaking @JLo and @shakira deserved their own halftime show! They are icons for a reason and sharing the stage wasn’t necessary! They are both capable to create a memorable show to be remembered!” they wrote.