The Halftime Performance During The Super Bowl

The halftime performances during the Super Bowl can be, and most often are, not up to par. In the beginning years of this performance, you were lucky to see a college drill team, a marching band, a few well known celebrities and movies stars, or some other type of entertainment that just wasn’t impressing the audience. Justin Timberlake performed twice for the Super Bowl halftime. The Grambling State Marching Band made six appearances between 1967 and 1998, which is the most any other group or artist in the show’s history. Up until 1991, Super Bowl was known for being dull and uninteresting, all that changed at Super Bowl XXV in Tampa, Florida, New Kids on the Block was the first contemporary pop music band to perform in the halftime show and they definitely impressed the live audience and the audience at home. Not long after, Michael Jacksons appearance in 1993 labeled the Super Bowl as one of the most sought-after venues for mainstream performers. After that the National Football League slowly transitioned to more modern performances during the halftime show to attract more popularity.

The halftime performance either pulls out all the stops or is thought of too narrowly. On one side, there has been over the top years like 1995, when Tony Bennet and Patti LaBelle duetted during routines from Disneyland’s Indiana Jones production for some reason; 2001, when Mary J. Blige, ‘N Sync, Nelly, and Brittney Spears all packed into Aerosmith’s “Walk this way”; and 2004, Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson, whose infamous mechanical failure happened at the end of a mismatched medley of Nelly, Kid Rock and Diddy songs. On the other hand, there were also years like the early 2000’s, in which hip-hop and R&B were pushed to the side to shed light on all of the veteran rock acts that should have gotten the gig in the 70’s and 80’s.

Beyoncé and Lady Gaga had proven the show could include politics, professionalism and style in recent years but some groups and singers like Justin Timberlake and Maroon 5 leave their politics at the door when performing anywhere. The football league has since then searched to change its plan on the issues of social justice, or at least its optic. The National Football League revealed its Inspire Change initiative, a network of programs, that aim at closing wealth discrepancy and improving the relationships between police and their communities. Inspire Change was a big hit, though, with co-partner Jay-Z creating a big deal by collaborating with the National Football League as Colin Kaepernick remained rejected for protesting during the national anthem. Some of the public saw this as crossing the thin line of respect. Others kept their opinions to themselves until they could gather more information about what Jay-Z’s music-industries shrewdness could do for the National Football League to better form their opinion.

At Super Bowl LIV, which aired February 2, 2020, the likeliness of downfall in the NFL’s journey to wokeness formed in a very unusual way. A Bloomberg ad highlighted the murder of football-loving 20-year-old George Kemp Jr. in 2013 and promised Mike would fight the gun lobby. A Trump 2020 ad used the pardon of Alice Marie Johnson to sell viewers on his record on criminal-justice reform. Inspire Changes’ official spot showed former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin searching for answers after the fatal shooting of his cousin. While political factions were fighting to get the spotlight, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez tried to bring together the divided NFL audience.

In 54 years, there has never been Latina artists performing music in Spanish during the Super Bowl halftime show. Two minutes into the show history was made, when Shakira’s record songs brought back a little bit of the old Dónde Están los Ladrones? Closer, “Ojos Así,” a song that she uses to highlight her Lebanese roots. In six minutes, Shakira definitely showed us proof of her talents through singing, dancing, playing the guitar and drums, while striking the thin line between her mixing her rock and popstar personas through the years and pointing to the future of performances by bringing Bad Bunny out for “I like it.”. Her performance was well planned out and very silly at times for example when she was zoomed in on while wiggling her tongue.

Jennifer Lopez was up next, and she really left an impression of hip-hop with R and B jams that delivered the kind of timeless choreography that keeps her on that stage performing. She represented the hip-hop of New York City, by going back to “Jenny from the Block” and the Murder Inc. remix for “Ain’t It Funny,” then transformed the stage into what appeared to be a nightclub set up for “Waiting for Tonight.” She took the show further than Shakira did. Her routines were so intricate and put the Super Bowl’s past marching bands to shame. The setup of the background was also a big factor with the colors and energy, you really felt the performance. The two artist’s performances balanced each other out; what Shakira gave you in multitalented musicality, J.Lo gave you in Acrobatics, complex footwork, and hip-hop thunder.

This halftime performance isn’t just for the football fans who watch the game. It’s for anyone who loves to see a multitude of different talents like dancing, singing or playing an instrument. This was a great performance for anyone who is really into the genre of music performed by Shakira and Jennifer Lopez. The performance overall was amazing when you really look at the amount of talent and work it takes to pull a performance like this off with the amount of choreography used in each song, along with singing and playing a variety of instruments throughout the show. A stage full of talented women, men, and children of color was a more powerful sight than any industry could put together. It was a chaotic night, but it was a memorable halftime show.       

07 July 2022
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