Even before they took to the Super Bowl halftime stage Jennifer Lopez and Shakira let it be known they planned to represent for their Latin community.
“Two Latinas doing this in this country at this time is just very empowering to us,” Lopez said at a news conference held days before the event.
“It’s very important for us to convey a message of unity and also to show what a relevant force the Latin community is in this country,” Shakira said.
Lopez, who was born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents and Shakira, who is of Colombian and Lebanese heritage, offered up some powerful symbols and imagery during their 12-minute long performance.
Lopez’s 11-year-old daughter, Emme Maribel Muñiz, joined her mother with a choir of children.
The youth wore white crop tops with American flags on them and Muñiz’s outfit included a belt with a chain.
At one point in the performance Muñiz and some of the other children were in cage-like structures, a seeming nod to the controversial family separation policies that have become a part of the debate over immigration in the US.
Shakira played the drums in the background while it was happening.
Immediately following that, Lopez’s daughter joined her mother in a duet, singing a mash up of the Bruce Springsteen hit “Born in the USA” and Lopez’s single “Let’s Get Loud.”
Lopez was wearing a custom made Versace coat which she spread to show the interior which was a Puerto Rican flag. She then wrapped herself in it to display that the outside of the coat was the American flag.
Shakira tweeted a note of gratitude to Lopez after the performance.
“Thank you @jlo for a night that shows how much Latinos have to offer!,” she wrote.