For those who didn’t get a chance to watch the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime performance by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, you missed out. It was a magnificent display of Latin culture and dancing, as the duo rocked the crowd from start to finish.
Shakira’s performance, especially, was unbelievable as not only did she sing and dance, but she was seen playing the drums and doing a little shredding on the guitar. Still, though, some people on social media criticized and mocked her performance, despite being unaware of the influences or the origins of her dancing or vocal warbles.
When Shakira looked into the camera and gave off a seemingly odd vocal ululation, many people were quick to make memes poking fun at the act, which quickly propagated itself throughout social media.
However, the origins behind the warble stem from Shakira’s Lebanese roots. The ululation is known as zaghrouta and is used by women in Northern Africa and the Middle East to express emotions of joy and happiness.
The Colombian native’s name even translates into ‘grateful’ or ‘full of grace’ in Arabic, giving a nod to her paternal grandparents who are from Lebanon, despite her family moving to South America.
A source close to the singer shared with HollywoodLife! why it was important for her to incorporate Lebanese and Arabic aspects into her halftime performance.
“Shakira’s decision to honor her Arabic heritage during her show came from the heart,” the source began. “Everyone knows her as a Latina and she is so proud of that but she’s also equally proud of her Arabic heritage and during these divided times she wanted to make sure her performance spoke to the inclusion of all cultures.”
“She’s happy everyone was talking about her zaghrouta [tongue-wag], she’s so proud to be part Lebanese. If her performance helped to broaden the conversation that’s an added bonus. She didn’t know it would become a big moment but she’s happy it did,” they continued
— 𝗕𝗢𝗫𝐞𝐝 𝐃𝐔𝐃𝐄 (@boxeddude) February 4, 2020
Another source explained that Shakira is still reeling from the performance and that she was ultimately proud of how it turned after all the hard work she had put into the preparation.
“Shakira is still on cloud nine after her Super Bowl performance and is overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support she’s received.,” the source told the outlet. “All of the hard work she put into rehearsals completely paid off and although she had high expectations of her halftime show, it turned out even better than she had imagined.”
According to the source, Shakira was even more thrilled to have the opportunity to perform with Jennifer Lopez, who she thought is a legend. “Shakira was so proud to join forces with JLo and put on a show that she put her whole heart into. It was a moment of a lifetime and a dream come true,” they continued.
— Nikxxy🪐🥀✨ (@Thickiraa) February 3, 2020
And while most of the reactions to the performance have been positive, complimenting the duo for an empowering showing, there have been critics, as well. But for Shakira, she’s not letting the haters get her down. She’s chosen to not even acknowledge them, as she believes it’s a waste of time.
“Shakira is not paying any attention to the haters or the backlash,” a friend of the singer shared with HollywoodLife. “Hundreds of millions of people saw the performance, of course, people aren’t going to like it but she is focusing on the people who did like it and she is a big fan of what she and Jen did and she is more than happy with how it all turned out.”
“She doesn’t want to give any attention to backlash, it is a complete waste of time to do so, she is very happy right now and riding the wave of only good emotions,” they concluded.
— Juan Poggio (@jpoggio) February 3, 2020