By Steve Keating
MIAMI (Reuters) – Kobe Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash has reminded everyone how fragile life is, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira said on Thursday, and the pop superstars plan to use their Super Bowl halftime show to convey that message.
“Life is so fragile and that is why we have to try and live every moment as intensely as we can,” Shakira told a packed news conference. “We will be celebrating life, celebrating diversity in this country.
“I am sure he (Bryant) will be very proud to see the message we are going to try to convey on stage because I think it is a very big moment for our community, the Latino community in this country.”
Stopping short of saying they were planning a direct tribute to Bryant, the 18-times NBA All-Star who was killed in the crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others on Sunday, Lopez and Shakira promised a fun, power-packed 12-minute show but wanted to make a point.
“I think this is just affecting everybody so much because it is reminding us, again, how fragile life is and how we have to appreciate every single moment,” Lopez said. “It can be taken away from us so easily.
“We have to love each other, we have to be together, we have to support each other we can’t be so at odds all the time. That’s part of our mission and our message too.”
Like the Super Bowl commercials, the halftime show is an event unto itself, attracting a stand-alone audience that has no particular interest in the game.
The halftime shows typically feature many of the world’s top-selling artists and last year’s with headliners Maroon 5 attracted nearly 100 million viewers.
The last time the Super Bowl was staged in Miami in 2010 British rock giants The Who topped the bill.
With Miami’s large Latino community and Latin vibe, Shakira and Lopez, performing together for the first time, would appear to be the perfect fit for this year’s Super Bowl.
Lopez, an actress and singer known for hits such as “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” and “If You had My Love”, stars in the movie “Hustlers” which is generating buzz in Hollywood.
Colombian singer Shakira, a three-times Grammy winner, is one of the world’s best-selling Latin music stars. She found international fame with her 2006 single “Hips Don’t Lie”.
While the singers offered no hint of any political protest they made it clear their presence on the Super Bowl stage was sending a strong message, particularly to young Latino girls.
“The 49ers and Chiefs are run by women and you’ve got two women heading the halftime show. That statement alone for me is empowering,” Lopez said.
“When I think of my daughter, when I think of all the little girls in the world to see that, two Latinos doing that at this time in our country it is just very empowering.”
(Editing by Ed Osmond)