From the success of "Despacito" to the explosive growth of reggaetón and urbano, Latin music has made monumental inroads into the mainstream over the past few years. But there’s perhaps no greater proof that the genre has cemented its place in American pop culture than the Super Bowl LIV halftime show, when Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will take the stage at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Feb. 2.
“This is a great opportunity for Latin music and Latin artists,” says Horacio Ontiveros, CEO of On Air Media Group and a former producer for ESPN Deportes. “There are a lot of promoters who are finally realizing that there is value in [booking] Latin music talent.”
The performance — expected to feature songs in both Spanish and English, as well as additional Latin artists as possible special guests — is not just a victory lap. Routinely drawing over 100 million viewers stateside, the halftime show is one of the most-watched TV events of the year, and it offers enviable sales and streaming boosts to even the biggest superstars: Following her 2017 performance, Lady Gaga’s song downloads increased by 960%, according to Nielsen Music. “[This year’s show] is a unique event that will definitely have unmatched numbers during the broadcast,” says Elena Sotomayor, executive vp Latin sponsorship at CMN Entertainment.