Shakira Walked Away With The Super Bowl’s Most Viral Moment

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images.
Last night’s Super Bowl featured the first time onstage collaboration between music superstars Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. The 12-minute show was flawless from start to finish, highlighting some of the singers’ most popular hits. But one moment from the glittering halftime performance took the broke the internet, courtesy of Shakira.
After opening the show with an energetic medley of some of the best songs in her discography (shoutout to “She Wolf” finally getting the shine that it deserves!), Shakira stunned audiences when she flicked her tongue directly in the cameras. 
The clip almost instantly went viral on the internet, with viewers falling over themselves on to Twitter to be the first to memeify what they believed to be a silly and random moment.
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All jokes aside, it turns out that what the internet likened to a "turkey call" was actually an intentional nod to Shakira's colorful heritage. The singer, who is Lebanese and Colombian, was paying tribute to her roots. One Twitter user took the time to point out that the gesture is actually called zaghrouta, and it's known throughout Arabic culture as a means of expressing joy and happiness.
The moment was also be an homage to Colombia, a callback to a popular traditional dance performed during El Carnaval de Barranquilla — the second largest celebration of Carnival in the world, which happens to take place in Shakira's hometown of Barranquilla.
The significance of Shakira's nuanced solo performance was not lost on her fans, many of them praising the singer for using her platform on one of the biggest stages in the country to uplift both Arabic and Latinx culture. Collaborator Lopez also put the culture on the map, honoring her Bronx roots with a performance of "Jenny from the Block" as well as a rendition of her 2000 Latin-inspired hit "Let's Get Loud" mixed with "Born in the USA" (while wearing a giant Puerto Rican flag!). To top it all off, the singers recruited reggaeton heroes J Balvin and Bad Bunny, delivering rousing performances of "I Like It" and "Mi Gente" — fully in Spanish.
When Shakira and J. Lo were initially announced as this year's Super Bowl halftime performers, many were skeptical about how successful a collaboration between the two of them could be; after all, the singers careers have had vastly different trajectories since their individual debuts in the early 2000s. But last night, their stages were the perfect harmony of the women's very distinct discographies and styles, and more importantly, a tribute to the cultures that shaped them.

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