There was a lot to love about Shakira and Jennifer Lopez’s Super Bowl halftime show last night, including something that some people may have missed: The set included a subtle tribute to Kobe Bryant.
Towards the end of the performance, an overhead shot of the stage showed an illuminated cross lit in yellow and purple, which of course are the colors of Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant was also honored before the game with a moment of silence, during which both teams lined up on the field’s 24-yard lines, in honor of his jersey number, 24.
Lopez and Shakira teased the Bryant tribute in a pre-Super Bowl press conference, with Shakira saying, “We’ll all be remembering Kobe on Sunday and celebrating life and diversity in this country. I’m sure he’d be very proud to see the message we are trying to convey on stage that day.”
At that press conference, Lopez also spoke about how she learned of Bryant’s death, saying, “I was in the middle of rehearsing for this show, and Alex [Rodriguez] came to me with tears in his eyes, and he’s like, ‘You’re not going to believe what happened.’ He was devastated. He knew Kobe very well, they kind of came up together, entered sports around the same time. He was just devastated. I knew Kobe and Vanessa more in passing. He had come to my last show, the both of them, as a date night, and we had a beautiful night that night.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also said at his pre-Super Bowl press conference, “I don’t think just Los Angeles is mourning the loss of Kobe Bryant. Kobe was a special person. I did have the opportunity to meet him. He obviously brought a lot to our world and I think all of us not only feel for the tragic events to his family, but as well as everyone else who was a passenger on that helicopter. It’s hard to understand and it’s hard to process.”
Watch Lopez and Shakira’s full Super Bowl halftime show here.