Did J.Lo and Shakira Lip Sync Their Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show?

Shakira in an exposed singing section of Sunday's Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show.

Shakira singing — or ‘syncing’ — during Sunday’s Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show?

It seems that Lady Gaga’s request for Jennifer Lopez and Shakira to forego lip-syncing fell on deaf ears.

Just days before the big game, Lady Gaga demanded that Shakira and Jennifer Lopez forego lip-syncing and actually sing live.  But following the Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show, which included 10 songs and intricate dance routines, some viewers took to social media to point out that portions of J.Lo’s vocals — and especially Shakira’s singing — appeared to be lip-synced.

Shakira in particular drew criticism during a solo singing episode (see video below), in which her lips appeared ‘out-of-sync’ with the actual singing being heard.

“Who chose Shakira?” one tweet roasted.  “She can’t even lip sync correctly.”

Another blasted: “I like Shakira but such a bad lip sync scenario.”

Those comments were just the tip of the iceberg.  But while it can’t be said with certainty that lip-syncing and background tracks were used in the performance, there are a couple reasons (besides the appearance of lip syncing) to believe that the artists had a bit of extra help.

First, other halftime acts have admitted to using pre-recorded tracks.

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea said that his band’s 2014 Super Bowl show featured authentic vocals, but that the guitar and bass weren’t plugged in. Flea indicated that the NFL made supplemental sounds a condition for the performance — meaning that the league wouldn’t have moved forward if the Chili Peppers refused.

Beyoncé, who performed at Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, as well as Katy Perry, who performed at Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, have also come clean with their use of pre-recorded vocals.

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Next, although J.Lo and Shakira are talented and experienced, it’s unclear if they — or any other professional artist — possess the endurance, coordination, and air capacity to switch between dancing, instruments, and singing so rapidly over the course of 15 minutes. Indeed, a little bit of supplemental assistance would go a long way.

Bear in mind that 120 seconds into the show, Shakira had executed an intricate dance routine, sang (or synced) powerfully, worked the guitar, and started with her rope, before beginning a different dance sequence. That’d be a long two minutes for any artist — especially if he or she had to sing.

In short, there’re quite a few reasons why musicians take breaks during their concerts — and that’s when they don’t have to account for fast-paced dancing. Shakira and J.Lo seem to have been aided by background music, but realistically, could they have done without it?

35 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Mary

    But if you can’t sing and dance at the same time, aren’t you just a dancer at that point? They’re selling someone who can do it all, when they in fact, cannot.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Make Me A Bird

      Jlo Doesn’t sing her own songs she uses singers like Ashante to sing the main track and she sings over it…YouTube Honest has a video about it really good called Jlo the industry plant and the bloggers name is honest that’s not a typo.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Facts are facts

        Listen, what happened with Ashanti was shitty, but theres no saying it was J Lo’s decision. Plus thats 15+ years old. We’re talking about their talent today, and Shakira had to lipsync the whole thing and J Lo didn’t. It is what it is.

        Reply
        • Avatar
          Vocal coach

          Yes Finally somebody who speaks the truth! Shakira’s performance was all dance, there was not 1 moment of live singing involved :S I am sorry but that’s disappointing to me if you are a singer that does not sing 🙁 at the super bowl!!! Props to Jlo she sang live! Whilst dancing & everything. A vocal backtrack or the usual background voices is support, but it’s not lip syncing

          Reply
          • Avatar
            Tru

            This is a sincere question: What about when she was crowd surfing in the mosh pit? She really sounded live there.. Does that mean her mic was turned on that point and then turned back off when she was back on stage??…..

  2. Avatar
    BlackMetalOprah

    You play metal all game long, they do in every game. Why not have a band like Metallica, who could sell out a stadium by themselves anyway, and who don’t need to lip sync, just blow the roof off?

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Anonymous

    I just assume everyone now lip-syncs on these things, at least where dancing is involved. As long as they don’t show their nipples, it’s all fine.

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Chris

    You can tell Shakira was lip syncing when she was crowd surfing in the beginning bc she starts singing/talking and you can hear the change in sound from prerecorded studio sound to her cracky out of breath voice. Guess it’s a good thing they don’t get paid for the performance bc I’d be mad to pay for none live concert can play a mp3 for free!!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Vocal coach

      Yep she was 100% lip syncing the whole time, you can also tell because the mic moves around her mouth all over the place yet there’s no change in volume whilst singing. I’m sorry but it actually irritated me. I’d rather have more singing and less dancing in that case. Otherwise she’s a really good dancer, but not a singer that night sorry

      Reply
  5. Avatar
    Penny

    The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade performances are also lip synched even more horribly. You would be hard pressed to find any concert or performance these days without pre-recorded tracks of some sort. Also, stadium shows are incredibly hard for sound technicians to mix and make any artists sound good without some kind of glitch in the show. Many artists are also brands, and you’re essentially watching or paying for the luxury of being in the same room as them. Support live music without any expectations, because in the end, it’s the thing that matters for artists to continue touring and making music. Tours are where they earn more income versus recorded music.

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    Bates

    It’s a variety competition-style show, no one is playing or singing anything at these events. To an actual musician it is a joke and the fact that they bother to fake their vocals is in poor taste.

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    Solomon Maneoru

    We should be singing alone not watching their mouths to see if they are lipsyncing or not. It was a great performances to mark a great celebration. It was a moment and people enjoyed it, and that is what a performance is all about, a moment.

    Reply
  8. Avatar
    Polly

    Whenever someone says that I tell them to go watch Michael Jackson’s tour from 1987. Insane singing and dancing. The singing is helped a lot with the backing vocals when it gets too difficult for him to do both but I find that way more interesting and cool than it would be to just watch some lipsync. And after there’s some awesome backing vocals and he rests his voice a bit, he comes back to great singing again. I wish more stars did this nowadays.

    Reply
  9. Avatar
    Paul Lanning

    “stadium shows are incredibly hard for sound technicians to mix and make any artists sound good without some kind of glitch in the show.” True. But listen to “Ray Charles In Person” (1959, Atlantic 8039), recorded with one mic in a football stadium in the rain.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Chrissy

      Did Ray Charles do 15 minutes of cardio in stiletto heels, crowd surf, play electric guitar, play drums, run up and down & back and forth across the stage at the same time? (No offense to Ray Charles) This is a completely different thing. For a show that has about 5 minutes to set up, has dozens of back up dancers, singers (many are children) and musicians, at least 100 on crew, special effects, and multiple costume changes, why chance it with microphones going out or mixing getting screwed up? Sound is one third of the show! The echo alone is enough to throw a professional singer. It’s one show and they don’t get a chance to try again tomorrow. Who want’s to listen to no sound or patchy sound if something goes wrong? The show was amazing. Did you see EVERYTHING involved? The visuals, the costume design, set design, VR scenes on the stage floor, killer dancers, killer choreography, kids singing and dancing, additional staging on the field at the same time. I mean, what more do you want? So they lip sync (to their own track). Who cares?

      Reply
      • Avatar
        DK

        I do. A lot of people do. Its not just the lip syncing. Is also the deceit meaning that they try to make you thinks its real. The mic is hot when Shakira says Hola Miami then goes dead. Then as she is in the mosh pit the mic is live again in an effort to fool the audience. It is also live when everything stops for a moment and she sings live for that moment with the camera in her face to show you that she is really singing. After that its lip sync. A bit under a minute was live singing. The rest was dishonest.

        Reply
  10. Avatar
    Anon

    If you don’t think it can’t all be done at once, then you’ve never since P!nk perform live. She sings, dances, and flies – upside-down even – all with live vocals.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Lord

      Exactly. And that is why I really appreciated Jlo’s effort. She actually sang live and unfortunately Shakira didn’t:(

      Reply
  11. Avatar
    PA Wilds

    Honestly, I would so much rather have both artists have the courage to be live. A little less flesh would be appreciated too. Laugh at us or call us prudes, but a stripper pole? Really?

    Reply
  12. Avatar
    TK

    I don’t mind when someone lip syncs as long as they are doin it with their own recorded voice.

    Reply
  13. Avatar
    ScaryDavey

    It would be nice if there was no lip-syncing but sometimes it’s just not practical. This particular show was mostly about spectacle, with the singing more or less taking a back seat. I bet Shakira wasn’t really playing the electric guitar, either. In fact, I don’t think ANYONE was playing ANY instrument (guitars, violins, horns, drums). Again, not a big deal considering what the show was: a Super Bowl halftime show. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

    Reply
  14. Avatar
    Glen

    Fake guitar playing and drumming as Shakira did is pretty sad for a big show. If you aren’t going to have it play then just be on stage.

    Reply
  15. Avatar
    DK

    Tru,

    Yes the mic was hot and she did sing live (off key) while in the mosh pit. There was one other moment where she sang live for several seconds.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      DK

      As for JLo her “Still Jenny from the Block” was lip synced up to time stamp 6:54 when the mic was live just long enough for her to sing or say whatever it was and then back to lip sync. That moment of live mic is just an attempt to make you think this is live vocals. Its the deceit that bothers me. Its all a lie.

      If these girls admitted from the start they were going to lip sync the majority of the show I would be fine with it. But they didn’t.

      Reply

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