Jennifer Lopez appeared on the Tonight Show Friday to recap her acclaimed Super Bowl halftime show and reveal that she personally asked Bruce Springsteen for permission to use “Born in the U.S.A.” during the performance.
Jimmy Fallon walked Lopez through the entirety of her medley, beginning with the opening where the singer clung to the top of a miniaturized Empire State Building.
“I wanted it to be like women were on top of the world, we’re on top of the world right now. On top of the Empire State Building and do ‘Jenny From the Block,’” Lopez said. “I’m a New York girl.”
Lopez also talked about the brief pole dancing portion of the performance. “That was my little nod to Hustlers. I was like, ‘I learned some pole things, lemme see what I could do, we can put it in there,’” she said. “I felt, again, it was a very powerful move.”
Lopez’s daughter Emme also appeared onstage during halftime to sing the interpolation of “Born in the U.S.A.” “She has the performance gene. She doesn’t let it in her mind how big it is or how it scares you,” Lopez said of Emme.
“I think she gets amped. She gets excited, but like a cute excited. I wish I felt more like her. I wish I didn’t realize all of the ramifications of all the thousands of things that could go wrong, which is what makes you nervous. But she has a good time with it, and I would never make her do it if she felt uncomfortable in any way.”
Lopez also said that she personally phoned Springsteen to ask permission to use the song, which he granted. “He called after the Super Bowl and he was like, ‘You girls can really sing and dance,’” Lopez said of Springsteen’s post-halftime show call.
“He said him and his wife Patti [Scialfa] loved hearing the song. He’s like, ‘It made our hearts leap with joy.’ So that was a great thing.”
Lopez also talked about her preparation for the Super Bowl, including watching halftime performances of years past: