Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, this year's halftime show performers, spoke at a pre-Super Bowl press conference on Thursday

By Helen Murphy
January 30, 2020 04:00 PM

Jennifer Lopez remembered basketball legend Kobe Bryant while speaking at a press conference ahead of her Super Bowl halftime performance with Shakira.

Lopez, 50, revealed that she learned about Bryant and his daughter’s tragic deaths on Sunday from her fiancé Alex Rodriguez, who had been friends with the former Los Angeles Laker.

“I was in the middle of rehearsing and talking about this show and Alex came to me with tears in his eyes and he’s like, ‘You’re not gonna believe what happened,'” Lopez shared, according to USA Today. “And he was devastated; he knew Kobe very well — they kind of came up together and entered sports around the same time. He was just devastated.”

The actress and singer went on to say that Bryant’s death reminded her that “we have to appreciate every single moment and we have to love people when they’re here, and not wait.”

Jennifer Lopez; Kobe Bryant
| Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage; Dia Dipasupil/Getty

Lopez continued: “I think about Vanessa [Bryant] as a mom and losing her best friend and partner and losing her child and I think how awful that must be for her right now … I’ve just been praying that God guides her through every moment because she has three more babies to take care of.”

“Just wishing that the nightmare was over, but it’s not gonna be and that’s life and we have to carry on,” the pop star said. “But at the same time, it affects us and it’ll affect us forever.”

Elsewhere in the press conference, Lopez and Shakira, 42, spoke about what performing at the Super Bowl means to them.

“This is a palpable example of how anything is possible,” Shakira said. “And the only thing that matters is the size of your dreams. I think that we are — the Latinos are going through a difficult time in the U.S., and I think it’s very important for us to convey a message of unity and also to show what a relevant force the Latin community is in this country, how much we have to offer, our idiosyncrasies, our culture that is so unique.”

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez
| Credit: Dave Shopland/BPI/Shutterstock

Shakira continued: “I feel truly honored to be representing so many people out there. Women, Latinas, and people of any ages. I think that J.Lo and I are here redefining paradigms about age, about race, about background. It doesn’t really matter where you’re from, how old you are … what matters is what you have to say. And we’re here, and we have a lot of stuff to say.”

Lopez echoed Shakira’s comments, saying, “It’s about hard work. The two of us could have never imagined that we’d be playing at the Super Bowl one day … I’m very, very proud to be here and to be able to have this moment and am very grateful to be able to do that.”

Jennifer Lopez
| Credit: Dave Shopland/BPI/Shutterstock

During a previous pre-Super Bowl press conference on Wednesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell revealed that Bryant will be honored at Sunday’s championship game in Miami, Florida. Shakira and Lopez will perform the halftime show, while Demi Lovato will sing the National Anthem.

Super Bowl LIV, held at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, airs live at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 2 on Fox.