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Bruce Springsteen Was a Big Fan of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s Use of ‘Born in the USA’
“Born in the USA” may be one of the most misunderstood songs in popular music. Despite the fact that the lyrics clearly describe the anguish of a despairing Vietnam War veteran, generations of misguided fans have taken the title and run with it, using the tune as a straightforward patriotic anthem.
But after decades of the song cropping up in places as unlikely as Donald Trump’s rallies, Bruce Springsteen was apparently a fan of one of its more recent usages: Last Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime show.
Jennifer Lopez and Shakira performed during the game, which found the Kansas City Chiefs winning the championship after defeating the San Francisco 49ers at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. In one segment of the performance, which celebrated Shakira’s Colombian and Lebanese heritage as well as Lopez’s Puerto Rican lineage (and featured an adorable cameo by her daughter Emme), “Born in the U.S.A.” was sampled.
In an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Friday, Lopez explained that she’d personally asked Springsteen for permission to use the song, and received some positive feedback from the Boss after the performance. “He called after the Super Bowl and he was like, ‘You girls can really sing and dance,’” Lopez told Fallon. “He said he and his wife Patti loved hearing the song. He’s like, ‘It made our hearts leap with joy.’ So that was a great thing.” Check out the moment below.
Gabrielle Bruney is a writer and editor for Esquire, where she focuses on politics and culture.