While both performers can be found on Forbes' list of the top 10 highest-paid women in music, you might be surprised to learn how much Jennifer Lopez and Shakira get paid for the Super Bowl halftime performances. While Lopez has previously pulled in millions from touring, she and Shakira will make exactly $0 when they perform at one of television's most-watched live entertainment events. Yes, that's right, although they will perform for one of television's biggest audiences, neither performer will earn a direct paycheck for her work.
To be fair, Lopez and Shakira are neither the first nor the last Super Bowl performers to walk away without a paycheck. Maroon 5 wasn't paid last year when they performed at the Super Bowl 53 Halftime Show. In 2016, Beyonce's epic performance at the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show earned her not one single dollar from the National Football League (NFL). So why don't Super Bowl performers get paid?
According to Forbes, the NFL has said that its policy not to pay the artists who perform during the Super Bowl halftime show. Why exactly such a policy exists, however, is less clear. Could it be an attempt to skirt accusations of favoring certain artists or arguments about who was paid more than someone else? Perhaps.
Although the NFL doesn't pay halftime performers, they do at least cover the expenses and production costs behind each performance, according to Fox Business. And while you or I would most likely balk at the idea working for free, a Super Bowl halftime performance can end up being a lucrative experience for performers.
In 2019, Forbes described the Super Bowl halftime show as "a massive commercial in front of over 100 million people." Meaning that although artists don't get paid by the NFL to perform, they're essentially given a starring role in front of a massive audience without having to cover any of the associated high costs. In essence, they're working for exposure (much like that unpaid college internship you worked).
So while Lopez nor Shakira will walk away from Sunday's halftime performance with a paycheck from the NFL, they're still likely to, in a more indirect way, pull in money as a result of the show. For example, their performance could put themselves and their music in front of a greater audience, ultimately leading to an increase in album sales, digital downloads, and even concert ticket sales.
What's more, neither Lopez or Shakira seem bothered by the lack of a paycheck. "I feel incredibly honored and humbled to be, in a way, next to J Lo representing the Latino community that is such an important force in the United States," Shakira said in a Pepsi Halftime interview. "It's going to mean a lot for our community here in the U.S. and abroad."