One year ago, Jennifer Lopez sat down with Harper's Bazaar and made a vow: "At this point in my life, I'm trying to give myself more credit."
It's something she's struggled with in the past thanks to the various detractors one tends to encounter when they reach a certain level of achievement. "It's hard when people are always telling you that you're not good at things or saying, 'Why is she successful?'"
A notion that seems fairly insane when you consider all the talented singer-actress-dancer-designer-producer-business owner (a multi-hyphenate long before it was trendy) has accomplished, but as Taylor Swift once said, haters gonna hate, hate, hate.
So when Lopez was invited to host Saturday Night Live for the third time this past December, she decided to take her own advice and brag a little on the amazingness that is J. Lo.
"This year, I gotta be honest, I've been so blessed," gushed the New York City native. "First off, I got what every girl from the Bronx dreams of: Proposed to be a Yankee." And while saying yes to Alex Rodriguez was nice and all, don't be fooled by the new 10-carat rock that she got—she did so much more this past year than land herself a new fiancé.
"I had the biggest movie opening I've ever had that included a lap dance from Cardi B," continued the Hustlers star and producer. "I went on a sold-out tour and I slayed the Met Gala. And that's not a brag—a doctor diagnosed it on the spot as a fourth-degree slay. I'm about to perform in the Super Bowl halftime show. I walked the runway in Milan for the first time wearing a dress I wore 20 years ago. You know, some people said I look better now than then. And I'm not bragging, that's just, you know, gossip. And what else? Oh yeah, oh yeah, I had a big birthday: I turned 50!"
Basically, what she was getting to was that she's on her sixth decade and has never been better. "Seriously," she summed up, "what I really want to say to everyone watching out there is the best is yet to come."
And for Lopez, that includes tomorrow night's halftime performance in Miami alongside "fellow Latina" Shakira, something she's likened to, "winning the Oscar."
Learning she'd been tapped to headline the 54th Super Bowl, marking the NFL's 100th anniversary in her adopted city of Miami was a rush for Lopez, who grew up with her parents tuning in to watch the New York Jets battle it out each week.
"When we got that call from [NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell and the league and Jay-Z, we were thrilled and she was in tears," Rodriguez revealed on Today in November. "She's been rehearsing for, like, six weeks."
Because she's J. Lo and she refuses to put anything but her very best on the floor. "It's the biggest show that there is. It has the biggest audience," she explained in a December CBS Sunday Morning interview. "You get to have like this big production. You don't get to do that on tour. Everything's like, budget-conscious and 'You can do this and you can do that.' It's a different experience and I think it's just like a fantasy for all musical artists to be able to play the Super Bowl and have like that 12 minutes of an amazing show. I don't know. There's just something exhilarating about it."
In deference to the moment, the two-time Grammy nominee, who has a bevy of Hot 100 singles to choose from, "has been preparing for several months now," an insider reveals to E! News, "and has been working very hard. She has been on a very strict regimen and has been very disciplined with working out every day and eating extremely clean. She also has taken a lot of time with voice coaches and her team practicing her routine. She wants it to be her best performance yet."
We have no doubt it will be at least a fourth-degree slay.
And while we're unclear if the Kansas City Chiefs or the San Francisco 49ers will be left at the end, hoisting the Vince Lombardi trophy into the air, we're ready to declare Lopez as the big winner of not just the gridiron matchup but the whole shebang.
"There were times in my life when my career was going great, and my personal life was going OK," she mused in an August Variety cover interview. "And there were times my personal life was stable, but my career was not great. This is the first time where I have a really beautiful alignment between the two."
I mean, the stats don't lie, just check out every victory she celebrated this year: