Jennifer Lopez celebrated her upcoming 50th birthday by giving fans at the sold-out Madison Square Garden Friday, especially soccer star Carli Lloyd from the U.S. Women’s National Team, a night they won’t soon forget.
“You know what I like to do on my birthday? I like to give presents,” Lopez said, after delivering her personal anthem “Jenny from the Block” to her hometown crowd. “I just feel like it starts off the year with the right kind of karma.”
She then selected Lloyd to come on stage to receive some presents. After being seated in a stiletto-shaped chair, the two-time FIFA World Cup winner and gold medalist got special treatment from two of Lopez’s dancers gyrating to Jeremih’s “Birthday Sex.” Then Lopez returned to give Lloyd a lapdance as she sang a slowed-down, sultry version of “If You Had My Love” and stripped down to a slinky body suit.
Of course, that was only one of the gifts Lopez had to offer during more than two hours of celebration on her “It’s My Party” tour, which returns to The Garden Saturday night and wraps up in Miami at the end of the month following her actual 50th birthday on July 24. (The Saturday night show was postponed due to the blackout in Manhattan and was rescheduled for Monday night.) Though Lopez has seemingly always known how to get attention, either through her fierce dance moves or her risqué fashion choices, she has grown into an impressive, well-rounded performer. She showed off her voice in a powerful cover of Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity” and her own hit “Limitless,” which included an appearance from 11-year-old daughter Emme, who spent her early years in Brookville. And after some heartfelt words about self-esteem and empowerment, Lopez can clearly have a future as a motivational speaker if the singing/acting/producing/ “World of Dance” judging/businesswoman jobs don’t work out.
Lopez did not disappoint with the dance numbers, whether by herself in the still-stunning “Get Right” or flanked by her troupe of 14 dancers in “Dinero” and “Dance Again.” But she was just as strong leading the crowd in a sing-along of her hit ballad “All I Have,” with Manhasset’s LL Cool J’s vocals piped in on tape.
Though her friends tried to encourage her to take the summer off to celebrate turning 50, Lopez is obviously enjoying herself onstage. “I wouldn’t want to be any place but here,” she told the crowd, which included her fiancé Alex Rodriguez and her mother, Guadalupe. And that sense of joy is definitely a good look at any age.
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SETLIST: Medicine / Love Don’t Cost a Thing / Get Right / Dinero / I’m Real / Ain’t It Funny / Jenny from the Block / If You Had My Love / Booty / Gravity / Si Una Vez / Limitless > Titanium / Ain’t Your Mama / Te Bote / Te Guste / El Anillo / Waiting for Tonight / Dance Again / On the Floor // ENCORE: Let’s Get Loud