Pop queen Jennifer Lopez, known to her adoring fans as J-Lo, continued her global 50th birthday celebration Thursday night with a long-awaited performance in front of a thrilled Tel Aviv audience at Park Hayarkon, the city’s main outdoor arena.
The crowd, which numbered around 57,000, was ecstatic to have Lopez in Israel, after several false starts in the past.
Lopez brought along her usual array of dancers, around six costume changes and plenty of personality to the party, which included giving a glimpse of her famed, toned backside, slightly visible through a low-cut bodysuit.
“That’s my birthday suit,” she yelled to the crowd.
Lopez, who arrived in Israel on Tuesday with her fiancée, former baseball star Alex Rodriguez, clearly wanted to connect with the audience.
“Tel Aviv!” she shouted. “How are you all feeling? Did you come to party? Did you get an invite? Don’t know if you heard, but it’s my birthday and we’re gonna celebrate together.”
With that, Lopez launched into “Medicine,” followed by “Love Don’t Cost A Thing,” which drove the crowd wild, and straight onto their feet, where they stayed for most of the hour-and-40-minute show.
Lopez had plenty to say to the crowd throughout the performance.
“It’s my birthday party and I have rules: You need to dance, have fun and party!” she said. “There are three things I don’t mess around with: Family, party and money!”
Backed by 20 performers, she didn’t stop dancing throughout the night, wearing costumes ranging from neon green, thigh-high stilettos to full gowns.
Her high energy level was palpable, stirring the crowd and keeping them at her side every moment of the show.
To the crowd’s surprise, she brought her 10-year-old daughter, Emme Maribel Muñiz, to the stage later in the evening to sing “Ain’t Your Mama” together.
For “Pride is All I Have,” Lopez told the audience to raise their phones and urged them to sing along, with men and women voicing different parts of the song.
“You don’t mind if I look at you for a moment,” she called out, her face visible on the enormous screens. “Can you feel my love? I’m just taking it in.”
Toward the end, the DJ pumped up the crowd, urging everyone to sing happy birthday to Lopez.
But it was Lopez who had the final word.
“Tel Aviv, what an amazing night this has been,” she called out.
“I want to thank you for coming to celebrate with me. Shalom! I learned how to say this — ‘Ani ohev otcha,'” she said, Hebrew for “I love you.”
And finally, she bid goodbye to the crowd: “They call me Jennifer Lopez and I hope you enjoyed. Until next time!”