The high-energy performance featured three of the Cuban salsa singer’s most memorable hit songs — “Quimbara,” “La Vida es un Carnaval” and “Bemba Colorá.”
Jennifer Lopez took to the stage at the American Music Awards Sunday night to pay tribute to salsa queen Celia Cruz, who died in 2003.
While critics reportedly didn’t see Lopez fit to perform the honor of “La Reina de la Salsa” or the “Queen of Salsa,” she arguably proved any naysayers wrong.
Belting out the Spanish-language tunes, the 44-year-old pop star had onstage costume changes that concluded with a light purple, shrilled body suit and sparkly fishnet stockings. She launched into a salsa dance number with not one, but two partners, and even did a complete flip over their heads and landed on her feet to continue singing.
Lopez showcased her well-known dance moves as she sang Celia Cruz’s hits ‘Quimbara,’ ‘La Vida es un Carnaval’ and ‘Bemba Colorá.’
One of the professional dancers was Maksim Chmerkovskiy from “Dancing with the Stars” fame. Shortly after the performance was done he responded to a fan’s tweet of a photo of himself holding J-Lo in the air.
“THAT just happened!” he wrote. “#AMAs @JLo is EN FUEGO!!!”
Lopez received great feedback from the likes of dancing partner ‘Dancing with the Stars’ mover Maksim Chmerkovskiy and gossip blogger Perez Hilton.
Though initially a controversial choice to honor Cruz, Lopez brought the house down with her tribute.
Cruz, a seven-time Grammy Award-winning, multiplatinum recording artist passed away from brain cancer in 2003 at the age of 78. Billboard magazine once described her as “the best known and most influential female figure in the history of Cuban music.”
“Thank you everyone!”J-Lo tweeted Today “Yesterday was beautiful and incredible on so many levels!!! #QueVivaCelia #AMAs #GOTJenniferThere”
After her stellar tribute, the “American Idol” judge reportedly partied the night away at an AMAs after-party at Los Angeles’ Chateau Marmont hosted by fashion brand DSquared, according to people.
The magazine indicated Lopez keep the grooves moving on the dance floor with her boyfriend Beau “Casper” Smart and was joined by her closest friend, actress Leah Remini.