The World Cup may have come to a close without any Latin American teams making it further than the quarterfinals, but one Latin American artist did grace the stage at the closing ceremony: Nicky Jam. The Puerto Rican reggaeton phoenix traveled to Moscow to perform the official World Cup anthem “Live It Up” with Kosovian pop star Era Istrefi and his new best friend Will Smith, as is tradition for the musicians behind the official World Cup anthem. But before Nicky launched into his rendition of “Live It Up,” he opened the performance with a surprise, lifting up his black bomber jacket to reveal a T-shirt with a picture of J Balvin’s face on it. The Colombian pop star wasn’t in Russia to join Nicky onstage for a performance of their collab “X,” but Balvin did catch the show on TV like the rest of us.
On Instagram, the Vibras star posted a short clip of the “X” performance and wrote, “I love you @nickyjampr, we did it. ‘X’ at the World Cup. Bringing me with you on your T-shirt is a show of your generosity and your greatness.” Nicky also wrote a heartfelt message for Balvin on Instagram. “This milestone is for both of us mi rey. Te amo papá, god bless you.” Moral of the story: find someone who rides for you like Nicky Jam rides for J Balvin.
Check out the posts below, and watch the full performance via Telemundo.