UPDATE: WEDNESDAY 2:33 AM PT: Well that was a quick turnaround. International soccer federation FIFA said on Monday (see below) that Jennifer Lopez would not be performing at the World Cup Opening Ceremony on Thursday, which her reps confirmed. Now, FIFA says the singer is headed to Brazil. “FIFA and the Local Organising Committee are delighted to announce that we will have the full-line up of stars available to perform the Official Song ‘We Are One’ this Thursday at the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony. This is exciting news for not only those spectators who should arrive early and see the show live in the stadium but also for fans all over the world watching on TV,” the group said today. Also joining Pitbull, Claudia Leitte and Lopez to perform the song is local cultural group Olodum. Lopez told the Associated Press late last night, “I’m coming. I leave tonight. We always were going. I think people get anxious, especially with me and my schedule when I’m like, ‘Ah, OK, I can leave this day, that day, I don’t know if we can make it.'” A Lopez rep also People, “Jennifer has always wanted to participate in the World Cup opening ceremonies. We have been trying to work out scheduling and logistics. Any statements to the contrary were premature. Jennifer would not want to disappoint her fans or fans of futbol. She will be there.”
PREVIOUS MONDAY AM: While organizers hurry to get closer to a state of readiness for the World Cup kickoff this week, they’ve lost one of their headliners for the Opening Ceremony. Jennifer Lopez, who was due to perform the official song, will “regretfully” not attend, her rep confirms. Soccer governing body FIFA has said Lopez would not be able to perform due to unspecified “production issues.” She was to sing “We Are One (Ole Ola)” with rapper Pitbull and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte. Not necessarily Olympic in size, this Opening Ceremony is still the first window onto the world’s biggest sporting event and could attract as many as 1 billion TV viewers around the globe Thursday. The pre-game festivities will last 25 minutes — organizers have estimated that 20 hours of prep would go into each of those minutes with about 84 hours of rehearsals for the 600 artists that include acrobatic gymnasts, trampolinists, capoeira performers and stilt walkers. The ceremony starts at 2:15 PM ET, with Brazil hosting Croatia for a 4 PM ET kickoff. ESPN and Univision are airing the proceedings in the U.S. Click over for video of Lopez, Pitbull and Leitte performing the song you’re likely to hear on a loop for the next month.
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