For those first few years, most kids can’t get enough of their parents’ voices. Whether it’s “The Wheels on the Bus,” “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider,” or a little ditty they wrote just for them, babies and toddlers often want to hear mom or dad sing the same tune, over and over again. But as kids grow, at some point they stop wanting you to serenade them, especially in public.
Unless you’re 14-year-old Emme Anthony and your mom and dad happen to be Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony — then you’re usually fine with singing alongside your parents in front of a whole stadium full of strangers.
J.Lo introduced Emme as “my favorite duet partner of all time” to the crowd gathered in Dodger Stadium for the 6th Annual Los Angeles Dodger’s Foundation Blue Diamond Gala on June 16 — explaining that she is always trying to get her child to sing with her.
“The last time we performed together was in a big stadium like this,” Lopez, 52, said, referencing Emme’s appearance at her unforgettable 2020 Super Bowl Halftime show with Shakira.
“I ask them to sing with me all the time, and they won’t. So this is a very special occasion,” Lopez can be heard explaining to the audience in a TikTok video that has now been viewed over 173,000 times. “They are very, very busy. Booked. And pricey. They cost me when they come out. But they’re worth every single penny.”
Holding a microphone studded with multi-colored rhinestones, Emme, wearing matching pink shorts and an oversized button-down shirt with a black baseball cap and silver earrings, sang Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” with Lopez. At one point, looking into each other’s eyes, Lopez, wearing a light blue bra under a flowing, feather-trimmed gown, gently cupped Emme’s cheek in her hand.
After holding their final, harmonized notes, the pair embraced. “Give it up for my baby,” said Lopez. Alone on the stage, Emme waved sweetly to the crowd and flashed them a huge grin.
Fans quickly noticed that Lopez used gender-neutral language and they/them pronouns to refer to Emme.
This is not the first time Lopez has modeled supporting a young person by using the language they’ve chosen to identify themselves. In 2020, she appeared in a video to introduce the film Draw With Me, featuring Brendon Scholl, whom she referred to as her “nibling” — a gender-neutral term used in place of nephew or niece. The film, produced in collaboration with The Trevor Project, a national organization serving LGBTQ+ youth, “is important and timely in its story and message,” said Lopez.
“It’s about accepting change and challenges with love, and knowing that when we do, everything is possible.”
Lopez parents Emme and their twin brother, Max, with ex-husband Anthony. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that J.Lo reunited with Ben Affleck last year and that the pair are, again, engaged. Affleck shares kids Violet, 16, Seraphina, 13, and Samuel, 10 with ex-wife Jennifer Garner.
Lopez gushed about Affleck’s parenting in her most recent On the J.Lo newsletter.
“I have had a front row seat to watching how you father for over a year now and I have never seen more consistent, loving and selfless father,” she said of Affleck. “And it’s not just to your own kids but also without obligation to mine as well. You show up and put them first always. You are affectionate and engaged in every moment they are with you and it’s honestly one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Thank you for all you do for all of us. We appreciate and love you beyond measure.”