Jennifer Lopez, Fergie, Madonna Rev Up Carnival Spirit at Rio (PHOTOS)

 
on February 20 2012 1:31 AM
  • Stars Including Jennifer Lopez, Fergie, Madonna and Others Rev Up Carnival Spirit
    Jennifer Lopez at the 2012 Rio de Janeiro's iconic Carnival parade. Reuters
  • Stars Including Jennifer Lopez, Fergie, Madonna and Others Rev Up Carnival Spirit
    U.S. musician Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas watch the Mocidade samba school parade on the first night of the Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro Reuters
  • Stars Including Jennifer Lopez, Fergie, Madonna and Others Rev Up Carnival Spirit
    Revellers from the Mocidade samba school parade on the first night of the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome Reuters
  • Stars Including Jennifer Lopez, Fergie, Madonna and Others Rev Up Carnival Spirit
    Drum queen Antonia Fontenelle of the Mocidade samba school dances on the first night of the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome Feb. 20, 2012. Reuters
  • Stars Including Jennifer Lopez, Fergie, Madonna and Others Rev Up Carnival Spirit
    A reveller from the Mocidade samba school parades on the first night of the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome Feb. 20, 2012. Reuters
  • Stars Including Jennifer Lopez, Fergie, Madonna and Others Rev Up Carnival Spirit
    Revellers from the Mocidade samba school parade on the first night of the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome Feb. 19, 2012. Reuters
  • Stars Including Jennifer Lopez, Fergie, Madonna and Others Rev Up Carnival Spirit
    Revellers from the Mocidade samba school parade on the first night of the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, Feb. 20, 2012. Reuters
  • Stars Including Jennifer Lopez, Fergie, Madonna and Others Rev Up Carnival Spirit
    Revellers from the Mocidade samba school parade on the first night of the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, Feb. 19, 2012. Reuters
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Attractive samba dancers, the colorful parades and decorations are indeed the focus of visitors and revelers during every carnival. However, this year, the long list of celebrities in the VIP boxes is also regarded as a major attracting factor at the parades.

At the Rio de Janeiro's iconic Carnival parade held on Feb. 20, 2012, celebrities including Jennifer Lopez and Fergie added to the star power of the event.

The Rio Carnival is regarded as a world famous festival held before Lent every year and considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets. The Carnival first started in the year 1723 and since then has been attracting top celebrities for much of its 80-year-long existence.

The carnival parade is filled with people and floats from various samba schools.The purpose of the carnival is for samba schools to compete with fellow rival schools, with this competition being the climax of the whole carnival festival.

According to Associated Press, the number of top-tier celebrities in attendance has grown as Brazil's star has risen, particularly since the South American giant was chosen to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 summer Olympics.

The list of celebrities seen in the two-day-long parade includes Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson, Madonna, Beyonce, Jude Law and Kevin Spacey.

Dancing is incorporated into every part of the festival with the most famous dance being the samba, a Brazilian dance form with African influences. The samba remains a popular dance not only in the carnival but in the ghetto villages outside the main cities.

Start the slideshow to get a glimpse of the stars along with a few highlights from the event:

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