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Jennifer López

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Jennifer López

"J.Lo" redirects here. For Jennifer Lopez's album, see J.Lo (album). For other uses, see J.Lo (disambiguation).
This article is about the American entertainer. For the meteorologist, see Jennifer Lopez (meteorologist).
Jennifer Lopez
Lopez performing during the Dance Again World Tour, June 2012
Born Jennifer Lynn Lopez
(1969-07-24) July 24, 1969 (age 45)
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Years active 1986–present
Net worth Increase $250 million[1]
Spouse(s) Ojani Noa (m. 1997–98)
Cris Judd (m. 2001–03)
Marc Anthony (m. 2004)
Children 2
Relatives Lynda Lopez
Musical career
Associated acts

Jennifer Lynn Muñiz (née Lopez; born July 24, 1969) is an American entertainer, businesswoman, philanthropist and producer. She became interested in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry following a minor role in the 1986 film My Little Girl, to the dismay of her Puerto Rican parents, who believed that it was an unrealistic career route for a Hispanic. Lopez gained her first regular high-profile job as a Fly Girl dancer on In Living Color in 1991, where she remained a regular until she decided to pursue an acting career in 1993. She received her first leading role in the Selena biopic of the same name in 1997. Lopez became the first Latina actress to earn over $1 million for a role the following year, with the film Out of Sight. She ventured into the music industry in 1999 with her debut studio album, On the 6, joining a select few in successfully converting from a film to a music career.

With the simultaneous release of her second studio album J.Lo and her film The Wedding Planner in 2001, Lopez became the first person to have a number one album and film in the same week. Her 2002 remix album, J to tha L–O! The Remixes, was the first in history to debut at number one on the US Billboard 200, while her fifth studio album, Como Ama una Mujer (2007), received the highest first-week sales for a Spanish album in the United States. Lopez has established herself as a prominent figure in both the film and music industry, in a career spanning four decades. With records sales of 75 million and a cumulative film gross of over $2 billion, Lopez is regarded as the most influential Hispanic performer in the United States, as well as the highest-paid Latin actress.[2] Her rags to riches story is considered a rarity, having innovated Latin influence in the entertainment community which it lacked for decades.

Lopez's public image and personal relationships have attracted worldwide media attention. Lopez's first high profile relationship was with media mogul Sean Combs, who accompanied her to the 2000 Grammy Awards where she wore the infamous Green Versace dress. She became romantically involved with actor Ben Affleck, who would later become the muse of her third studio album This Is Me... Then (2002), while still married to her second husband Cris Judd. Lopez wed long-time friend Marc Anthony in 2004 and gave birth to their twins, Emme and Maximilian, in February 2008. The entertainer has used her position as a global icon of pop culture to begin her own empire, consisting of various clothing lines, accessories, fragrances, a production company, television shows and a charitable foundation among other activities. As of 2012, Lopez has an estimated net worth of $250 million.[1]

Early life

Jennifer Lynn Lopez was born on July 24, 1969, in the Castle Hill neighborhood of The Bronx, New York.[3] The middle child of Puerto Rican parents Guadalupe Rodriguez and David Lopez, she has an elder sister, Leslie, and a younger sister, Lynda.[4] David worked the night shift at the Guardian Insurance Company, before becoming a computer technician at the firm, while Guadalupe was a homemaker. When Lopez was born, the family was living in a small apartment. A few years later, her parents had saved up enough money to be able to purchase a two-story house, which was considered a big deal for the relatively poor family.[5] At the age of five, Lopez began taking singing and dancing lessons. She toured New York with her school when she was seven years old.[6] Her parents stressed the importance of work ethic and being able to speak English. They encouraged their three daughters to put on performances at home; singing and dancing in front of each other and their friends so that they would stay "out of trouble".[6] Lopez spent her entire academic career in Catholic schools, finishing at Preston High School.[7] In school, Lopez did gymnastics, ran track on a national level and was a member of the school's softball team.[8] She excelled athletically rather than academically, competing in national track championships.[6] In 1984, at the age of fifteen, she began dating David Cruz, her first boyfriend.[5]

While attending her final year of high school, Lopez learned about a film casting that was seeking several teenage girls for small roles. She auditioned and was cast in My Little Girl (1986), a low-budget film co-written and directed by Connie Kaiserman.[9] Lopez acted as Myra, a young woman at a center for troubled girls. After she finished filming her role in the film, Lopez realized that she wanted to become a "famous movie star".[5] To please her parents, though, she enrolled in Baruch College, only to drop out after one semester. She told her parents her dream of becoming a movie star, but they insisted that it was a "really stupid" idea and that "no Latinos did that". The differences in opinions led Lopez to move out of their family home and into an apartment in Manhattan. During this period, Lopez performed in regional productions of the musicals: Jesus Christ, Superstar! and Oklahoma. From there, she was hired for the chorus in a Golden Musicals of Broadway, which toured Europe for five months. She was unhappy with the role, as she was the only member of the chorus to not have a solo. She later got a job on the show Synchronicity in Japan, where she acted as a dancer, singer and a choreographer.[5]


1991–96: In Living Color and early film career

Lopez was selected as a backup dancer for the New Kids on the Block in 1991 and performed with them during their performance of "Games" at the 8th Annual American Music Awards.[10] Shortly after, Lopez gained her first regular high-profile job as a Fly Girl dancer on the television program In Living Color. She applied for the job after one of the cast members was unavailable to continue with the show. Out of 2,000 applicants, Lopez made it to the finals. She was the runner-up, but eventually received the role when the winner was unable to accept the job. She moved with Cruz to Los Angeles to film the series and remained a regular cast member until 1993 when she decided to pursue a full-time acting career. Prior to leaving the show, Lopez briefly worked as a backup dancer for American recording artist Janet Jackson.[11] Lopez was set to tour with Jackson on her Janet World Tour in late 1993, but backed out as she wanted to do her "own thing."[12]

Lopez received her first professional acting gig in the direct-to-video drama film Lost in the Wild (1993), co-starring alongside Lindsay Wagner and Robert Loggia.[13] Later in 1993 Lopez signed a deal with CBS to co-star in the television series Second Chances. The show was cancelled after airing only six episodes, due to its set being destroyed by the 1994 Northridge earthquake.[14] A spin-off of the series, titled Hotel Malibu was launched later that same year. It also ran for only a brief period of time and, like Second Chances, received negative reviews.[15][16] Lopez received her first major big-screen role in Gregory Nava's 1995 drama My Family, portraying Young Maria.[17] The film, which stars Esai Morales, Jimmy Smits and Edward James Olmos, was critically acclaimed.[18] Although her role was uncredited, Lopez received an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female nomination for her performance.[17] In November, Lopez starred in Money Train alongside Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, as New York City transit cops. The film faced negative reviews and is considered to be a box office bomb; with a budget of $68 million, the film grossed a total of $77 million worldwide.[19][20] In August 1996, Lopez had a supporting role in the comedy Jack.[21] With a budget of $45 million, the film grossed a total of $59 domestically.[22] The film received generally negative reviews.[23]

1997–2000: Breakthrough with Selena and On the 6

In February 1997, Lopez starred alongside Jack Nicholson and Stephen Dorff in the neo-noir thriller Blood and Wine.[24] It was a commercial failure; the $26 million production budget was matched with a domestic gross of $1 million at the box office.[25] The film received generally positive reviews from critics.[26] Lopez starred as the title role of the Selena biopic of the same name in March.[27] Despite having previously worked with the film's director on My Family, Lopez was subjected to an intense auditioning process before she was cast in the film.[28] With a production budget of $20 million, the film grossed a total of $35 million domestically.[29] Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times stated that even in the "forgettable films" Money Train and Jack, Lopez's "presence and ability made her seem just one role away from stardom" and with Selena she's "seized the opportunity and turned in an incandescent presentation that is especially strong during the film's numerous musical numbers". He concluded by calling the film not just a celebration of Selena's life, but also of the actress who portrayed her.[30] After filming Selena, Lopez was "really feeling [her] Latin roots" and cut a demo in Spanish.[31] Lopez's manager then sent the song, titled "Vivir Sin Ti" (Living without You), to Sony Music Entertainment's Work Group, who showed an interest in signing Lopez. Tommy Mottola, the head of the label suggested to her that she sing in English instead.[32]

In April, Lopez starred in the horror film Anaconda alongside Ice Cube and Jon Voight.[33] With a production budget of $45 million, the film grossed a total of $137 million worldwide, becoming a commercial success.[34] Lopez starred alongside Sean Penn and Billy Bob Thornton in the crime film U Turn in October. The film, which is based on the novel Stray Dogs by John Ridley, received generally positive reception from critics.[35] In June, Lopez starred opposite George Clooney in Out of Sight, Steven Soderbergh's adaptation of Elmore Leonard's novel of the same name (1996).[36] Cast as a deputy federal marshal who falls for a charming criminal, Lopez won rave reviews for her performance and became the first Latina actress to earn over $1 million for a role.[37] With a production budget of $48 million, the film grossed a total of $78 million worldwide, becoming a moderate commercial success.[38] Lopez provided the voice of Azteca in the computer-animated film Antz in October.[39] With a production budget of $105 million, the film grossed a total of $172 million worldwide.[40]

Lopez's debut single, "If You Had My Love", was released in May 1999, as she began to ready her first album.[41][42] Lopez became the first artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 with their debut single since Britney Spears did so with her single, "...Baby One More Time", four months prior.[43] During production of her debut album On the 6, Lopez was aware that she received her recording contract on the premise of her looks and having an already established name in the entertainment industry, and wanted to prove she had musical talent.[44] Prior to the debut of her music, critics wondered why she would take the risk of launching a music career. It was noted that: "If the album was a flop, not only would it embarrass Lopez, but it might even damage her career."[45] "Waiting for Tonight", the third single from On the 6, is widely considered to be Lopez's best song.[46] The song was used frequently as a celebratory anthem for the dawn of the new millennium.[47] Lopez's musical success came as a surprise to critics; its launch made the "popular actor even more popular". Both the music industry and the public became intrigued by "this woman who seemed to have so many different talents".[45] By the end of 1999, Lopez successfully converted herself from a film star to a pop star.[48] She joined a select few in achieving this feat, becoming the first since Vanessa Williams (1992) and Martika (1989).[43]

Lopez, in the accompaniment of then-boyfriend Sean Combs, wore a plunging exotic green Versace silk chiffon dress on the red carpet of the 42nd Grammy Awards on February 22, 2000. The dress "had a low-cut neck that extended several inches below her navel, where it was loosely fastened with a sparkly brooch and then opened out again," exposing her midriff and then as cut along the front of the legs like a bath robe.[49] The dress generated controversy and media attention, with images of Lopez in the dress being downloaded from the Grammy website over half a million times 24 hours after the event.[50] Lopez was surprised by the enormous media coverage, declaring that she had no idea "it was going to become such a big deal".[51] Lopez returned to the big-screen in August, starring in the psychological thriller The Cell opposite Vincent D'Onofrio.[52] With a production budget of $33 million, the film grossed a total of $104 million worldwide.[53] The film received mixed reviews from critics, who stated that although it offers "disturbing, stunning eye candy", it is "undermined by a weak and shallow plotline that offers nothing new".[54]

2001–03: Heightened success, J.Lo and This Is Me... Then

During the process of creating her second album, Lopez decided to tweak her image as she began to develop into a sex symbol. She changed her stage name to J.Lo, a nickname she was given by her fans.[55] She subsequently named the album J.Lo, which was released on January 22, 2001. The record was a commercial success, debuting at number one on the United States Billboard 200.[56] This exact week, her romantic comedy film The Wedding Planner in which she starred opposite Matthew McConaughey, opened atop the box office. This made her the first entertainer to have a number one film and album simultaneously.[57] The album initially spawned the hit singles "Love Don't Cost a Thing" and "Play". April 2001 saw the public launch of J.Lo by Jennifer Lopez, her own clothing and accessory company which specialized in clothing females of all shapes.[55] That May, Lopez starred in the romantic drama film Angel Eyes, which performed disappointingly at the box office and generated mixed reviews.[58] In July, an urban oriented "Murder remix" of the track "I'm Real" featuring Ja Rule was released. The remix reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.[59] Following the September 11 attacks, Lopez was heavily involved in charitable activities. Joining various other artists, she was featured on charitable singles such as "What's Going On" and "El Ultimo Adios (The Last Goodbye)" which benefited people affected by the tragedy.[60][61]

To enhance Lopez's success in the urban market, promotion of J.Lo ended and a remix album titled J to tha L–O! The Remixes was released on February 5, 2002.[62][63] Its lead single was "Ain't It Funny (Murder Remix)", which also featured Ja Rule, which reached number one in the United States. The remix album debuted at the summit of the Billboard 200, becoming the first to do so.[64] It is the third highest selling remix album in history, with sales of one and a half million in the United States.[65] J to tha L–O! The Remixes spawned two other singles, "I'm Gonna Be Alright" and "Alive", a ballad co-written by her husband at the time, Cris Judd. April 2002 saw Lopez open her restaurant, Madrè's.[55]

In May 2002, Lopez starred in the thriller film Enough as a woman named Slim who flees her home after being abused by her husband. The film grossed a modest $52 million at the box office,[66] though garnered lukewarm reviews, despite being dubbed a "kick-butt, female empowerment" movie.[67] Filming Enough required an overworked Lopez to practice Krav Maga, and despite being at the height of her fame at the time, she suffered a nervous breakdown while on set. Lopez recalled years later feeling "sick and weird", refusing therapeutic help or medication. She confessed, "I was like – I don't want to move, I don't want to talk, I don't want to do anything."[68] In September, Lopez released her first fragrance, Glow by JLo. It performed strongly despite predictions that it would fail, and became America's top-selling fragrance.[69]

The month of her engagement to actor Ben Affleck saw the release of her third studio album, This Is Me... Then, which was dedicated to him.[70] It spawned the internationally successful singles "Jenny from the Block" and "All I Have". The album itself, which featured multiple love songs,[70] performed strongly, having sold over two and a half million copies in the United States.[65] December 2002 saw Lopez star opposite Ralph Fiennes in the romantic comedy film Maid in Manhattan. She played Marisa Ventura, a struggling single mother who lives in the Bronx and makes her living cleaning rooms in a super-luxurious Manhattan hotel. Marisa gets mistaken for a socialite by a princely politician, who she falls in love with.[71] With a production budget of $55 million, the film grossed $155 million at the box office worldwide.[72] The New York Times compared the film's storyline to her song "Jenny from the Block".[73] Lopez starred opposite Affleck in the romantic comedy Gigli in August 2003. With a production budget of $54 million, the film grossed a total of $7 million worldwide, becoming a box office bomb.[74] The film received universally negative reviews from film critics, who deemed it to be "bizarre and clumsily plotted".[75] Gilgi is often considered to be one of the worst films of all time.[76][77]

2004–09: Continued film success, Rebirth and Como Ama una Mujer

In March 2004, Lopez had a minor role in the film Jersey Girl, alongside Affleck. Her character, Gertrude Steiney, dies during childbirth within the first 15 minutes of the film. From the intense media scrutiny following the couple's break-up, it was noted that "they may need to put Lopez in a coffin on the poster if they want anyone to come".[78] With a production budget of $35 million, the film was a commercial failure, earning a total of $36 million at the box office.[79] The film, however, received generally positive reviews from critics, despite being "full of cloyingly sentimental cliches".[80] In October, Lopez co-starred alongside Richard Gere in the drama Shall We Dance?, a re-make of the 1996 Japanese film of the same title. With a production budget of $50 million, the film grossed a total of $170 million worldwide.[81] It received generally positive reviews from critics, although it was noted that it "loses the nuances of the original", with the loss of cultural context and the addition of high-profile celebrities.[82]

In 2004, during low-key visits to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, which Lopez is an avid support of, she befriended eleven-year-old cancer patient Paige Patterson. Patterson attended the inaugural Noche de Niños gala for the hospital in which Lopez was presented with an award, however the morning after became even more sick and died in November 2004. Lopez has stated that Patterson made her realize why her charity work is important.[83] Lopez dedicated Rebirth, her fourth studio album, to Patterson.[84] According to Lopez, Rebirth "came about because I was on such a roller-coaster ride, that was my career from my first album to my last album, and I did a bunch of movie projects in between. I finally took some time just for myself, and [when] I came back, this was the first project I did. I felt like it was a new beginning for me, like I was, in a way, reborn. I was where I was when I made my first album".[85] Tracy Hopkins of NBC's Today Music noted that after "fawning" over Affleck on This Is Me... Then", Lopez "wisely keeps her love life out of the spotlight" on Rebirth and only references her relationship with Anthony on a few tracks.[86] In May, Lopez starred alongside Jane Fonda in the romantic comedy Monster-in-Law. She received $15 million for her role as Charlie, an artist who is pitted against her fiance's mother when she does not accept her as being the right woman for her son.[87][88] With a production budget of $43 million, the film grossed a total of $155 million worldwide.[89] The film received generally negative reviews from film critics, who stated although Fonda "steals the show" in her "return to the screen", the "tired" script and "flimsy performances" make Monster-in-Law fall "flat".[90] In August, Lopez starred alongside Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman in An Unfinished Life, a drama film based on the novel of the same name. The film was a commercial failure, only grossing $18 million worldwide with its production budget of $30 million.[91]

Bordertown, a film based on the Female homicides in Ciudad Juárez, made its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2006. Lopez, who also acts as the film's producer, stars as Lauren Adrian, an American news reporter for the Chicago Sentinel who wants to be assigned to the Iraq front-lines to cover the war.[92] The film received a limited release in theaters throughout Europe in 2007 and a direct-to-video release in many other countries in 2008, including the United States. Bordertown was a commercial failure, grossing a total of $8 million worldwide, with its $21 million production budget.[93][94] DanceLife, a reality series following the lives of seven dancers trying to break into the world of professional dance, aired on MTV from January 15 to March 5, 2007. Lopez produced, created and was featured in the show.[95] According to the album's co-producer Estéfano, Lopez's fifth studio album Como Ama una Mujer would "prove critics wrong" with its "big songs that require a voice"; referring to the criticism of Lopez having a "limited" vocal tone.[96][97] The album received the highest first-week sales in the United States for a Spanish album and the highest digital sales.[98] Lopez and Anthony launched their co-headlining North American concert tour on September 28. The tour grossed an estimated $10 million, with one dollar from each ticket sold being donated to Run for Something Better—a charitable organization supporting physical fitness programs for children.[99][100] Lopez's sixth studio album Brave, released in October, become her lowest-charting album worldwide.[101] A five-part miniseries, Jennifer Lopez Presents: Como Ama una Mujer, based on the lyrics of Como Ama una Mujer aired on Univision from October 30 to November 27, 2007.

2010–12: Career rejuvenation, American Idol and touring

Lopez parted ways with Epic Records in February 2010, citing that she had fulfilled her contractual obligations and now wished to release her seventh studio album Love? under a new label.[102] Her departure from the label temporarily halted production on the album, which commenced in 2009. Upon signing a new contract with Island Records, recording resumed on the album.[103] The New York Daily News revealed that Lopez would be taking some of the records recorded under Sony Music Entertainment to her new label so that they could be included on the album.[104] In April, Lopez starred in the romantic comedy The Back-up Plan, her first theatrical role in three years.[105] Having grossed a modest $77 million worldwide, the film received lukewarm critical reviews for "unrelatable characters" and a "predictable plot", although Lopez's acting was praised.[106][107] In June, following the departure of Ellen DeGeneres from American Idol, it was reported that Lopez was in talks to join season ten's judging panel.[108][109][110] During this same time, Lopez and Anthony were being considered for a role on The X Factor for their appeal to Latin and International markets.[111] It was officially announced in September that Lopez would be joining the tenth season of American Idol. MTV stated that the deal was "mutually beneficial to all those involved", while CNN reported that Lopez was viewing it as a decision to revive her career, while American Idol producers believed that Lopez and Steven Tyler's appointments would strengthen viewing figures.[112] In October, Lopez released her fourteenth fragrance, Love and Glamour. The perfume was inspired by Lopez's forthcoming "return to the spotlight".[113]

"On the Floor" (2011)
A 22-second sample of "On the Floor", which combines a sample of "Llorando se fue" by Los Kjarkas, with dance, house and Latin music.

Problems playing this file? See media help.
L'Oreal Paris named Lopez their new Global Ambassador and the face of their brands, including EverPure hair care, Preference hair color and Youth Code skin care. Her EverSleek hair care ads made their debut in early 2011, to coincide with the release of Love? and her debut as a judge on American Idol.[114] To further promote her comeback, in February, Venus chose Lopez as their new Global Ambassador.[115] Lopez's comeback single "On the Floor" was released later that same month. The song topped the charts across the globe, becoming one of the most successful singles of the year.[116] The song also became her highest charting single commercial single as a lead artist, as well as her most successful airplay hit on contemporary hit radio, since "Jenny from the Block".[117] Love?, which was released in May, was a moderate commercial success, and was viewed as a humble comeback from Lopez, as many had considered her recording career over.[101] Lopez launched her next fragrance Love and Light in July, exclusively on HSN. 51,000 bottles of the fragrance were sold at its premiere, becoming Lopez's most successful fragrance launch to date, making over $2.9 million.[118] In September, Lopez launched the Jennifer Lopez Collection, a clothing and accessories line for Kohl's with Tommy Hilfiger.[119] In addition to the clothing line, she also launched the Jennifer Lopez Home Collection, featuring bedding, towels and luggage.[120] Later that same month Fiat, an Italian automobile manufacturer, enlisted Lopez to promote their products, including the 2012 Fiat 500 Cabrio. Olivier Francois, the Chrysler chief marketing officer, stated that she "fits perfectly with the brand".[121]

In January 2012, Lopez returned as judge on the eleventh season of American Idol, earning a reported $20 million.[122] Later that same month, a new talent show, ¡Q'Viva! The Chosen, created by Simon Fuller premiered on Univision and was a hit for the channel.[123][124] It followed Lopez, Anthony and director-choeographer Jamie King as they travelled across 21 countries in Latin America to find new talent for a Las Vegas show. On May 18, Lopez returned to the big screen starring alongside an ensemble cast consisting of Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks, Matthew Morrison and Dennis Quaid in the film What to Expect When You're Expecting.[125] Based on the novel of the same name, Lopez plays Holly, a woman who adopts a baby from abroad with her husband after difficulty conceiving. The film was a moderate success at the box office with a total gross of $84 million, though received negative reviews.[126][127] In late May, Lopez released her fragrance Glowing by JLo, which she described as an "evolution" of Glow by JLo.[128]

Lopez launched the Dance Again World Tour, her first headlining concert tour, on June 14.[129] On July 12, Lopez launched Teeology, a luxury T-shirt e-commerce.[130] Lopez voiced Shira, a saber tooth tiger, in the animated film, Ice Age: Continental Drift, the fourth film in the Ice Age franchise.[131] The film debuted at number one at the US box office, having grossed $46 million in its opening weekend, becoming Lopez's highest opening weekend figure.[132] With a $95 million production budget, the film has since grossed $877 million worldwide.[133]

Lopez's first greatest hits album, Dance Again... the Hits, was released on July 24, 2012 in the United States.[134] It was released by Epic Records, as Lopez owed them one final album to end her contract, despite previously announcing that she had fulfilled her contract with the label.[135] Lopez, who was going through a divorce with Anthony and the "breakup of a family", felt as if the album's sole single, "Dance Again", had come to her at the "perfect moment".[136][137] "Dance Again" and "Goin' In", a single from the soundtrack of the dance film Step Up Revolution, both reached the top of the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs, giving Lopez her twelfth and thirteenth number one on that chart, respectively. Additionally, "Goin' In" became her tenth consecutive number one on the chart, tying Katy Perry for having the most consecutive numbers ones on the chart.[138] nuvoTV announced in September its premier partnership with Lopez, that will see her work on the creative side of the network, managing marketing and program production with her production company, Nuyorican Productions, as well as periodically appearing in network programming.[139][140] In December, Lopez held a charity drive that would affect her three favorite charities: the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club, the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles as well as the American Red Cross which would mainly benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy which devastated parts of her home town, New York City.[141]

2013: Eighth studio album and other ventures

In January 2013, Lopez starred alongside Jason Statham in the crime thriller Parker, in which she played Leslie. Her performance earned positive reviews, with The Chicago Tribune commending the role for giving Lopez "an opportunity to be dramatic, romantic, funny, depressed, euphoric and violent. The audience stays with her all the way".[142] It under-performed at the box office, however.[143] The following month, she gained widespread notoriety for wearing a daring black dress at the Grammy Awards which revealed her entire right leg; despite a conservative dress code which had been issued to celebrities in attendance.[144] In May, Lopez was announced as the chief creative officer of nuvoTV. In addition, she founded the mobile phone retail brand Viva Móvil, which is catered specifically for Latinos.[145] In these media ventures, Lopez hoped to empower the Latin community, stating that: "We're realizing our power. We're realizing that we matter here. You know, we're not just, you know, the guys working behind the scenes in the kitchens and as a plumber."[146] She began politically lobbying for more Hispanic diversity on television.[147] Lopez noted that "There's a big revolution going on, it's like a media and cultural revolution of Latinos here in the United States. We're realizing our power. We're realizing that we matter here."[146]

Inspired by her gay aunt who had recently died, Lopez signed on as executive producer of the television series The Fosters, which is about a same sex couple raising a family.[148] The show premiered on ABC Family on June 3, 2013, and has since been a ratings success for the network.[149] Her contribution to the series in addition to years of commitment to the LGBT community earned her the Ally for Equality award presented by the Human Rights Campaign.[150] Later that June, Lopez performed at the birthday of Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.[151] Doing so, she garnered widespread backlash for performing for the leader of a "repressive, authoritarian regime".[152] Her publicist released an apology.[151]

Lopez has multiple upcoming projects. RedOne is the executive producer of her upcoming eighth studio album, which he states will be "very special" for combining a vast range of genres.[153] The album, still being recorded, is due for a release in early 2014 through Capitol Records and RedOne's 2101 Records. It has spawned one single thus far, "Live It Up" featuring Pitbull.[154] Lopez is set to release her twentieth fragrance JLove by JLo in 2013.[155] She will return as judge on American Idol for its thirteenth season, joining Harry Connick, Jr. and Keith Urban on the panel,[156] for a reported salary of $17.5 million.[157] Returning to film, she will star in the risqué low-budget thriller film The Boy Next Door.[158] Currently, Lopez is also penning an autobiography about her life.[159]


Musical style

Lopez has explored various musical genres over the course of her career; this includes Latin pop, dance, R&B, hip hop, rock, funk, house and salsa among others. Often in collaboration with songwriter Cory Rooney—according to Ed Morales in The Latin Beat: The Rhythms And Roots Of Latin Music From Bossa Nova To Salsa And Beyond (2003)—Lopez's music is often experimental of her Nuyorican point of view: she explores the romantic innocence of Latin music while feeling a stronger identification towards hip hop.[160] Lopez was exposed to traditional Latin pop music styles ranging from salsa to bachata as a child, though it was hip hop music such as the 1979 song "Rapper's Delight" by hip hop trio The Sugarhill Gang that "changed" her life. As she forayed into the music industry, she infused the Latin music she grew up with together with the hip hop sound she loved, which she dubbed Latin soul.[161] Her first two albums included funk, dance and urban music as well as sensual ballads and Spanish-language songs.[162][163][164]

"Step Into My World" (2005)
A twenty-five second sample of "Step Into My World". Produced by Rodney Jerkins, Fred Jerkins III and Hector Diaz, the song contains African influences and its production supports Lopez's signature come-hither "breathy" vocals.[165]

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This Is Me... Then saw Lopez invest in adult contemporary R&B music which was inspired by '70s music.[166] Rebirth explored more hip hop and pop rock, utilizing stronger use of percussion and horns, and introduced foreign genres to Lopez such as African music. Her sixth and seventh studio albums, Brave and Love?, delved further into a dance music direction.[167] Love is the main focus of Lopez's music, although she has explored themes such as dance, sex, female empowerment, friendship and self-loathing.[168][169][170][171] She often includes personal experiences in her songs, such as her relationship with Ben Affleck on tracks "Dear Ben" and "He'll Be Back".[165][172][173] Songs from Love? such as "Until It Beats No More" and the personal "One Love" are also based on Lopez's own love life.[174]

Lopez has been influenced by artists such as Tina Turner, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Barbra Streisand.[175][176][177] Critics have considered Lopez's soubrette vocal type to be limited.[178][179][180] Having experienced insecurity about the strength of her voice herself, Lopez has since grown in confidence, crediting Marc Anthony for helping her. She has stated: "Even though I had sold 70 million records, there was this feeling like, I’m not good at this. And while I was married to Marc [Anthony], he helped me get over it [...] I’m not a mistake – I work my ass off. And I know what I’m doing. It was after I had kids to be honest."[181] Rolling Stone observed: "Instead of strained vocal pyrotechnics, Lopez sticks to the understated R&B murmur of a round-the-way superstar who doesn't need to belt because she knows you're already paying attention [...] Behold jiggy Jennifer Lopez, song-and-dance woman: She makes a little va-va and a whole lot of voom go a long way".[182] However, Entertainment Weekly has criticized her singing voice for lacking the trademark "husky-voiced voluptuousness" she has in her films.[183]

Critics observe that Lopez's light vocals, though radio friendly, are often obscured by glossy music production.[184] The Baltimore Sun regards Lopez has having a breathy stylistic range, though feels that her material lacks personality and that she instead sounds similar to other artists such as Janet Jackson and Madonna.[185] Today Music opined: "like Madonna and Janet, people don’t listen to J.Lo for the poignant lyrics—she’s best when riding a dance groove".[186] Despite criticism, Latina ranked Lopez thirteenth on "50 Best Latin Singers", writing, "Whether it’s for her vocals, dramatic lyrics, or her pop dance beats, we guarantee that everyone will stop to listen".[187]

Choreography and stage

Lopez has felt a deep emotional connection to dance and choreography since her childhood.[189] While she was a child, she specialized in ballet, jazz and flamenco dance genres.[190] Lopez has been noted to have begun her career on the variety television sketch comedy series In Living Colour, where she was apart of a dance "troupe" labeled The Fly Girls. The Fly Girls were branded as a group of versatile and attractive female dancers whose ethnic backgrounds varied, reflecting the broad base of interest in hip hop culture. There, Lopez took part in hip hop choreographed skits that were unique for their addition of "edgy" elements.[191] Lopez briefly served as a back-up dancer to recording artist Janet Jackson, who she claimed to have a considerable influence over her choreography. After commencing her own music career, Lopez's provocatively choreographed debut music video, "If You Had My Love", allowed her to become a dominant figure on Music Television Networks worldwide, a field that had previously been consumed with primarily Jackson and Madonna.[192] Since, Lopez has become well known for her body-emphasizing music videos such as "Waiting for Tonight", "I'm Glad" and "Dance Again" among others, which have been subject to mixed responses.[193] Lopez exercised her dancing skills in the film Shall We Dance? (2004), for which she had to learn a new genre: ballroom. Her fluency and form received praise.[194] Lopez often includes dance routines to her music videos.[195]

In a study of the successful Latina in relation to sex and dance, author Priscilla Peña Ovalle observed in Dance and the Hollywood Latina: Race, Sex and Stardom (2011), that Lopez utilized the mythology of dance which makes the Latina star a "paradoxical figure". Ovalle wrote: "[the] Latina star strikes a balance: by wielding her body and its purported sexuality in familiar ways, she achieves agency in a career and nation that would otherwise exclude and her and her movement."[196] Troy Patterson of Entertainment Weekly also noted Lopez for using her body for emphasis, "She turned herself out as the fly girl hyperversion of postfeminist power, flaunting her control by toying with the threat of excess. In consequence, her star went supernova."[197] Lopez and Shakira are recognized for their signature moves which include "clock-wise pivoting with salsa hip circles and sequential torso undulations".[198]

Lopez is often noted for her choreography and high-energy provocative stage performances, which have at times caused her to receive scrutiny from the public.[199][200][201] She often includes bodysuits as part of her performances.[202][203] Though noted to lip sync in the early stages of her music career, Lopez's Dance Again World Tour was praised for showcasing her live vocals and choreography synchronously.[204][205][206] In May 2013, Lopez's performance on the finale of the television series Britain's Got Talent, which was deemed inappropriate and over-raunchy for family-friendly television, drew official viewer complaints to Ofcom.[207][208]

Public image

Andrew Barker of Variety observes that Lopez's image is constantly evolving, opining that she exhibits "a plethora of contradictions" as a pop star. Barker wrote, "Despite a carefully cultivated image as an imperious pop empress in ludicrously expensive outfits, her signature hits bear the titles "I’m Real" and "Jenny From the Block". She managed the perilous transition from actress to music star without ever seeming to pick either as a primary gig. She established herself as an oft-provocative sex symbol while her demeanor made it abundantly clear that she’s not asking you to come hither." Barker also notes that Lopez' first album On the 6 explored futuristic musical genres such as EDM and Euro-pop, ten years before the dance music buzz would take over mainstream music.[209] While a dominant cultural icon, Lopez is also noted by Lynette Holloway of The New York Times to be subject to overexposure. She wrote: "Forgive yourself if you are seeing Jennifer Lopez in your sleep. She is everywhere." Holloway noted her image to be "a dash of ghetto fabulousness" and "middle-class respectability" for mass appeal.[210]

A pop icon, Lopez is considered "pop royalty" and triple threat.[211][212][213] Television presenter Ray Martin describes Lopez as a "showbiz phenomenon".[214] Lopez has developed an image as a sex symbol and "one of the most desirable women on the planet".[215] Lopez, although, practices Krav Maga and has been trained at the level of a professional boxer.[216] Famed by the media for her curvaceous figure,[217] a survery run by Nutrisystem revealed that American females wanted her thighs and rear.[218]

Lopez has been widely recognized for her sex appeal, credited for "showing off her body" and allowing women with curvaceous figures to be accepted.[219] Details magazine named her the "Sexiest Woman of the Year" in 1998,[220] and she led FHM's "100 Sexiest Woman" list twice.[221] In 2011, she was named the "The Most Beautiful Woman" by People.[222] Lopez was shocked, though pleased that a woman her age, who is above forty, was selected.[212] In 2012, Complex placed Lopez second on their list of "100 Hottest Female Singers of All Time", writing: "Lopez has dominated the entertainment industry and become the archetypal sexy singer."[223] The following year, VH1 ranked her the fourth on their list of "100 Sexiest Artists",[224] while Vibe magazine named her the most "lustable" celebrity of the past twenty years.[225]

Lopez is known for her fashion sense, and has changed her personal appearance multiple times, scoring several different looks over the duration of her career.[226] Her style is described by Billboard's Lauren Savage as scantily clad.[216] However, Lopez has been criticized by the animal rights organization PETA as well as celebrities such as Pink and Pamela Anderson for her use of fur in her fashion lines and outfits.[227][228][229] She has also received bad publicity over rumors that she is a demanding diva.[230][231][232] She has constantly denied this.[212] Lopez has also admitted to having a "less-than-perfect" public image, attributing this to aggressive roles which she played in the films Angel Eyes and Out of Sight.[233] The media often draw comparisons between Lopez and actress Elizabeth Taylor, due to her numerous failed relationships.[234][235] In fact, Lopez has been dubbed a "modern-day Liz Taylor" by the media.[236] Lynn Hirschberg of W notes her image to contain "razzle-dazzle", and compared her public persona to that of Taylor.[155]

Legacy and cultural influence

Lopez is often credited with breaking racial barriers in the entertainment industry, regarded as the most-influential Hispanic performer in the United States.[8] The Record newspaper opined that Lopez is responsible for the introduction of Latin presence in the film industry.[237] In Icons of American Popular Culture: From P.T. Barnum to Jennifer Lopez (2009), author Robert C. Cotrell describes Lopez as the Hispanic version of Oprah Winfrey, stating that she is the embodiment of the American dream, "Boasting a far more authentic rags-to-riches tale" as a "multidimensional artist who had turned into a financial powerhouse".[2] In 2012, Forbes opined: "The Latina performer may be the most powerful entertainer on the planet".[238]

Her critically acclaimed performance in the film Selena had a profound effect on the younger generation of Latin performers, as Lopez emerged as "one of the first in a generation of women in entertainment to create a veritable empire".[239] Lopez would later go on to become the highest-paid actress of Latin descent, and is currently regarded by the International Business Times as the wealthiest actress in Hollywood, with a net worth of $250 million.[240]

Lopez's cultural significance has been recognized, with author Priscilla Peña Ovalle stating that she "has arguably become the century's most successful Latina by mobilizing the myth through in-betweeness and racial mobility".[196] Miriam Jiménez Román states in The Afro-Latin Reader: History and Culture in the United States (2009) that Lopez is prominent in the African American and Latin culture, noting that when her lyrical use of the word nigger generated controversy, "[she] was able to traverse the difficult racial boundaries". Román considered her to represent the suppressed history of hip hop culture which was "as much Jamaican and Puerto Rican as African American".[241]

Lopez's foray into the music industry allowed her influence over the Latin public to grow; she was credited with Ricky Martin for beginning a trend in which Hispanic artists would enter mainstream music with English lyrics.[242] Around this time saw the emphasis of Lopez's curvaceous physique grow, though scholar Sean Redmond wrote in Stardom and Celebrity (2007) that this was a sign of her role and social power in the cultural changes occurring in the United States.[243] The Daily Herald described Lopez as "crossover royalty" at the time.[244] In February 2007, People en Español named her the most influential Hispanic.[245]

VH1 ranked Lopez at number 15 on a list of "200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons",[246] number 16 on "100 Greatest Women In Music",[247] and number 21 on "50 Greatest Women of the Video Era".[248] With 75 million records sold worldwide,[249] she has been dubbed "Duchess of Reinvention" and "Goddess of Pop" for her musical trends.[250][251] Her remix album album J to tha L-O! The Remixes is the first number one remix album in the United States, appearing in the Guinness World Records for this feet.[252] At the 2010 World Music Awards, Lopez was honored with the Legend Award for outstanding contribution to the arts.[253] Lopez's musical comeback in 2011 with her single "On the Floor"—which became one of the highest-selling singles of all time, while its music video became the most-watched female music video in history—is regarded as one of the greatest comebacks in history.[254] Lopez remains the only entertainer to have a number one album and film simultaneously in the United States.[255] In 2013, Lopez was presented with the prestigious landmark 2,500th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her musical contributions, with the Los Angeles Times declaring, "It's hard to think of a more emblematic figure of multitasking modern celebrity".[256]

Famed for her distinctive fashion style, Us Weekly named Lopez "Style Icon" of the 2000s decade.[257] The Green Versace "Jungle Dress" that she wore at the 42nd Grammy Awards in 2000 was voted the fifth most iconic dress of all time in a poll run by The Daily Telegraph.[258] Lopez's style has influenced a range of celebrities.[259][260][261] In addition, the success of her fragrances led to a trend in which other celebrities endorsed fragrances in the twenty-first century.[262] Lopez has been credited as an idol, inspiration or influence by a range of entertainers, including Jessica Alba,[263] Kat DeLuna,[264] Kerry Washington,[265] Becky G,[266] Britney Spears,[267] Q’orianka Kilcher,[268] Selena Gomez,[269] Beyoncé Knowles,[270] Raquel Castro,[271] Karen Rodriguez,[272] Layla El,[273] Mike Doughty,[274] Stooshe,[275] Naya Rivera,[276] and Pitbull.[277]

Personal life

For over fifteen years, Lopez's personal life has attracted widespread media attention.[278] From February 22, 1997 to January 1998, she was married to Cuban waiter Ojani Noa.[279] Since their brief marriage, Lopez has endured legal troubles regarding Noa. She sued to prevent him from publishing a book about their marriage in April 2006, contending that it violated their confidentiality agreement.[280] The following year, a court-appointed arbitrator issued a permanent injunction forbidding Noa from "criticizing, denigrating, casting in a negative light or otherwise disparaging" Lopez. She was awarded $545,000 in compensatory damages and Noa was ordered to hand over all copies of materials related to the book to Lopez or her attorney.[281] A lawsuit regarding a compromising private honeymoon video in Noa's possession is presently running.[282]

While working on her first album On the 6, Lopez began dating record producer and rapper Sean Combs. On December 27, 1999, the couple were arrested along with two others in connection with a shooting outside the Times Square Club in New York. They were charged with criminal possession of a weapon as well as stolen property. Lopez was soon exonerated, having had nothing to do with the crime.[283] However, Combs was charged and indicted by a Manhattan grand jury.[284] After leaving Combs, Lopez developed a relationship with former back-up dancer Cris Judd, whom she was married to from September 29, 2001 to June 2002.[285] Following her second divorce, she commenced a high-profile relationship with actor and director Ben Affleck, whom she became engaged to in November 2002.[286][287] The media began to refer to them as "Bennifer" and they became a prominent supercouple in the media and popular culture. Bennifer became a popular term, which was eventually entered into urban dictionaries and neologism dictionaries as notable,[288] as the name blend started the trend of other celebrity couples being referred to by the combination of their first names.[289] The couple postponed their nuptials indefinitely a day prior to the planned ceremony in September 2003, citing the media's interference with the event as the reason.[290]

Following her break-up with Affleck in January 2004, Lopez began dating long-time friend Marc Anthony (born as Marco Antonio Muñiz). The couple wed that June.[291][292] Two men attempted to ransom a private wedding video which was stolen from the couple for one million dollars; however they were arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on charges of conspiracy, attempted grand larceny and possession of stolen property.[293] On November 7, 2007, during the final night of their co-headlining tour, Lopez and Anthony officially confirmed that they were expecting their first child.[294] The announcement ended months of speculation over the pregnancy.[295] Her father confirmed that the couple were expecting twins, revealing that it runs in the family: "My sister also had twins, so it's a hereditary thing".[296]

Lopez gave birth to a son, Maximilian David and a daughter, Emme Maribel, in Long Island, New York on February 22, 2008.[297][298] The twins were introduced in the March 11, 2008 issue of People, for which the magazie paid a reported $6 million — the photographs of the twins became the most expensive celebrity picture ever taken at the time.[299] Three years later in July 2011, the couple announced their split, with Anthony filing for divorce in April 2012.[300] Since October 2011, Lopez has been in a relationship with her former back-up dancer Casper Smart.[301] Lopez has stated, "I am a non-traditional family. Me being a single mom, their dad doesn't live at home with them. They have three stepbrothers from two other mothers...that’s not traditional".[301] In August 2013, a man was discovered living in the guest house of Lopez's Hamptons residence, while she was out of town. The man was identified as John Dubis, a stalker whom Lopez has an protection order against. Dubis' charges included second-degree burglary and fourth-degree stalking.[302]

List of works

For a full chronology of Lopez's film and video work, see Jennifer Lopez filmography and Jennifer Lopez videography.
For a full chronology of Lopez's music work, see Jennifer Lopez discography and List of songs recorded by Jennifer Lopez.

See also

New York City portal
Puerto Rico portal



External links

  • AllMusic
  • AllRovi
  • Internet Movie Database

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