Birth and Early Life:
Jennifer Lopez was born July 24, 1969. She was the daughter of Puerto Rican parents and grew up in the Bronx borough of New York City. After education in the city's Catholic schools, Jennifer Lopez began paying for dance and singing classes fitting it in around her work in a legal office. By the end of the 80's she began appearing as a dancer in rap videos.
The Fly Girl Becomes an Actor:
Jennifer Lopez won a national competition in 1990 to be selected as a "Fly Girl" dancer for the Fox Television show In Living Color. This success led to a number of other small parts on TV series and movies. She made a jump to the big screen in 1995 with a role in Mi Familia (My Family). Lopez' serious acting breakthrough came in 1997 when she was asked to portray Latin singer Selena in the posthumous biographical film of the same name. She earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance and became the highest paid Latin female in film history, earning $1 million for the film.
Quote from Jennifer Lopez:
In an interview in Reader's Digest commenting on the difference between the message growing up she received from her community and from her parents:
"From the community, I felt very much like we're going to work at Macy's, get married, have kids. If you're really ambitious, then you'll go to college, maybe be a lawyer. Forget being a doctor -- it's way too much school to pay for. Luckily, with my mom and dad, I really did get the feeling that we could do anything if we worked hard enough."
Pop Music Stardom:
As her film career began taking off, Jennifer Lopez decided to turn some of her attention to the pop music arena. Her debut album On the 6 was released in June, 1999 and quickly became a major pop-dance success. The debut single "If You Had My Love" was a #1 smash on pop and dance charts. It was followed by the top 10 hit "Waiting for Tonight." The album peaked in the top 10 of the album chart and sold over 3 million copies in the US alone. Jennifer Lopez found herself in the enviable position of being in the top ranks among both actors and singers.
Jennifer Lopez' second album J. Lo was released in January, 2001 and it opened at the top of the album chart. At the same time her film The Wedding Planner hit #1 at the movie box-office. The album's lead single "Love Don't Cost a Thing" reached the top 10 on the pop singles chart. J. Lo ultimately sold 4 million copies in the US and 10 million worldwide. It was followed by a remix album J to tha L-O!, the first remix album to debut at #1 on the album chart and the 3rd bestselling of all time behind Michael Jackson's Blood on the Dance Floor and Madonna's You Can Dance.
3 marriages in 7 years and highly publicized relationships with rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs and actor Ben Affleck have kept Jennifer Lopez a frequent hot topic in tabloid newspapers. Lopez and Combs broke off their relationship shortly after an encounter with police following a nightclub incident involving gunfire. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck planned a wedding for September 14, 2003, but it was called off just hours before it was scheduled to take place. Most recently, Jennifer Lopez married fellow Latin singer and long-term friend Marc Anthony in June, 2004.
This Is Me...Then:
In November, 2002, Jennifer Lopez released her third album This Is Me...Then. It opened and peaked on the album chart at #2 and sold 2.5 million copies. The album's debut single "Jenny from the Block" was a #3 pop smash. The lyrics describe Lopez as a performer who is still a simple neighborhood girl inside. It has become one of her defining songs. She maintained her movie stardom with the boxoffice smash Maid in Manhattan released around the same time as This Is Me...Then.
Top Jennifer Lopez Singles:
- 1999 - "If You Had My Love" - #1
- 1999 - "Waiting for My Love" - #8
- 2000 - "Love Don't Cost a Thing" - #3
- 2001 - "Ain't It Funny" - #1
- 2001 - "I'm Real" - #1
- 2002 - "Jenny from the Block" - #3
- 2002 - "All I Have" (featuring LL Cool J) - #1
- 2005 - "Get Right" (featuring Fabolous) - #12
- 2010 - "On the Floor" - #3
Jennifer Lopez' film career suffered a setback in 2003 when she and boyfriend Ben Affleck co-starred in the boxoffice disaster Gigli. After an uncharacteristic absence, Jennifer Lopez' next album Rebirth finally appeared in March, 2005. Her hitmaking power had suffered a significant decline. The album debuted at #2 but quickly fell from the charts and sold only 1 million copies in the US. The lead single "Get Right" missed reaching the top 10 on the pop singles chart.
Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, and American Idol:
Since marrying in 2004, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony have begun to collaborate in creation of music. Anthony produced Jennifer Lopez' first full-length Spanish-language album Como Ama una Mujer released in March, 2007. The album debuted inside the top 10 on the Billboard album chart and now holds the record as the bestselling debut Sanish-language album of all time. Lopez and Anthony also collaborated on the film El Cantante. Marc Anthony stars in the role of singer Hector Lavoe. Echoing real life, Jennifer Lopez performs in the role of his wife Puchi. The pair are also setting out on a concert tour together in the fall of 2007 featuring music from the film.
Jennifer Lopez released her 5th English-language studio album Brave in the fall of 2007. The lead single "Do It Well" became a minor pop hit while the album became her first to miss the top 10 on the album chart. In late 2009 a single "Louboutins" was released from an expected upcoming album Love?. The single hit #1 on the dance chart but failed to have significant pop impact. In February 2010 Jennifer Lopez announced that she had parted ways with her record label Epic. Later in the year an announcement was made that she had signed with Island Def Jam. The release of the single "On the Floor" brought Jennifer Lopez back to #3 on the pop singles chart. The album Love? was finally released in the spring of 2011.
Throughout the summer of 2010 rumors flew about Jennifer Lopez being considered as a judge for American Idol. Reports appeared that she had been rejected by the show due to "outrageous demands." Then word appeared that Simon Cowell was considering her and husband Marc Anthony for his American version of X Factor. Finally, on September 22, 2010, Fox Television announced that Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler would be new judges for season 10 of American Idol joining veteran judge Randy Jackson to fill out the panel.
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony announced they were ending their marriage in the summer of 2011.