Jennifer Lopez was born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents
of Spanish descent Guadalupe Rodríguez and David Lopez. Although
she has long claimed to have been born in 1970, her arrest in
1999 shows her birthdate as 1969 and most people now agree that
this is correct. She has two sisters, Lynda and Leslie. "Our
parents had a strong work ethic – there wasn't really any other
way," Lynda Lopez told Rolling Stone. Lopez parents also
stressed cultural assimilation, especially the need to speak
English. Lopez spent much of what she called "the boyfriend
years" secretly meeting with first-love, Davíd Cruz, with whom
she remained in a relationship between the ages of 16 and 25. "I
was always climbing out windows, jumping off roofs, and he was
sneaking up," she said. "It was crazy." Lopez spent her entire
academic career in Catholic school and acknowledges that she
still prays regularly. Lopez financed singing and dancing
lessons for herself from the age of 16. After leaving a one
semester-long career at Baruch College, Lopez divided her time
between working in a legal office, dance classes, and dance
performances in Manhattan clubs at night. After months of
auditioning for dance roles, Lopez was selected as a dancer for
various rap artists' music videos, and was given a guest spot on
the American Music Awards. After being rejected for the role
twice, Lopez gained her first regular high profile gig was as a
"Fly Girl" dancer on the television comedy program, In Living
Color in 1991. Soon after Lopez became a back-up dancer for
famed Pop star Janet Jackson and made an appearance in her video
That's The Way Love Goes. Scheduled and contracted to go on
Janet Jackson's World Tour, she asked the superstar to be let
out of her contract to pursue her acting dreams.
Lopez has appeared on the short-lived television programs South Central, Second Chances and Hotel Malibu, the television movie Nurses on the Line: The Crash of Flight 7, and the Janet Jackson's music video, "That's The Way Love Goes" in 1993. Lopez broke into the big screen in 1995, in the drama My Family and then appeared opposite Wesley Snipes in the action film Money Train. Lopez has also played roles in Francis Ford Coppola's 1996 comedy Jack starring Robin Williams, and the 1997 thriller Blood and Wine with Jack Nicholson. Lopez played the lead role in the film Selena and in 1998, she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her performance. She also became the first Latina actress to get paid $1 million or more for one film, for her role in Selena. Among other films for which Lopez had been considered were Desperado, Gladiator, Hitch, Jerry Maguire, and Madagascar.
Jennifer Lopez guest-starred in the sixth season finale of Will & Grace in 2004.
In May 2006, MTV gave the green light on her executively produced reality show, Moves. The show will follow the lives of six aspiring dancers as they struggle to make it in the competitive world of professional dance. Lopez, who took an active role in selecting the show's participants, is also slated to make cameo appearances over the course of the season and the show's eight-episode run is scheduled to begin this winter.
For over a year Lopez has been reported to have agreed to play the role of Sue Ellen Ewing in the big screen remake of the most popular and longest running prime-time soap opera in American history, Dallas, along with John Travolta, Luke Wilson, Shirley Maclaine and Jessica Simpson. However on August 3, 2006, Lopez's representative issued a statement that Lopez is no longer on the project.
Lopez's debut album On the 6, at age of thirty, a reference to the subway line she used to take growing up in Castle Hill, was released on June 1, 1999, and reached the top ten of the Billboard 200. The album featured the multi-week No. 1 lead single, "If You Had My Love," as well as the top ten hit "Waiting For Tonight." It also contained the Spanish-language, Latin-flavored duet "No Me Ames," featuring Marc Anthony, though the song was never released as a single in the United States. Despite this, the music video for "No Me Ames" received moderate airplay on the U.S. music channels VH1 and The Box. On the 6 also featured guest artists such as Big Pun and Fat Joe in the track "Feelin' So Good." It failed to make the top 50 of the Billboard Hot 100. "Let's Get Loud" was released as a single, earning Lopez a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Dance Recording category in 2000. The nomination occurred again for "Waiting for Tonight" in 2001.
Jennifer Lopez's second album, J. Lo, was released in January 2001, at age of thirty - one , and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The lead single, "Love Don't Cost A Thing" was her first number one single in the United Kingdom and reached #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Her next two singles were "I'm Real" and "Ain't It Funny" which were rising up the charts at top speed. However, to capitalize on this, Lopez asked Murder Inc. to remix both songs, which featured rap artists such as Ja Rule and Caddillac Tah. Both remixes reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for multiple weeks. She re-released J. Lo on her 32nd birthday with the remix of "I'm Real". Following the success of the album re-release, Lopez decided to devote an entire album to the remixing effort, releasing J to tha L-O!: The Remixes, on February 5, 2002. This album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking the first remix album in history to enter at the top on the chart. Featured artists on J to tha L-O!: The Remixes included 50 Cent and Nas, and also included rarer dance and hip-hop remixes of past singles. On November 26, 2002, at age of thirty - three , Lopez released her third studio album, This Is Me... Then, which reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and spawned two singles; "Jenny From The Block," featuring Jadakiss and Styles P which reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100; and "All I Have" featuring LL Cool J which spent multiple weeks at #1. This album included a cover of Carly Simon's "You Belong To Me." In 2004, Lopez once again participated in a duet with Marc Anthony, this time on his albums Amar Sin Mentiras and Valió La Pena.
After a considerable amount of time away from the music
scene, Jennifer Lopez finally released her fourth studio album,
Rebirth, on March 1, 2005 , at age of thirty - five . The album
was produced mostly by Rich Harrison and Timbaland. Debuting at
No. 2 on the Billboard 200 to decent sales success, the album
quickly fell off the charts. The album spawned one hit in "Get
Right", which reached the top 20. "Get Right" was also a hit in
the U.K., becoming her second No. 1 single there. The second
single, "Hold You Down," which featured Fat Joe, made it into
the top 75 in the U.S., peaking at No. 64. It reached No. 17 in
Australia with little to no promotion and peaked at No. 6 in the
U.K. Later in 2005, it was certified Platinum in the U.S. by the
RIAA. In general, the album was criticized due to her weak voice
and that the production was no where near the original quality
of Harrison or Timbaland's earlier work.
Lopez was featured in the LL Cool J song, "Control Myself," which was released on February 1, 2006. It reached No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard Chart and No. 2 on the U.K. singles chart. On October 17, 2006, Lopez is to release her first Spanish language album, titled Como Ama Una Mujer, which is a mixture of pop and ballads.
Jennifer Lopez owns a clothing line, JLO by Jennifer Lopez, whose brand has been licensed for a term by Warnaco Group. Her line includes different types of clothing for young women, including jeans, T-shirts, coats, belts, purses and lingerie. She is planning to launch a jewelry line, as well as an accessory line that includes hats, gloves and scarves. Lopez has also done photoshoots to represent the Louis Vuitton Winter 2003 campaign.
On April 12, 2002, Jennifer Lopez opened an elegant Cuban restaurant in the South Lake district of Pasadena, California named Madre's.
Lopez has also dabbled in the perfume industry, with her debut "Glow by J.Lo" which broke numerous records in sales. In October of 2003, Lopez introduced a perfume called "Still." Before launching another completely new fragrance, she revisited 2002's "Glow" by creating a limited edition spin-off entitled "Miami Glow by J.Lo," in homage to her adopted hometown of Miami. Around the same time, Lopez came up with a "Glow" body line, which featured different body lotions and bronzers. For the Christmas season of 2005, she launched another fragrance, "Live by Jennifer Lopez." Most recently, for Valentine's Day 2006, "Miami Glow" was replaced by yet another "Glow" spinoff – "Love At First Glow by J.Lo." Her latest fragrance is called Live Luxe and will be released September 2006, with Glow at Dark following its release in December 2006.
In 2005, Jennifer Lopez launched a new clothing line called Sweetface. Other merchandise includes a clothing and cologne line for men, due for release sometime in 2006.
Jennifer Lopez also pitches Lux shampoo in Japan, appearing in the product's television commercials.
Lopez has been married three times. Her 1st marriage was to Ojani Noa on February 22, 1997. Lopez met Noa while he worked as a waiter at a Miami restaurant. They divorced in March, 1998.
She then had a two and a half year, somewhat stormy relationship with Sean Combs. On December 27, 1999, Lopez and Combs were at Club New York, a midtown Manhattan nightclub, when gunfire erupted between Combs entourage and another group. Lopez and Combs were being driven away from the scene when they were chased and stopped by the police. A loaded gun was found in the front seat of their vehicle. Lopez was charged with felony gun possession, but the charges were dropped, as she was riding in the back seat at the time.
Her second marriage was to her former backup dancer, Cris Judd. She met Judd while filming the music video for her single "Love Don't Cost A Thing." The two were married on September 29, 2001, at a home in a Los Angeles suburb. The marriage ended in June 2002, during which time she had reportedly started dating actor Ben Affleck.
Jennifer Lopez and Affleck's relationship was highly publicized, with the media dubbing them "Bennifer." Lopez announced her engagement to Affleck in October 2002, after Affleck gave her a ring worth a reported $3.5 million. The marriage, planned for September 14, 2003 in Santa Barbara, California, was called off just a few days before the event. She and Affleck announced a permanent split on January 20, 2004. Their relationship was parodied on the South Park episode, "Fat Butt and Pancake Head" that aired on April 16, 2003.
Shortly after her breakup with Affleck, Lopez was seen out with singer Marc Anthony, who had recently separated from his wife, former Miss Universe, Dayanara Torres. Lopez and Anthony married in a secret wedding on June 5, 2004, less than a week after his divorce from Torres was finalized on June 1. The guests were invited to an "afternoon party" at Lopez's house without knowing that they were going to a wedding. Days after the wedding, Anthony refused to comment on it during interviews. Lopez confirmed the marriage in February 2005, but admitted that "everyone knows. It's not a secret."
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