Kate's Notes

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lynn Lopez (born July 24, 1969), popularly nicknamed J.Lo, has gone onto be one of the most successful "triple-threat" (acting, singing, modeling) icons of our time; and given that she is of Puerto Rican disent, she has become the most powerful female Latin-American entertainer in the world, earning in the tens-of-millions for her movie roles. This Golden Globe Award-nominated American actress, Grammy Award-nominated singer, songwriter, dancer, and fashion designer known internationally for her beauty and bountiful backside, broke out in her first starring role as fellow Hispanic singer Selena in the movie based on her life, she has graced the silver screen in several multi-million dollar movies, and created numerous albums over the course of her 10-plus year career.

She has also become an icon in American culture for everything from the infamous dress worn to the Grammy Awards in 1998, to her monumentally high-profile relationship with Ben Affleck, where the nickname “Bennifer” came about, to hundreds of debates about the size of her butt, the woman has ruled every facet of media, and made sure she’s always on top. .

According to Forbes magazine, she is the richest Latin American in Hollywood; and, People en Español named her the most influential Hispanic entertainer in America, and one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics, which pays tribute to Hispanics who have had an impact on their communities.

Early Life

Born to Puerto Rican parents, Guadalupe Rodríguez, a kindergarten teacher, and David Lopez, a computer programmer, Lopez was raised in the Castle Hill neighborhood in the Bronx, New York City, New York, where she spent her entire academic career in Catholic schools. Jennifer is the middle of three daughters. Her elder sister, Leslie, is a housewife who sings opera. Her younger sister, Lynda, is a DJ on New York's WKTU, a VH1 VJ., and a morning news show correspondent on New York's Channel 11. Jennifer's parents were born in Puerto Rico, but did not meet until both came to America. Her mother's parents were Europeans who settled in Puerto Rico. She says that it was her parents' work ethic that made a difference in her life. Jennifer took singing and dancing lessons from age 5, and she attended 12 years of Catholic school, including an all-girl high school, where she played softball, tennis and was also a gymnast.
The young Lopez always dreamed of becoming a performer, and with talents in singing and dancing, Lopez began performing in stage musicals, dancing in a European tour of Golden Musicals of Broadway, a Japanese tour of Synchronicity, and local productions of Oklahoma and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Early Career

She began financing singing and dancing lessons for herself from the age of nineteen. After leaving a one-semester 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 at the American Music Awards as a backup dancer for the New Kids on the Block and their performance of their song "Games" in 1991.

After being rejected for the gig twice, Lopez gained her first regular high-profile gig as a "Fly Girl" dancer on the television comedy program “In Living Color” in 1991. What Lopez was really itching to do was act, but she stuck around on “In Living Color” for a short while, following producer Keenan Ivory Wayans' advice. Jim Carrey was not the only star in the making on “In Living Color”; Lopez was yet to arrive on the scene. Jennifer's "Fly Girl" role led to more roles on the small screen.

Soon after, Lopez became a backup dancer for famed singer Janet Jackson and made an appearance in her 1993 video "That's the Way Love Goes”; and she also landed a recurring role on FOX's short-lived series “South Central” after one of her “In Living Color” co-workers referred her to her South Central writer and producer husband. Although the show did not last very long, Lopez was seen on television again, this time as "Melinda Lopez" in the made-for-TV movie, Second Chances. Her portrayal of the part was so impressive that big-league producer Aaron Spelling wanted to continue the role on another one of his series, “Malibu Shores.” After appearing in a mere few episodes, Lopez refused to develop the deal further (the show was axed anyhow), with the hopes of taking her talents to the silver screen.

One more made-for-TV role can be seen on Jennifer's resume; Rosie the nurse, in the 1993 movie Nurses on the Line: The Crash of Flight 7. Her role in the 1995 film Mi Familia, about the lives of Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles from the 1930s to today, was the role which showed filmmakers that this Latin beauty was serious about acting.

Film Acting Career

One year later, Jennifer played roles in Francis Ford Coppola's 1996 comedy Jack starring Robin Williams, beating out Ashley Judd for the role. In her next film role, riding the Money Train with Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes, she was the only one to receive positive reviews in a film that may have well tipped off the tracks. Lopez also played in the 1997 thriller Blood and Wine with Jack Nicholson.

Having already worked with Jennifer in the critically-acclaimed Mi Familia, Gregory Nava asked Lopez to audition for his 1997 biopic on the slain Tejano singer, Selena, who’s life was tragically cut short when she was killed by an obsessive fan cum stalker. After an intense auditioning process, Jennifer won the role that would make her a star. Lopez was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy in 1998.

She was chosen by "People" magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1997.

She also became the first Latin actress to get paid $1 million or more for a film role. Some of her other critically-acclaimed films include Selena in 1997, Out of Sight in 1998 with George Clooney, the mind-bending thriller, The Cell in 2000 with Vincent D’Onofrio, and 2005’s An Unfinished Life with Robert Redford. Lopez's performances were critically less well-received, however financially successful in the films The Wedding Planner with Matthew McConaughey in 2001 , Maid in Manhattan costarring Ralph Fiennes in 2002, which grossed $94,011,225, 2005’s Monster-in-Law with onscreen (and possibly off-screen) nemesis, Jane Fonda. Lopez received $15,000,000 for her role in Monster-in-Law, and 2004’s Shall We Dance? costarring Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon, which grossed $112,238,000 at the international box office. Domestically, Shall We Dance? grossed $57,890,460 for a total of $170,128,460 in worldwide tally: her largest box office gross to date.

She also starred in one of the worst movies of all time in 2002, entitled Gigli; a movie on which she met her current ex-fiancé, Ben Affleck, and a movie that was panned by critics, fans, friends, and even the stars themselves. After four unsuccessful previous nominations, she won the worst actress Razzie for Gigli in 2003.

Lopez also guest-starred in the sixth season finale of “Will & Grace” in 2004, playing herself.

At this time, Lopez became is the first actress-singer to have a film (The Wedding Planner) and an album (J. Lo) at number one in the same week.

Lopez has finished shooting two new independent films: Bordertown with Antonio Banderas and El Cantante with her husband, Marc Anthony, and which is based on the life story of Hector Lavoe, who started the salsa movement in 1975 and brought it to the United States. El Cantante was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival where it got positive reviews. Bordertown was shown at the Brussels Film Festival.

It was also announced that she will be starring in the movie, The Governess, which is a comedy that will be released in 2008.

Despite not having a film that grossed over $100 million domestically, Lopez is one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood and also the highest-paid Latin actress in Hollywood history, partly because of the moderate success of her films.

Upcoming Project: Reality Television

In May 2006, MTV gave the green-light on her executively-produced reality show, “DanceLife.” The show will follow the lives of six aspiring dancers as their 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 began on January 15, 2007.

The producer of the Oscar nominated hit movie Dreamgirls, Laurence Mark, expressed his desire to work with Lopez, who presented him an award at the 2007 Golden Globe Awards. "It would enchant to me to continue making musical and in special making a musical comedy with Jennifer Lopez".

In addition, Lopez will make an appearance as a performer and a mentor on "American Idol" on April 11, 2007.

Music Career

Lopez has sold over forty-eight million records worldwide.

On the 6: 1999

Lopez's debut album On the 6, a reference to the 6 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 Billboard Hot 100 number-one 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" with Marc Anthony. Though "No Me Ames" never had a commercial release, it reached number one on the United States Hot Latin Tracks. Despite this, the music video for "No Me Ames" received moderate airplay on the music channels VH1 (United States) and The Box (United Kingdom).

On the 6 also featured guest artists such as Big Pun and Fat Joe on the track "Feelin' So Good", which failed to make the top fifty of the Billboard Hot 100. "Let's Get Loud", the final single, earned Lopez a Grammy Award nomination in the "Best Dance Recording" category in 2001. "Waiting for Tonight" was nominated for the same category the previous year. "No Me Ames" received two nominations at the 2000 Latin Grammy Awards — Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Music Video. On the 6, her debut album went 6 times platinum.

In 1999, she won the VH1/Vogue Fashion Award for Most Fashionable Female Artist. She also received a Latin Grammy nomination and won the Billboard Latin Award for a duet she did with Marc Anthony ("No Me Ames"), as well as the MTV Video Music Award for Best Dance Video, for "Waiting For Tonight," in 2000.

Interestingly enough, years before they married (or even became a couple), she and Marc Anthony sang a song together called "No Me Ames" which appeared on her album On the 6.

J. Lo: 2001

Lopez's second album, J. Lo, was released on January 23, 2001 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The lead single, "Love Don't Cost a Thing," was her first number-one single in the United Kingdom and took her into the top five on the United States Billboard Hot 100. The song was believed to be based on her recently ex-boyfriend, P. Diddy, or Sean Combs. She followed it up with "Play" which gave her another top twenty hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached number three in the United Kingdom. Her next two singles were "I'm Real" and "Ain't It Funny" which were quickly rising up the charts. To capitalize on this, Lopez asked The Inc. Records (then known as Murder Inc.) to remix both songs, which featured rap artists Ja Rule (on both) and Caddillac Tah (on the "Ain't It Funny" remix). Both remixes reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for several weeks. She re-released J. Lo on her thirty-second birthday with the remix of "I'm Real" as a bonus track.

In 2002, Lopez won a World Music Award for World's Best-Selling Latin Female Artist, an MTV Video Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Video ("I'm Real" featuring Ja Rule), a VH1/Vogue Fashion Award for Most Influential Artist, and an MTV Europe Music Award for Best Female.

J to tha L-O!: The Remixes: 2002

Following the success of the re-release of J. Lo, 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 number one on the Billboard 200, becoming the first remix album in history to debut at the top on the chart. Featured artists on J to tha L-O!: The Remixes included P. Diddy, Fat Joe, and Nas, and the album also included rare dance and hip-hop remixes of past singles.

This Is Me... Then: 2002

On November 26, 2002, Lopez released her third studio album, This Is Me... Then, which reached number two on the Billboard 200 and spawned four singles: "Jenny from the Block" (featuring Jadakiss and Styles P), which reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100; "All I Have" (featuring LL Cool J), which spent multiple weeks at number one; "I'm Glad"; and "Baby I Love U!" The album included a cover of Carly Simon's 1978 "You Belong to Me." It performed well on the charts, selling 2.5 million copies in the United States alone.

Rebirth: 2005

After a year away from the music scene, Lopez released her fourth studio album, Rebirth, on March 1, 2005. Although debuting and peaking at number two on the Billboard 200, the album quickly fell off the charts. It spawned one hit in "Get Right," which reached the top fifteen in the United States. and became her second Platinum hit (after "If You Had My Love"). "Get Right" was also successful in the United Kingdom, becoming her second number-one single there. The second single, "Hold You Down," which featured Fat Joe, reached number sixty-four on the United States Hot 100; it peaked at number six in the United Kingdom and ascended to the top twenty in Australia. Another song, "Cherry Pie," was slated for a fall release, but the plans to make a video were cancelled as the album sales were definitely too weak and the promotion budget exceeded. It was released to radio stations in Spain.

Rebirth was certified Platinum in the United States by the RIAA. Nevertheless, Lopez was featured on LL Cool J's single "Control Myself," which was released on February 1, 2006. It reached number four on the United States Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the United Kingdom Singles Chart. It was Lopez's first United States. top ten hit in three years.

Como Ama una Mujer: 2007

She will officially release her first full Spanish-language album, titled Como Ama una Mujer, on March 27, 2007 in the United States and April 3, 2007 in Europe. The lead single, "Qué Hiciste" (Spanish for "What Have You Done"), was officially released to radio stations in January 2007.

Fifth English studio album: 2007

She is also working on her fifth English studio album, in which she is working with producer Swizz Beatz. "It's coming out incredible,” he said. "We're putting together some great things, and not what everyone's expecting. Think a little Jamiroquai, a little Sade. It's real feel-good music." Other producers are Timbaland, Cory Rooney, Jermaine Dupri, and newcomer Peter Wade. It has been confirmed to be released in November 2007 and that Jonathan "J.R." Rotem is working on some tracks as well.

Other Business Opportunities; Media and Otherwise

Lopez modeled for Louis Vuitton’s Winter 2003 campaign.

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. In 2005, she launched a new clothing line called Sweetface. She is planning to launch a jewelry line, as well as an accessory line that includes hats, gloves, and scarves.

In the fall of 2007, Lopez will retire JLO by Jennifer Lopez and launch a new juniors' line called JustSweet. The ad campaign will be featured in major magazines such as Glamour and Vogue. A runway show during New York Fashion Week is expected.

On April 12, 2002, 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. The perfume made history in 2001, by being the number-one perfume in more than nine countries in less than four months.

In October 2003, Lopez introduced a perfume called "Still." Before launching another completely new fragrance, she revisited 2002 "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 2006’s Valentine's Day, "Miami Glow" was replaced by yet another "Glow" spinoff — "Love at First Glow by J.Lo." Her latest fragrance is called "Live Luxe" and was released in August 2006, with "Glow After Dark" following its release in January 2007. "Glow After Dark" was stated as being a unisex fragrance, but it is not. Her fragrance line enjoys global sales of more than $500 million.

Lopez is also a spokesperson for Lux shampoo in Japan, appearing in the product's television commercials.

She is the first woman who has been placed number one two years in a row for FHM magazine's list of the 100 Sexiest Females in the World and the 100 Sexiest Females in the United States. Lopez was also on the The Hollywood Reporter's list of the top ten actress salaries in 2002, 2003, and 2004, and she made the 2007 Forbes magazine's list as #9 of The Richest 20 Women In Entertainment: her wealth is estimated at $110 million.

In addition, Lopez is the first Latin actress to get the cover of Vogue magazine and she also made the Guinness World Book of Records in 2007 as the most powerful actress.

Personal Life

Her first marriage was to Cuban-born Ojani Noa on February 22, 1997. Lopez met Noa while he worked as a waiter at a Miami restaurant. They divorced in March 1998. They remained on such good terms that Lopez employed Noa as the manager of her Pasadena restaurant Madre's in April 2002. However, their friendship soured in October 2002 when Lopez fired Noa from the role. Since late 2006 to early 2007, Lopez has been in court trying to prevent Noa from publishing a tell-all book on his short marriage to Lopez . She is trying to have the case seen by a private judge. The book is said to portray her as a cheater.

She then had a two-and-a-half-year relationship with Sean Combs, better known as P. Diddy, recording artist and world-class producer. On December 27, 1999, Lopez and Combs were at Club New York, a midtown Manhattan nightclub, when a 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 stolen 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. Lopez terminated her involvement with Combs shortly thereafter, and Combs reconciled with Kim Porter, mother of his three children.

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." In 2001, after dating her back-up dancer Cris Judd for less than eight months, the couple married in September 2001.

On April 12, 2002, Lopez opened an elegant Cuban restaurant in the South Lake district of Pasadena, California named Madre's. A media sensation was creating when during a press shoot for the fancy restaurant; a mysterious man appeared out of the sidelines and gave Lopez a floral arrangement from Ben Affleck, even as then-husband Cris Judd stood next to her. Lopez was widely criticized for what appeared to be infidelity on her part.

Lopez and Judd divorced in August of 2002; the settlement cost her $15 million.

Lopez's next relationship was with actor Ben Affleck. Lopez and Affleck's relationship was highly publicized, with the media dubbing them "Bennifer." Lopez announced her engagement to Affleck in November 2002, after Affleck gave her a six-carat pink diamond ring worth a reported $1.2 million. Lopez promised interviewers that Affleck was indeed "the one," and that they would soon have a family. The marriage, planned for September 14, 2003 in Santa Barbara, California, was called off just hours before the event. During the week before the scheduled nuptials, Affleck had been seen by press carousing at a strip club in Vancouver with friends. The media blitz intensified when it was Lopez's own sister who called in live radio to tell Jennifer where her fiancé had been the previous night. Lopez would only respond by saying it was a terrible way to begin the day, finding out about Affleck's behavior in that manner. Publicists announced a permanent split on January 20, 2004. Affleck has refused to speak of his relationship with Lopez, only citing intense media attention as the cause of the break-up. Their relationship was parodied by Trey Parker and Matt Stone on the “South Park” episode "Fat Butt and Pancake Head," which aired on April 16, 2003. There was a media furor as to whether Lopez would give Affleck back his ring after the break-up. Lopez did belatedly return it, though not eagerly. Ben Affleck has since married and has a daughter, Violet, with actress Jennifer Garner.

Shortly after her break-up with Affleck, Lopez was seen out with singer Marc Anthony, who at that time was still married to his wife, former Miss Universe, Dayanara Torres, with whom he had a toddler and an infant. 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.

Lopez's guests had been invited to an "afternoon party" at Lopez's house and had not been made aware that they were actually going to her wedding. The bride wore a Vera Wang wedding dress. 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.” Marc's daughter, Ariana, appeared in Jennifer's music video "Get Right" as her little sister. Marc would not admit to his marriage with Lopez for a very extended period. He maintains a very defensive and private stance regarding his marriage to Lopez.

She and Marc Anthony live in Bel-Air. In addition, they have a house on Fisher Island and another one in Long Island, New York.

Controversy and Media Spotlight

On April 10, 2006, Lopez filed a request for injunction against her first husband, Ojani, to stop him from publishing materials that are disparaging. He supposedly signed an non-disclosure agreement in 2004 that prevents him from such a publication.

Lopez's frequent use of animal fur in her clothing lines and personal wardrobe has brought the scorn of people concerned with animal rights. At the Los Angeles première of Monster-in-Law, more than one hundred protesters from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) held a demonstration to highlight their concerns. Lopez told a radio DJ she was open to being educated on the topic.

In addition, in 2005, there was some controversy around her fashion line "Sweetface" due to the excessive use of fur for the clothes. Members of PETA protested against her and famous PETA member Heather Mills stormed with some reporters into Lopez's office in New York and expected an explanation from Lopez, but the singer wasn't there. Mills then left a DVD in Lopez' office, which shows how brutally animals are murdered just to get their fur. Mills was then asked to leave by Lopez' assistant.

A Miami woman had sued him with a paternity lawsuit, while he was still married to Torres. However, three separate DNA tests were conducted, all of which showed Marc was not the father.

After Lopez and her husband, Marc Anthony were invited, and attended Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes wedding in Italy, it was rumored that the Latin lovers were considering entering the Church of Scientology in late 2006 because they were having trouble conceiving a child.

Though Lopez has denied that she is receiving IVF treatments in order to get pregnant, sources close to Lopez claim that because she cannot seem to conceive, she might be in the process of adopting a child from Puerto Rico: "Jen and Marc are dying to have kids but it just doesn't seem to be working for them. Jen realizes she's not getting any younger, so they've jointly decided that adoption may be the answer to their prayers." A source said that they chose that country, because both of their parents are from there.

Charity Work and Activism

Lopez has done more than her share of charity work over the years; she supports several foundations, including Children's Health Fund, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles Free Clinic, and MusiCares.

She and her husband, Marc Anthony made a large donation to Children’s Health Fund’s Operation Assist after Hurricane Katrina, and encouraged their fans to give as well.

In early 2006, the Los Angeles Childrens Hospital benefited from an online auction of clothing owned and worn by Lopez: seven items were sold to the highest bidder at overstock.com during the week of May 16th-23rd, 2006, including a brown poncho, a blue satin gown and jeans with Lopez’s signature. Lopez also organised a similar auction the previous year for the hospital.

On November 21, 2006, Lopez was one of many stars including, Mick Jagger, Claire Danes, Zach Braff, Martin Scorsese, Bob Saget and Don Rickles who took the stage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on to honor Paramount Pictures CEO Brad Grey at a gala dinner celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Free Clinic. Lopez's husband, Marc Anthony performed a lively three-song set backed by his powerhouse salsa band. Also in attendance was actor Mark Wahlberg and former California Governor Gray Davis.

Lopez donated an item to watchmaker, Nixon be made into a watch, the sale of which benefitted the MusiCares MAP Fund—a pool of resources set aside to address addiction and recovery needs of members of the music community.


Blogger Shoppingsmart said...

"In the fall of 2007, Lopez will retire JLO by Jennifer Lopez and launch a new juniors' line called JustSweet. The ad campaign will be featured in major magazines such as Glamour and Vogue. A runway show during New York Fashion Week is expected."

Interesting piece of information, and great post about Jennifer Lopez! I didn't know her JLo line will be retired. I will definitely look this up. In the meantime, you can take a look at the JLo fashion on my web site, http://www.smallshoppingworld.com!

2:14 AM  

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