Jennifer Lynn Lopez (born July 24, 1969), popularly nicknamed J.Lo, is an American actress, singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, fashion designer, and television producer. She is the richest person of Latin American descent in Hollywood according to Forbes, and the most influential Hispanic entertainer in America according to People en Español's list of "100 Most Influential Hispanics".
Starting in 1999, Lopez released seven albums, including two #1 albums on the Billboard 200 charts and four Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles. She won the 2003 American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist and the 2007 American Music Award for Favorite Latin Artist. She has appeared in numerous films, and has won ALMA Awards for outstanding actress for her work in Selena, Out of Sight, and Angel Eyes. She parlayed her media fame into a fashion line and various perfumes with her celebrity endorsement.
Media attention has also focused on her personal life. She has had high-profile relationships with Ojani Noa, Cris Judd, Sean Combs, Ben Affleck, and most recently, Marc Anthony. Her first children, fraternal twins named Max and Emme, were born on February 22, 2008.
Lopez was born and grew up in the South Bronx, New York to Puerto Rican parents Guadalupe Rodríguez, a kindergarten teacher, and David Lopez, a computer specialist. She has two siblings, Lynda and Leslie. Lopez spent her entire academic career in Catholic schools, finishing at the all-girls Preston High School, in the Bronx. She financed singing and dancing lessons for herself from the age of 19. After attending Baruch College for one semester, Lopez divided her time between working in a legal office, dance classes, and dance performances in Manhattan night clubs. After months of auditioning for dance roles, Lopez was selected as a dancer for various rap music videos, a 1990 episode of Yo! MTV Raps, and as a backup dancer for the New Kids on the Block and their performance of their song "Games" for the American Music Awards in 1991. After being rejected twice, Lopez gained her first regular high-profile job as a "Fly Girl" dancer on the television comedy program In Living Color in 1990. Soon after, Lopez became a backup dancer for Janet Jackson and made an appearance in her 1993 video "That's the Way Love Goes".
Lopez appeared on the short-lived television programs South Central, Second Chances, and Hotel Malibu, and the made-for-television film Nurses on the Line: The Crash of Flight 7. Lopez broke into the big screen in the 1995 drama My Family and then appeared opposite Wesley Snipes in the action film Money Train. Lopez has 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 1997 film Selena for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for "Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy" in 1998. She became the first Latin actress to get paid $1 million or more for a film role. Some of her other critically-acclaimed films include Out of Sight, The Cell, An Unfinished Life, and Shall We Dance?. Two independent films produced by Lopez were well-received at film festivals: El Cantante at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Bordertown at the Brussels film festival. Other modestly successful films include The Wedding Planner, Maid in Manhattan, Monster-in-Law, and Enough. Gigli, however, would be a critical and commercial disappointment. In August 2007, Lopez collaborated on the feature film, El Cantante, with her husband singer-actor Marc Anthony. The film is in English, with a creative use of subtitles for songs with Spanish lyrics.
In April 2004, Lopez guest starred in the sixth season finale of Will & Grace, playing herself. This was the highest-rated episode of the series since Elton John's appearance in 2002, and Lopez appeared again in the seventh season's opening episode. In May 2006, MTV gave the greenlight on her executively-produced reality show, DanceLife. The show followed 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, made cameo appearances over the course of the season and the show's eight-episode run which began on January 15, 2007.
Lopez made an appearance as a mentor on American Idol on April 10, 2007.
She is the executive producer of a miniseries in Univisión. The Miniseries will be named after her CD "Como Ama Una Mujer". It will premiere on October 30, 2007 at 10:00 on Univisión. Christian Borrero will be acting in it along with Adriana Cruz.