Jennifer Lopez - Biography
"I feel privileged just to have stood behind her once," said Mark Wahlberg. But Jen's famous derrière is not the only thing to stand out about the Latino entertainer. She is one of a handful of stars to combine successfully a music and film career, and was the first Hispanic actress to command more than US$1 million a picture.
Bronx, New York
Born on July 24, 1970, in New York's Bronx to Puerto Rican parents, Jennifer never wanted an ordinary life. Although her mother, a kindergarten teacher, and her father, a computer specialist, wanted her to study, Jennifer was having none of it. She wanted to sing, to dance, to act in short, she wanted to be famous.
At 17, she landed a place at Manhattan's Dance Studio, dividing her time between the Studio and high school. In 1991, she got her first big break when she was chosen as a dancer on the US TV show, In Living Colour.
The odd film and TV role followed, but it wasn't until the 1997 eponymously titled bio-pic about murdered Latin American singer Selena that La Lopez really hit the big time, receiving the coveted seven-figure salary enjoyed by so few in Hollywood.
Her burgeoning film career however, came at a price. "When I was doing Selena, I thought, 'God, I really miss singing and dancing and sharing that with the public," she recalls.
One of her contacts from her In Living Colour days, mindful of the fact that she wanted to get back to her musical roots, engineered a meeting with Tommy Mottola, the president of Sony Records. Impressed by her demo, he signed her up, and in 1998 she started work on her debut album, On The 6 which went platinum in the States within months of hitting the stores. Her next effort, J Lo, was released in January 2001, with the single My Love Don't Cost A Thing, hitting the number one spot in the UK.
Jennifer's love life has been a chequered affair. She married Cuban waiter and model Ojani Noa in February 1997 but they divorced less than a year later. Her next boyfriend was Sean Combs, aka P Diddy. In December 1999, the couple were arrested in connection with a nightclub shooting in the Big Apple, although Jennifer was later released. At the time the pop diva insisted she would stand by her man, but the couple's spokespeople released a statement on Valentine's Day 2001 announcing they had called time on the romance. Puffy was cleared of all criminal charges soon afterward.
In September 2001 Jennifer married choreographer Cris Judd, a former back-up dancer she began dating soon after her break-up with the rap mogul. However the relationship soured after less than a year and she filed for divorce a day after her 32nd birthday.
The following year she teamed up with Ben Affleck after the pair had worked together on Gigli, and in November 2002 the Daredevil actor popped the question, giving J Lo a 6.1 carat pink diamond ring by Harry Winston, worth over £700,000.
The two became the hottest couple in Hollywood, but soon ran out of steam. Days before their September 2003 wedding, they announced the nuptials would be postponed "due to the excessive media attention". While Ben and Jen - who'd earned the joint name "Bennifer" in the press - were spotted together on and off in the following months, they called it quits for good in January, 2004.
The single life didn't last long for Jennifer, who was soon linked to Salsa singer Marc Anthony. And, in a surprise turn of events, the two suddenly tied the knot in June, 2004, just four days after Marc's divorce from former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres became final.
Afrter four years of marriage, the couple welcomed fraternal twins, a girl and a boy, Emme Maribel Muñiz, and Maximilian "Max" David Muñiz on February 22, 2008.