Jennifer Lopez has spent a majority of her life in the spotlight.
As a triple threat singer, dancer, and actress, this working mother has certainly come a long
way since her simple beginnings.
This is the stunning transformation of Jennifer Lopez.
Don't be fooled by the rocks that she's got, 'cause she's still "Jenny from the Block."
This was true for Jennifer Lopez in 2002, and it's still true today, as the superstar
attributes much of her success to a humble childhood spent growing up in the Bronx.
She told Variety in 2019,
"I used to sweep the hair at a beauty salon and clean the sinks.
I just wanted my $10, to go do whatever I wanted with.
And it was such a great feeling."
Though her upbringing was nothing extravagant, Lopez felt born to perform.
"I remember being very young thinking I wanted to be in musicals.
I want to sing, dance, and act.
I want to do all three."
Because of her background, she had extra steps to take to ensure herself a place in the spotlight.
"I had to work extra hard.
I wasn't in show business.
I didn't live in L.A. I didn't have any connections.
I was just a dancer from New York, and I was trying to make it."
Before she was known as a triple threat, Jennifer Lopez's first job in show business was simply
In 1991, she performed as one of the dancing "Fly Girls" on the sketch comedy show In Living
As Lopez said during a press day for NBC's World of Dance in 2017,
"I always consider myself as a dancer first.
I became a singer and actress after dancing.
For me, it's so part of who I am."
However, it wasn't easy receiving her big break on the show.
The first time that Lopez auditioned for a spot on the "Fly Girls" dance team, she didn't
make the cut.
Before her second audition the following year secured her the job, the young entertainer
J.Lo held many other dancing gigs for little pay, but because of her childhood experiences,
she was used to making it work.
It seems this hustler knew from early on that her goal wasn't far out of reach.
Following her time on In Living Color, Jennifer Lopez decided to add "actress" to her name.
After five auditions in 1997, she beat out 22,000 other women for the title role in Selena.
"I mean, I couldn't be luckier.
I'm a very lucky person."
When she received her breakthrough role, Lopez was just 26 years old.
She still had a lot to learn about excelling as a performer - and she learned a lot of
that from Selena.
"Her ease on stage and her looseness was something that I had to learn, because I was such a
Lopez set a record as the highest-paid Latina actress in history when she made $1 million
from the film.
The performance also led to her first Golden Globe nomination.
Looking back on the career milestone, Lopez told GQ,
"Even though I knew it was a huge responsibility, and I wanted to do a great job, there's kind
of an ignorance that you have at that age, like how big it would be."
Little did she know at the time, Lopez's role in the film would catapult her entire career
and lead to "J.Lo" becoming a household name.
After the success of Selena, J.Lo knew it was time to establish herself as a singer.
But she initially faced pushback from her own team before making the leap.
"My manager at the time was like, 'Well, you know you won't be taken seriously as an actress
if you make a record, so how about we just stick to the acting right now?'"
Luckily, she didn't listen to the career advice.
Instead, she risked it all on what would become a successful attempt to branch out.
"For me, it was always all one thing.
It was never, like, two separate things.
It was, 'I'm going to be an actress, singer, dancer.'"
In 1999, Lopez took a year off from acting and released her debut album, On the 6 - a
reference to her old subway line.
The album didn't just grow her popularity - it launched her into a whole new industry.
Lopez told VH1,
"It was definitely a different experience promoting the album than promoting a film.
A film is a much more collaborative effort, but the music is just you.
It's you there on your own."
The album's lead single, "If You Had My Love," became #1 on the Billboard Top 100 Chart and
made Lopez a musical sensation.
Every woman has had a moment where she feels she has absolutely nothing to wear.
When Jennifer Lopez was picking out an outfit for the 2000 Grammys, that's exactly how she
Lopez recounted to Vogue,
"My stylist at the time, Andrea Lieberman, she had a bunch of stuff.
But it was like, nothing really special."
That is, until she pulled out that green Versace dress.
"I didn't think it was all that risqué, to be honest.
I was more excited that it was the Grammys.
I wasn't really even thinking about the dress that much."
J.Lo's green Grammys dress was a red carpet outfit that immediately turned heads, and
it quickly became the most searched item that the Google search engine had ever seen.
But at the time, Google didn't have image searching functionality.
Since so many people were searching for photos, J.Lo's look changed the Internet as we know
"People were searching to try and find a picture of the dress, So they created Google Images
As if Jennifer Lopez wasn't busy enough, after wrapping up her work on the film The Wedding
Planner, she decided to add "producer" to her resume.
In 2001, she founded her own production company called Nuyorican Productions.
Lopez explained to The Hollywood Reporter,
"One of the reasons we started a production company was because there is a lack of roles
out there for women like myself - for women period."
Like so many other decisions that Lopez has made for her career, she seemed to be ahead
of her time with that one.
As her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas put it, quote, "She does things without blueprints
- things that nobody has done before her."
And it seems J.Lo has definitely never been afraid to take on new challenges.
Goldsmith-Thomas told Variety,
"We have one life.
She would say, 'What's stopping you?
The only thing stopping you is you.'"
As Jennifer Lopez was beginning to be seen on big screens and billboards everywhere,
her personal life was also being plastered across magazine covers.
In 2002, she began dating actor Ben Affleck after meeting on the set of their film, Gigli.
They fell for each other just like they did in the movie, and soon after, they were engaged.
Having two huge Hollywood names, they quickly became the "it couple."
Sadly, after a two year engagement, Lopez and Affleck decided to break it off.
Looking back on the time in an interview with People, she said,
"It was just a lot of pressure."
In 2007, at the age of 37, Jennifer Lopez announced to the world that she was having
a baby with her new husband Marc Anthony, whom she wed in 2004.
But she got a lot more than she was bargaining for when she went to get her first ultrasound.
"'That's the baby.
And we're like, 'Oh my god, we're having a baby.'
Then he goes, 'You see this other little grain of rice over here?
That's the other baby.'"
Naturally, J.Lo was shocked to learn she was having twins.
Between her busy schedule and constantly expanding career, it wasn't easy for the busy actor/producer/singer/dancer
to incorporate time for mothering daughter Emme and son Max at first.
She told Entertainment Tonight,
"You balance it out just like every working mom."
"It's not easy, but you do your best and you just try to get it all in."
It was the start of a completely new chapter of Lopez's life.
As she told People,
"The kids honestly just gave me a new direction.
They just made me realize what was real and what wasn't real...They just changed everything."
Though magazines made it look like she had everything anyone could ever want, Jennifer
Lopez was once at a point where she was feeling very lost in her personal life.
"Everything from the outside seemed perfect, but the truth was, in that moment, my marriage
was falling apart."
When Lopez married Marc Anthony, she thought he was the one with whom she would be spending
the rest of her life.
"For the realization to start coming in that that wasn't going to be the case was probably
the biggest disappointment of my life so far."
Lopez realized that she had turned into someone she didn't recognize, and that it was time
to start focusing on herself again.
So, in 2011, the couple filed for divorce after seven years of marriage.
Lopez, who relied on therapy and self-help books during this difficult time, told Harper's
"The relationship journey has been very up and down.
But it didn’t have to do with anybody else but me - it was about me figuring out me...There's
an evolution there that had to happen for me.
I feel like I'm in a better place now."
After Jennifer Lopez had taken some time off to concentrate on her two toddlers, she knew
it was time to do something for herself again.
In 2011, she signed on to be a judge for American Idol.
Lopez told Variety,
"It was a big turning point in my career.
Everybody was like, 'Don't do this.
Your career will be over, and they won't offer you any movies.
They'll think you're a joke as an artist.'
And I was like, 'The truth is, I'm not getting offered a whole bunch of movies, so what are
they not going to offer me?'"
She also saw value in taking a role on television as herself, not a character, which would let
fans get to know her.
As she put it to Variety,
"You can't hide on reality TV."
With music on her mind, Jennifer Lopez booked her very first Las Vegas residency, All I
Have, in 2016.
During that time, she met a new man, former New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez.
In March 2019, he proposed to Lopez on the beach.
It seemed like Lopez had it all.
She told Variety,
"There were times in my life where my career was going great, and my personal life was
And there were times my personal life was stable, but my career was not great.
This is the first time where I have a really beautiful alignment between the two.
I think Alex brought that for me.
I love it."
2019 seemed to be Jennifer Lopez's year.
Her starring role in Hustlers had people everywhere taking her even more seriously as an actress.
It's no wonder the movie gave Lopez her second Golden Globe nomination.
But surprisingly, Lopez admitted that she almost passed on the role.
She explained to Variety,
"I had worked so much.
I was like, 'I have to stay home with my kids and Alex.'"
Luckily, the movie's director postponed filming to accommodate the star.
Director Lorene Scafaria told Variety,
"I think people forget that she’s such a gifted actor.
I was so excited that she was going to play a character on top of that.
In a way, the role fits her like a glove, but it’s also a glove with spikes on it.”
Now in her 50s, there's no slowing down J.Lo.
Who knows what she'll surprise us with next!
"I just think now what's different is I have all this experience, but I still feel youthful,
alive, and at the beginning of great adventures."
Check out one of our newest videos right here!
Plus, even more List videos about your favorite celebs are coming soon.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the bell so you don't miss a single one.