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Jennifer Lynn Lopez was born in the Bronx, New York, on July 24, 1969. After starting out in musical theater as a child, she made her film debut at age 16 in the little-seen My Little Girl, but she was later tapped to become one of the dancing "Fly Girls" on the television sketch comedy series In Living Color. A recurring role on the TV drama Second Chances followed before Lopez was thrust into the limelight co-starring with Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson in the 1995 feature film Money Train. Smaller roles in pictures including My Family/Mi Familia, Jack, and Blood and Wine followed before she landed the title role in 1997's Selena, portraying the slain Tejano singer. The resulting acclaim for Selena included a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. Co-starring opposite George Clooney in 1998's acclaimed Out of Sight, Lopez became the highest-paid Latina actress in Hollywood history. The following summer, she returned to her musical roots with her debut pop album, On the 6, scoring a major hit with the single "If You Had My Love."
Lopez didn't waste time perfecting a sophomore effort, the appropriately titled J.Lo, which was issued in early 2001. The following year, Lopez released J to tha L-O!: The Remixes and This Is Me...Then, which spawned another hit single, "Jenny from the Block." The album reached number two on the Billboard 200. Although her high-profile romance with Ben Affleck created more headlines than her recording career, her follow-up, 2005's Rebirth -- released just after she married singer Marc Anthony -- debuted at number two on U.S. album chart. The Spanish-language album Como Ama una Mujer followed in 2007, peaking at number ten on the Billboard 200 while remaining at the top of the Latin chart for seven consecutive weeks. In October of that same year, Lopez put out a more "traditional" pop album, Brave, followed by an accompanying tour. It peaked at number 12. Love?, another pop album, was released in April 2011, a few months after Lopez debuted alongside Randy Jackson and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler as one of the judges on American Idol.
Love? proved Lopez's biggest hit in years, no doubt benefiting from her role as an Idol judge. Lopez stayed for two seasons, leaving after the 2012 season. Just as the news of her departure arrived, so too did news of her divorce from Marc Anthony. Her first hits collection, Dance Again...The Hits, appeared in July 2012 and entered the Billboard album chart at number 20.
Lopez returned to American Idol for its 13th season in January 2014. During its run, she started to tease her new album, releasing its first single, "I Luh Ya Papi," in March; it peaked at 77 on the Hot 100 and seven on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart. After the season wrapped, she released her eighth album, A.K.A., which was also her first record for the Capitol label. In 2015, she voiced a character in the animated feature film Home, and also contributed the single "Feel the Light" to the movie's soundtrack. Lopez kicked off an extended live concert residency at the AXIS at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas in January of 2016. That same month, she premiered in the role of NYPD detective Harlee Santos on the NBC series Shades of Blue.
Several months later, she marked a return to Epic Records after a six-year absence from the label with the release of the single "Ain't Your Mama." Lopez also premiered the song with a live performance on the finale of the 15th season of American Idol. In July 2017, she released the single "Ni Tú Ni Yo," which was co-written and executive produced by ex-husband Marc Anthony. "Amor, Amor, Amor," featuring Wisin, followed that November, and a bilingual single titled "Dinero," featuring DJ Khaled and Cardi B, arrived in May 2018. Shades of Blue aired its final episode that August. "Limitless," her contribution to the soundtrack of romantic comedy Second Act, followed later in the year. She also co-produced and starred in the film.
In 2019, Lopez appeared in the independent crime-comedy Hustlers, portraying strip-club dancer Ramona. It led to best-supporting actress nominations at the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild, and the Independent Spirit Awards. In September 2020, she released two songs with Colombian singer Maluma, "Pa' Ti" and "Lonely," both of which were later included on the soundtrack to Lopez's 2021 romantic-comedy film Marry Me. She also released the solo track "On My Way" as a single from the film. Later that year, she teamed up with rising Puerto Rican star Rauw Alejandro for the single "Cambia el Paso." ~ Jason Ankeny & Marcy Donelson
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