Related Videos

The Life and Career of Jennifer Lopez

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Born on July 24th, 1969 in The Bronx, New York, Jennifer Lopez got her breakthrough role in the movie, "Selena," after a few background dancing gigs. While pursuing her acting career, she got involved in music and found success with her debut album. She continued to take on movie roles while releasing records, receiving hits and misses in both. As a result, she is one of the most influential people, let alone Latinas, in pop culture, today. In this video, takes a look at the life and career of Jennifer Lopez.

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login


Early Singing and Dancing

Jennifer Lynn Lopez was born on July 24th, 1969 in The Bronx, New York. After becoming interested in singing and dancing as a teenager, she landed a gig as a “Fly Girl” on the television show, “In Living Color,” in the early 1990s. Soon after, she was hired as one of Janet Jackson’s backup dancers and appeared in the 1993 music video for the song, “That’s the Way Love Goes.”


After a few television spots, Lopez got her big break. Her role as the title character in the 1997 biographical film, “Selena” garnered her a Golden Globe nomination. Lopez also married her first husband Ojani Noa that year, though they divorced in 1998.


She continued to act through the late 1990s: she appeared in the horror flick, “Anaconda,” and lent her voice to the CGI-animated film, “Antz.” But it was with her critically-acclaimed role in 1998’s “Out of Sight” that Lopez became the first Latina actress to earn a salary of over one million dollars for a movie.

Musical Debut

Lopez’s musical debut, On the 6, dropped in 1999. Premiering at the eighth spot of the Billboard 200 chart, the pop album produced two Grammy-nominated singles: “Waiting for Tonight,” and “Let’s Get Loud.” However, it was “If You Had My Love” that became Lopez’s first number-one single and one of her signature tunes.

J. Lo

The next year marked the end of Lopez’s two-and-half-year relationship with Puff Daddy, and saw her appear in the thriller, “The Cell.” In 2001, her album, J. Lo, made a number-one debut on the Billboard 200 chart. Featuring more urban and R&B sounds, it contained the singles, “Play” and “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.”

Success with Romantic Comedies

A few days later, Lopez’s next film, “The Wedding Planner,” opened at the top of the box office. These two successes made her the first entertainer to have both a number one album and movie in the same week. Her next two films, “Angel Eyes,” and “Enough” were poorly reviewed; however Lopez found success with the number-one romantic comedy, “Maid in Manhattan” in 2002.


That same year, the compilation, J to tha L-O!: The Remixes, went on to become one of the best-selling remix albums in history. It featured two highly successful remixes of her songs by Murder Inc. Records: “I’m Real” and “Ain’t it Funny.”

Jenny from the Block

Lopez’s third album, This Is Me…Then, dropped later that year. The album reached the second position on the Billboard 200, and yielded four singles. These included the number-one hit, “All I Have,” and the top-ten track, “Jenny from the Block.”

Ben Affleck

After her divorce from second husband, Cris Judd, was finalized, Lopez starred in the movie, “Gigli” opposite her new fiancé, Ben Affleck. Despite the surrounding media frenzy, the film bombed and has often been called one of the worst movies ever made.

Marc Anthony and More Films

A few months after her engagement to Affleck ended, Lopez married fellow Latin singer Marc Anthony. Later that year, she appeared in the internationally successful movie, “Shall We Dance?” and had another number-one movie in 2005 with “Monster-in-Law.”


Her fourth album was 2005’s Rebirth. Peaking in the second position on the Billboard 200, the record spawned the top-twenty hit, “Get Right.” The following year, she made it back into the top ten by appearing on LL Cool J’s single, “Control Myself.”

More Music

Her first full Spanish-language effort was 2007’s Como Ama una Mujer. Despite its lack of English-language tracks, the album premiered in the top ten of the Billboard 200. Later that year, Lopez released the disc, Brave, which only reached the twelfth spot on the Billboard 200 and contained the single, “Do It Well.”

Movies, Music and "American Idol"

Two years after she gave birth to twins, Lopez returned to acting with the 2010 film, “The Back-Up Plan.” Then in 2011, she became a judge for the tenth season of the show, “American Idol.” She also released her next album, Love? that same year. Mixing elements of R&B, pop and hip hop, the record included tracks such as “Fresh Out the Oven” and “On the Floor.”

Latin Influence

In addition to her success in music and film, Jennifer Lopez is also a businesswoman and philanthropist, which has made her one of the most influential Latinas today.

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs