Jennifer Lynn Lopez (born July 24, 1969), also known by her nickname J.Lo, is an American singer, actress and dancer. In 1991, Lopez began appearing as a Fly Girl dancer on In Living Color, where she remained a regular until she decided to pursue an acting career in 1993. For her first leading role in the 1997 Selena biopic of the same name, Lopez became the first Latin actress to earn over US$1 million for a film. She went on to star in Anaconda (1997) and Out of Sight (1998), and has subsequently established herself as one of the highest-paid Latin actresses worldwide as of 2017. Lopez is considered a pop culture icon, and is often described as a triple threat entertainer.
Lopez ventured into the music industry with her debut studio album On the 6 (1999), which helped propel the Latin pop movement in American music. With the simultaneous release of her second studio album J.Lo and her romantic comedy The Wedding Planner in 2001, Lopez became the first woman to have a number-one album and film in the same week. Her 2002 release, J to tha L–O! The Remixes, became the first remix album in history to debut atop the US Billboard 200. Later that year, she released her third studio album This Is Me… Then and starred in the film Maid in Manhattan.
After starring in Gigli (2003), a critical and commercial failure, Lopez subsequently starred in the successful romantic comedies Shall We Dance? (2004) and Monster-in-Law (2005). Her fifth studio album, Como Ama una Mujer (2007), received the highest first week sales for a debut Spanish album in the United States. Following a relatively unsuccessful period, she returned to prominence in 2011 with her appearance as a judge on American Idol and released her seventh studio album Love?. From 2016 to 2018, she starred in the police drama series Shades of Blue and performed a residency show, Jennifer Lopez: All I Have, at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas. Since 2017, Lopez has produced and served as a judge on World of Dance. In 2019, she garnered critical acclaim for her performance as a stripper in the crime drama Hustlers.
With a cumulative film gross of US$3.1 billion and estimated global sales of 70 million records, Lopez is regarded as the most influential Latin entertainer in North America. In 2012, Forbes ranked her as the most powerful celebrity in the world, as well as the 38th most powerful woman in the world. Time listed her among the 100 most influential people in the world in 2018. Her most successful singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 include: “If You Had My Love”, “I’m Real”, “Ain’t It Funny”, “All I Have”, and “On the Floor”. For her contributions to the recording industry, Lopez has received a landmark star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Billboard Icon Award, and the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award among other honors. Her other ventures include beauty and clothing lines, fragrances, a production company, and a charitable foundation.
Jennifer Lynn Lopez was born on July 24, 1969, in the Bronx borough of New York City, to Puerto Rican parents Guadalupe Rodríguez and David López. She has an older sister, Leslie, and a younger sister, Lynda, who is a journalist. David worked the night shift at the Guardian Insurance Company before becoming a computer technician at the firm, while Guadalupe was a homemaker. When Lopez was born, the family was living in a small apartment in the Castle Hill neighborhood of the Bronx. A few years later, her parents had saved up enough money to be able to purchase a two-story house, which was considered a significant accomplishment for the relatively poor family. At age five, Lopez began taking singing and dancing lessons.
She toured Manhattan with her school when she was seven years old. Her parents stressed the importance of work ethic and being able to speak English. They encouraged their three daughters to put on performances at home—singing and dancing in front of each other and their friends so that they would stay “out of trouble”. Lopez spent her entire academic career in Catholic schools, finishing at Preston High School in the Bronx. In school, Lopez participated in gymnastics, ran track on a national level, and was a member of the school’s softball team. She excelled athletically rather than academically, competing in national track championships.