Jennifer Lopez in Her Own Words (and Everyone Else’s)

She has been a dominant force in pop culture for 30 years. So how did Jennifer Lopez do it? Here, she, her friends, and her collaborators share the lowdown on J.Lo.

After three decades of nonstop performing, you would think that Jennifer Lopez might take a break. But…nope. “I’m in the best shape of my life,” she says. And her friends and colleagues — Leah Remini, Ben Affleck, Michelle Obama, Marc Anthony, and many, many more — concur. Perhaps rapper Fat Joe puts it best. “She’s Jenny the Icon. She’s not just from the Bronx no more…”

In the beginning…

Abraham Quintanilla Jr. (father of the late Tejano star Selena, whom Lopez portrayed in Selena, 1997): When I met Jennifer, she had been mostly a dancer and at that time was focusing on acting. I recall that early in the Selena production, we filmed the Astrodome concert scene with 30,000 Selena fans as the audience. After it was finished, [my wife] Marcella and I were walking with Jennifer to the dressing rooms. Jennifer stopped and said, “Look at my arms. I have goosebumps.” I asked her why, and she replied, “I’ve never been in front of 30,000 screaming fans.” At that moment, you could see in her eyes that she had experienced the excitement of performing live in front of an audience and she wanted to be a part of that entertainment world, which is so different from the acting world. She had the vision.

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