Jennifer Lynn Lopez (born July 24, 1969), popularly nicknamed J.Lo, is an American actress, singer, songwriter, dancer, and fashion designer. She is the richest Hispanic in Hollywood according to the website "A Socialite's Life" and the most influential Hispanic entertainer in America according to People en Español's list of 100 Most Influential Hispanics which pays tribute to Hispanics who have had an impact on their communities. In 2001, she was named the thirtieth most powerful woman in America by Ladies' Home Journal.
Lopez was born and raised in Castle Hill, a neighborhood in the Bronx, New York to Puerto Rican parents Guadalupe Rodríguez and David Lopez. She has 2 siblings, Linda and Leslie. Lopez spent her entire academic career in Catholic schools. She financed singing and dancing lessons for herself from the age of nineteen. After leaving a one-semester career at Baruch College, Lopez divided her time between working in a legal office, dance classes, and dance performances in Manhattan clubs at night. After months of auditioning for dance roles, Lopez was selected as a dancer for various rap artists' music videos, and was given a guest spot at the American Music Awards as a backup dancer for the New Kids on the Block and their performance of their song "Games" in 1991. After being rejected twice, Lopez gained her first regular high-profile job as a "Fly Girl" dancer on the television comedy program In Living Color in 1991. Soon after, Lopez became a backup dancer for famed singer Janet Jackson and made an appearance in her 1993 video "That's the Way Love Goes".
Lopez has appeared on the short-lived television programs South Central, Second Chances, and Hotel Malibu, and the made-for-television film Nurses on the Line: The Crash of Flight 7. Lopez broke into the big screen in the 1995 drama My Family and then appeared opposite Wesley Snipes in the action film Money Train. Lopez has played roles in Francis Ford Coppola's 1996 comedy Jack starring Robin Williams, and the 1997 thriller Blood and Wine with Jack Nicholson. Lopez played the lead role in the 1997 film Selena for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for "Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy" in 1998. She became the first Latin actress to get paid $1 million or more for a film role. Some of her other critically-acclaimed films include Selena, Out of Sight, The Cell, and An Unfinished Life. Lopez's performances were less well-received in the financially successful films The Wedding Planner, Maid in Manhattan, and Monster-in-Law.
Lopez has finished shooting two new independent films: Bordertown and El Cantante. El Cantante was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival where it got positive reviews. Bordertown was shown at the Brussels Film Festival. Both films were produced by Lopez and her production company, New Yorican Productions.
In April 2004, Lopez guest starred in the sixth season finale of Will & Grace, playing herself. This was the highest-rated episode of the series since Elton John's appearance in 2002, and Lopez appeared again in the season seven's opening episode. In May 2006, MTV gave the greenlight on her executively-produced reality show, DanceLife. The show will follow the lives of six aspiring dancers as their struggle to make it in the competitive world of professional dance. Lopez, who took an active role in selecting the show's participants, is slated to make cameo appearances over the course of the season and the show's eight-episode run began on January 15, 2007.
As recent as summer 2007, it was rumored that Lopez would be appearing on HBO's "Entourage." It has been assumed that she would play herself.
Lopez made an appearance as a mentor on American Idol on April 10, 2007.
Despite not having a film that grossed over $100 million domestically, Lopez is one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood and the highest-paid Latin actress in Hollywood history. Lopez appeared in the 2007 Guinness World Records as the most powerful actress. She was on the The Hollywood Reporter's list of the top ten actress salaries in 2002, 2003, and 2004. She received $15,000,000 for her role in Monster-in-Law. Her top-grossing film domestically is Maid in Manhattan which grossed $94,011,225. Meanwhile, her most successful film internationally is Shall We Dance? which grossed $112,238,000 at the international box office. Domestically, Shall We Dance? grossed $57,890,460 for a total of $170,128,460 in worldwide tally.
Lopez has sold over forty-eight million records worldwide. Lopez made the 2007 Forbes magazine's list of The 20 Richest Women In Entertainment and ranked ninth. Her wealth is estimated to be $110 million.