When talking about Latinos in Hollywood, undoubtedly one of the first names that comes to mind is Jennifer Lopez. Join us to take a tour of her history and to discover some curiosities of her interesting career.
For decades, several Latinos have stood out in American show business. If anyone has known how to excel both in the world of music and acting, that has been Jennifer Lopez. There is much to tell about this important icon of our community with 30 years of artistic life and just over 50 years of age.
What are the origins of Jennifer Lopez?
Her full name is Jennifer Lynn Lopez Rodriguez and she was born in New York in July 1969. She is also known as the Diva from the Bronx, in honor of the town where she was born and grew up. Her parents are from Puerto Rico and in addition to Jennifer they had two more daughters.
Jennifer lived the first years of her life in a middle-class neighborhood and attended Catholic schools. More than academics, she really excelled in sports. However, her interest in show business began when she was five years old.
The moment Jennifer knew she wanted to be an actress
Already at age 7, Jennifer was touring her hometown with her dance class. But it was during her senior year of high school that she would be presented with the opportunity to realize that she wanted to be a famous movie star.
After participating in her first casting, she was selected to play the role of a troubled young woman from a girls’ center. The movie that would let her know what she wanted to be was My Little Girl, released in the cinema in 1986.
But her parents did not agree with their daughter being an artist because they believed that Latinos did not have the possibility to shine in Hollywood. Jennifer tried to please them and enrolled in Baruch College, although this attempt lasted only a semester.
Determined to prepare to fulfill her dreams and without her parents’ approval, she eventually moved to Manhattan. Between singing, dancing and acting classes, a new stage in her life began.
Jennifer’s beginnings in show business
Although Jennifer Lopez’s goal was always the big screen, she had to go a long way that would make her develop skills and accumulate experience to become what she is today, an integral artist.
After the musicals Oklahoma and Jesus Christ, Superstar, she had the opportunity to tour Europe with a Broadway musical. Later she demonstrated her talents as a singer, dancer, and choreographer in a series in Japan.
In 1991, Jennifer Lopez was a backup dancer for the successful band New Kids on The Block. Shortly after, she managed to be a dancer in the program In Living Color broadcast on the Fox channel, being selected from more than 2000 applicants. Back in Los Angeles, she was also a dancer for the star Janet Jackson during her world tour in late 1993.
That same year, she worked as a professional actress in the drama film Lost in The Wild. Likewise, she signed with the CBS network to be a co-star in the series Second Chances.
For the next four years, Jennifer kept participating in movies and television series, most of which represented more failures than successes. But she did not stop and in 1997 the opportunity presented itself that catapulted her into the stratosphere and there was no going back.
The rise of J.Lo’s career
Jennifer won the national casting to play the Mexican singer Selena in the film of the same name. It was time for the world to meet the explosive and unique Diva from the Bronx. With this film, she earned her first million dollars and earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress.
With that participation, Jennifer Lopez became the highest paid Latin actress of that time and of course, she put herself in the sights of important producers and directors. From then on, the films, the good reviews and awards did not stop, however, she needed something more.
Taking advantage of her visibility, she knocked on some doors and approached several record labels. She finally caught the attention of Sony Music’s Tommy Mottola. By mid-1999 she was releasing her first album On the 6.
That first album was positioned in the top 10 of the Billboard and the single “If you had my love” became number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Without a doubt, J.Lo was marking the ground that she would make her own in the future.
Hustlers, Out of Sight, Enough, The Wedding Planner and The Cell are just a few of the many movies Jennifer has made. And only with her first 10 albums she sold more than 75 million copies. During her career she has accumulated close to 1000 nominations and 300 awards.
But more than numbers, it is important to note that Jennifer Lopez has currently established herself as a world icon and paved the way for other Latin stars to conquer Hollywood.
Jennifer Lopez beyond the spotlight
In addition to her life on stage and on the sets, Jennifer has dedicated herself to contributing to the well-being of others. Whether participating in UNICEF events, collaborating with the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, creating Foundations or being a UN spokesperson, this Latin diva has undoubtedly used her influence to help.
As if that were not enough, Jennifer has also played the role of businesswoman through the world of fashion and the design of perfume lines. But in the end, she confesses that the facet of her life that has made her most proud and that constitutes her greatest triumph has been that of being a mother.
Definitely, Jennifer Lopez is a true Latino icon in Hollywood! What do you think? Comment on our social media.