HELLO AMERICA!—The beautiful, talented Jennifer Lopez nearly shed tears when discussing the last weeks of “American Idol,” a weekly TV fare that for six years added so much to her becoming a more sensitive mother, friend as well as a growing human being.
“Working with well grounded, learned talents as Harry Connick and Keith Urban who became more like brothers, I quickly realized how fortunate I have been and am,” she said.
Jennifer, as a youngster growing up in the Castle Hill section of the South Bronx offered her many reasons to make the best life for herself possible. “I really went wild listening to Afro-Caribbean rhythms like salsa, bachata, merengue and of course pop, hip-hop and R&B. I visualized myself on stage performing and singing. It’s so healthy, important to have dreams because it reinforces that energy inside you which gives you a reason to keep going no matter how tough it is.”
Lopez confesses being amused when hearing how much she enjoyed growing up in the Bronx. “Hey, it was no different than trying to survive in East L.A, or South Philly or some rough hard life section in Chicago or Detroit. When you don’t have a choice you adapt and make the most of it. Fortunately, I had a family full of ambition and talent, one of my sisters, Lynda is a New York news show correspondent, another sister, Leslie was also musically inclined. So, we all had dreams of an exciting future and better life.”
At the age of five, Jennifer began taking singing and dancing lessons. Aside from being a budding entertainer, Jennifer was also a Catholic schoolgirl, attending eight years at an all-girl catholic high school named “Holy Family,” located in the Bronx.
At school, Jennifer was an amazing athlete and participated in track and field and tennis. “When I turned eighteen, my mom and I disagreed about my future plans as an entertainer, so I moved out of my parent’s home. I was able to get a law firm job while taking dancing jobs at night.”
After high school, she briefly worked in a law office. During this time, she continued dance classes at night. Her big break came when she was offered a job as a fly girl on the 20th Century Fox hit “In Living Color” in 1990. “I really learned a lot when I was one of Janet Jackson’s backup dancers. It was a great experience, one I’ll never forget.”
“My first major film was Gregory Nava’s My Family. After that everything in my professional and personal life shot straight towards the moon; before I knew it I was signing a contract to portray slain Selena Quintanilla in the film ‘Selena.’ That was in 1997 and I’ve been working ever sense.” Jennifer noted that even though her six year run with American Idol is extremely sad, “Everyday I’m receiving film scripts, TV offers from everywhere,” she said, ” It’s very gratifying to know that people enjoy what you do. I’m one lucky lady, don’t you think?”