Fifty years ago today, Jennifer Lopez arrived on this earth. And who could have known that this little girl would one day walk in the halls of fame in music, film, fashion and business? For while Jennifer – also known as JLo, Jenny From The Block and, once upon a time, one half of Bennifer – may never have become the world’s most acclaimed actress, or the singer best known for vocals, she has carved a niche for herself as one of the world’s most successful, and wealthy, all-rounders.
As she celebrates this major milestone, here are just some of the things that make Jennifer Lopez an icon.
Some frankly iconic acting roles
After coming to mainstream attention on US television’s In Living Colour, Jennifer continued her rise with performances in films like Anaconda and the much-loved biopic Selena. But she moved onto bigger things in the Noughties through a series of high-profile lead roles in hit rom-coms like The Wedding Planner and Maid In Manhattan. Trinkets like Oscars and Emmys have eluded her, but she’s managed something rare in Hollywood: longevity. As many actresses turn fifty and face being typecast as the housewife, she has resisted ageism and will next star alongside Cardi B, Lizzo and Constance Wu as a stripper robbing the rich in Hustlers.
…some equally iconic musical releases
2019 isn’t just the year Jennifer turns 50: it’s also the 20th anniversary of the release of her first album, On the 6. Named after the number 6 train she used to catch into the city from The Bronx in New York, it was an immediate hit, with debut single If You Had My Love beginning her long-term relationship with the mid-video dance break. Other hits – Waiting For Tonight, Get Right and the iconic Love Don’t Cost A Thing – have followed ever since.
Jennifer Lopez basically invented Google image search
Jennifer solidified her status as a fashion icon in the making when she showed up at the Grammys in a plunging Versace gown. The interest was so major that Google, then only a text-based search engine, decided that they needed to branch out into Google Images. That’s right: Jennifer Lopez looked so good, they had to create Google Images.
Earlier this year, her sartorial prowess was rewarded with the Icon Award at the CFDAs, America’s most respected fashion award ceremony.
She also single-handedly revived the celebrity fragrance market
In 1998, Lopez announced a lifestyle brand that would include, among other things, a fragrance. Glow hit shelves in 2002, becoming the biggest selling perfume in America and inspiring several spin-offs in her range throughout the years: the success of the endeavor is widely considered to be responsible for the resurrection of the lucrative celebrity-endorsed fragrance market, and Beyonce, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga all following in Lopez’s footsteps.
She bought us the celebrity couple portmanteau
Nowadays, seeing celebrity couple’s names combined as a portmanteau are ten-a-penny but Lopez was the one to bring the concept global. Her relationship with actor Ben Affleck inspired journalists to abbreviate their names to the more catchy Bennifer. Get it? Their love ended in 2004, but their legacy shows its head each time a new celebrity couple has their names combined in print.
So many happy returns, Jennifer. As we can see, you’ve had a busy few years, so here’s hoping you get a much-needed chill out today…
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Credit: Getty Images
Jennifer and Ben Affleck, during a relationship that earned them the moniker of Bennifer