Jennifer Lynn Lopez (born July 24, 1969) is an American actress, businesswoman, dancer and recording artist. Often referred to as J.Lo, she is reportedly the highest earning actress of Latin descent. Born and raised in The Bronx, New York, she enrolled in singing and dancing classes as a child and grew up in a musical influenced household. She subsequently started her career as a fly girl on the television comedy program In Living Color and a back-up dancer for Janet Jackson.
Lopez rose to fame in the late 1990s after gaining recognition in the action-thriller Money Train (1995). Her first leading role was in the biographical film Selena (1997), which was her breakthrough role, earning her an ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress and Golden Globe nomination. She earned her second ALMA Award for her performance in Out of Sight (1998), which made her the highest-paid Latin actress. She has since appeared in various films including The Cell (2000), The Wedding Planner (2001), Maid in Manhattan (2002), Shall We Dance? (2004), Monster-in-Law (2005), The Back-up Plan (2010), and most recently, What to Expect When You're Expecting (2012).
In 1998, Lopez began recording her debut album and rose to prominence within the music industry after the release of On the 6 (1999), which spawned the hit singles "If You Had My Love" and "Waiting for Tonight". Her second album J.Lo (2001) reached number one on the Billboard 200 the same week her film, The Wedding Planner led the box office; the first person to achieve a number one film and album in the same week. It spawned the number-one single "I'm Real" which spent five weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 and "Love Don't Cost a Thing". She released J to tha L–O! The Remixes (2002), which became the first number-one remix album in the United States; her third and fourth studio albums, This Is Me... Then (2002) and Rebirth (2005) reached number two. In 2007 she released her first full Spanish album, Como ama una Mujer. Returning to music in 2011, she released her seventh album, Love? which spawned her most successful single "On the Floor", one of the best-selling singles of all time. By 2010, Lopez had amassed estimated sales of over 55 million records worldwide, Billboard ranked her as the 27th Artist of the 2000s decade.
In 2010, Lopez became a member of the judging panel for the American reality television competition American Idol. She was selected for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012. She led People en Español's list of "100 Most Influential Hispanics" in February 2007. That year, Lopez made the Forbes magazine's list of "The 20 Richest Women In Entertainment," ranking ninth. In 2012, Forbes placed her number one on their list of "100 Most Powerful and Influential Celebrities in the World".
She has appeared multiple times on The Hollywood Reporter's Annual Actress Salary List, and is the highest-paid Latin actress in Hollywood. She has parlayed her media fame into a fashion line and various perfumes with her celebrity endorsement. She has worked with L'Oreal since 1999. A fashion icon, several of her dresses have received considerable media attention, most notably the Jungle green Versace dress which she wore at the 43rd Grammy Awards in 2000—voted the fifth most iconic red carpet dress of all time. Outside of her work in the entertainment industry, Lopez advocates for human rights and vaccinations, and is a supporter of Children's Hospital Los Angeles. In 2011 she was named the most "Beautiful Person" by People magazine in its annual issue. As of 2012, her net worth is estimated to be $250 million—she has been named one of the wealthiest and most influential Hispanics in the United States. Lopez's personal life has also garnered media attention since the beginning of her career in the entertainment industry, particularly her high profiled relationships.