Jennifer Lynn Lopez was born in the Bronx, New York, and raised in the New York City borough's Castle Hill neighborhood. Lopez spent her entire academic career in Catholic schools. She financed singing and dancing lessons for herself from the age of 19.
After attending Baruch College for one semester, Lopez divided her time between working as a notary public in a legal office, dance classes, and dance performances in Manhattan night clubs. She had a small part in the 1987 film My Little Girl at the age of sixteen.
After months of auditioning for dance roles, Lopez was selected as a dancer for various rap music videos, and as a backup dancer for the New Kids on the Block. She gained her first regular high-profile job as a "Fly Girl" dancer on the television comedy program In Living Color from 1991-1993.
Soon after, Lopez became a backup dancer for Janet Jackson.
Lopez's debut album On the 6, a reference to the 6 subway line she used to take growing up in Castle Hill was released on June 1, 1999, and reached the top ten of the Billboard 200. The album featured the Billboard Hot 100 number-one lead single, "If You Had My Love," as well as the top ten hit "Waiting for Tonight."
The album also featured a Spanish language, Latin-flavored duet "No Me Ames" with Marc Anthony, who later would become her husband. "Let's Get Loud," the final single, earned Lopez a Grammy Award nomination in the "Best Dance Recording" category in 2001 Grammy Awards.
"Waiting for Tonight" was nominated for the same category the previous year. "No Me Ames" received two nominations at the 2000 Latin Grammy Awards — "Best Pop Duo/Group with Vocal Performance" and "Best Music Video."
Lopez's second album, J.Lo, was released on January 23, 2001 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. When Jennifer's film The Wedding Planner became a hit, she became the first actress-singer to have a film and an album at number one in the same week. The lead single, "Love Don't Cost a Thing," was her first number-one single in the U.S. and took her into the top five on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. She followed it up with "Play" which gave her another top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached number three in the UK.
Following the success of the re-release of J. Lo, Lopez decided to devote an entire album to the remixing effort, releasing J to tha L–O!: The Remixes, on February 5, 2002. This album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, becoming the first remix album in history to debut at the top on the chart.
Lopez released her third studio album, This Is Me... Then, on November 26, 2002 which reached number two on the Billboard 200 and spawned four singles: "Jenny from the Block" (featuring Jadakiss and Styles P), which reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100; "All I Have" (featuring LL Cool J), which spent multiple weeks at number one; "I'm Glad"; and "Baby I Love U!."
After a year away from music, Lopez released her fourth studio album, Rebirth, on March 1, 2005. It spawned the hit "Get Right," which reached the top 15 in the U.S. and became her second Platinum hit. Lopez was then featured on LL Cool J's single "Control Myself," which reached number four on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the UK Singles Chart. It was Lopez's first U.S. top ten hit in three years.
Lopez officially released her first full Spanish-language album, Como ama una Mujer, in March 2007. Her husband, singer Marc Anthony, produced most of the album with Estefano. The album peaked at number ten on the Billboard 200, number one on the U.S. Top Latin Albums for four straight weeks and on the U.S. Latin Pop Albums for seven straight weeks. The lead single, "Qué Hiciste" (Spanish for "What Did You Do"), was officially released to radio stations in January 2007. Lopez won an American Music Award as the Favorite Latin Artist in 2007.
Lopez released her fifth English studio album Brave on October 9, 2007, six months after Como Ama una Mujer was released. "Do It Well" was released as the lead single and reached the top 20 in many countries.
During her 2007 pregnancy Lopez had been writing her seventh studio album, Love?; release had been planned for Summer 2010. The project's official lead single, "Louboutins," had its radio debut on November 23, 2009, following the song's premiere and performance at the 2009 American Music Awards. late February 2010, it was confirmed that Lopez and Epic Records have parted ways.
In March 2010, Lopez signed with Island Def Jam, and is working on new material for Love? with RedZone Entertainment. In January 2011, Lopez released a new lead single titled "On the Floor" featuring Pitbull, it achieved worldwide success on the charts, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving Lopez her first top ten on the chart since "All I Have" in 2003. The album Love? was released on May 3, 2011.
In 2011, she and her third husband, Marc Anthony announced they were separating.