The multi- tal­ented Jen­nifer Lopez puts her fans first on her first global tour, as dis­cov­ers Even though things get hard, if you just hold on for a lit­tle bit, it’s go­ing to get bet­ter . . . you are go­ing to live again

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page - Nui Te Koha

Singer- ac­tress dances again

JEN­NIFER Lopez is a power hy­phen: singer- dancer- ac­tor- de­signer-per­fumer- judge and mother.

But there was al­ways a facet of show busi­ness that eluded her: a world tour.

Lopez says: ‘‘ With Twit­ter and Face­book, and be­ing able to in­ter­act with the fans and hear their thoughts di­rectly . . . it was the No. 1 ques­tion I was asked: Am I ever go­ing to tour and if I do tour, will I take it around the world?

‘‘ I thought af­ter eight al­bums, it’s some­thing I need to do for my fans and my­self.’’

She quit a very lu­cra­tive stint as an Amer­i­can Idol judge to fo­cus on telling the JLO story in a live song- and- dance spec­tac­u­lar. Lopez is a clas­sic rags- to- riches tale. She was born and raised in the Bronx, New York, to Puerto Ri­can par­ents.

Lopez, now 43, dreamed of be­ing a Hol­ly­wood star, but her par­ents said she was be­ing stupid.

She be­gan as a back- up dancer for Janet Jack­son and the sit­com In Liv­ing Color.

Soon af­ter, Lopez crossed over to movies, with break­through roles in Se­lena and Out of Sight, op­po­site Ge­orge Clooney.

She recorded her de­but al­bum On The 6 with hits Love Don’t Cost A Thing, If You Had My Love and Wait­ing For Tonight, in 1999.

Her abil­ity to move with the times has made JLo a true pop sur­vivor, with re­cent hits in­clud­ing On The Floor, I’m Into You and Goin’ In.

She has sold 70 mil­lion records.

Ear­lier this year, Lopez topped Forbes mag­a­zine’s 100 Most Pow­er­ful and In­flu­en­tial Celebri­ties in the World list.

But pro­fes­sional suc­cess has not spilled over into her per­sonal life.

Lopez has been mar­ried three times. She and third hus­band singer Marc An­thony split last July.

They have twins, Emme and Max, aged four.

Lopez is dat­ing Casper Smart, 25, a dancer and chore­og­ra­pher on her tour, which is ti­tled Dance Again.

She says the themes of the show re­flect the joy and pain of her life.

Lopez ex­plains: ‘‘ I’m in a new phase of my life right now, and I’ve been through a dif­fi­cult year.

‘‘ This past year was tough for per­sonal rea­sons, but the pro­fes­sional

side was re­ally, re­ally great. Part of the show is about not giv­ing up on love, al­ways get­ting back up when you fall down, and al­ways hav­ing that eter­nal hope.

‘‘ Even though things get hard, if you just hold on for a lit­tle bit, it’s go­ing to get bet­ter – you are go­ing to dance again, you are go­ing to live again, you are go­ing to love again.’’

She col­lab­o­rated with Jamie King, who has de­signed shows for Madonna, Brit­ney Spears and Ri­hanna.

Smart over­sees chore­og­ra­phy on the tour.

‘‘ Jamie puts the bells and whis­tles in the show and makes sure the pro­duc­tion runs smoothly,’’ Lopez says.

‘‘ Casper is def­i­nitely more the day- to­day per­son on the show. We all work re­ally well to­gether.

‘‘ They un­der­stand the vi­sion that I have, themes that are im­por­tant to me, and ev­ery­body falls into line with that.’’

Lopez says Smart brings vi­tal­ity to her per­for­mance.

He has also in­tro­duced up- and­com­ing dancers, in­clud­ing tal­ent from New Zealand, into the show.

‘‘ Casper brings a fresh­ness to cer­tain things,’’ Lopez adds. ‘‘ His point of view is a new take. ‘‘ It’s re­ally great to have that in­put be­cause we wanted to re­fresh a lot of the things we had been do­ing for years and years.’’

How­ever, there is one learn­ing curve Lopez is happy to take as it comes: moth­er­hood.

‘‘ It puts ev­ery­thing in per­spec­tive,’’ she says.

‘‘ You can be on the road, work­ing, and you need to be ful­filled as an in­di­vid­ual, but ev­ery­thing you do is still for them. Ev­ery­thing has that un­der­cur­rent of: ‘ Is it good for them?’ ’’

As Lopez speaks, her fo­cus is briefly in­ter­rupted by Max, who ap­pears to have the fit­ness bug al­ready.

‘‘ You want to go and hang out in the gym? What’s down there?’’ Lopez asks him.

‘‘ Don’t you want to go to Le­goland across the street?’’ she says softly.

‘‘ Let’s do that. Give me a sec­ond, OK?’’

Lopez breezes back into in­ter­view mode.

‘‘ Moth­er­hood has made me more self­less,’’ she says. ‘‘ And when you’re self­less in that way, you grow as a hu­man be­ing.

‘‘ Your spirit grows and you evolve to an­other level. That’s what chil­dren do for you.’’

Max and Emme have made Lopez ap­pre­ci­ate the con­cern she caused with her Hol­ly­wood dream.

She says: ‘‘ It was about where I grew up, and be­ing in the Bronx, and no­body around us did any­thing like that.

‘‘ My par­ents wanted me to do some­thing that was very safe.

‘‘ Now, hav­ing kids, I un­der­stand it more. But when you have a dream and you’re meant to do some­thing, there is noth­ing that can get in the way of stop­ping that.’’

She smiles: ‘‘ They got on board af­ter a while.’’ So did ev­ery­body. Lopez re­calls, with a sigh, the days she de­cided on a mu­sic ca­reer.

‘‘ That pe­riod was a mi­cro­cosm of what my ca­reer would turn out to be over and over again,’’ she says.

‘‘ When I started act­ing, get­ting cast in great movies, and work­ing with great di­rec­tors, I knew I wanted to make a record.

‘‘ Even my man­agers at the time said: ‘ I don’t think this is a smart idea. You can’t be a se­ri­ous ac­tress if you’re gonna sing. And you can’t be a se­ri­ous per­former or singer if you’re go­ing to act.’

‘‘ But I wanted to do it all. Ev­ery­thing.’’

JEN­NIFER LOPEZ Rod Laver Arena, De­cem­ber 11. On sale Au­gust 21, tick­etek. com

DO­ING IT ALL: ( clock­wise) JLo in her role as judge on Amer­i­can Idol with Phillip Phillips, Jes­sica Sanchez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jack­son; on the cover of Van­ity Fair US Septem­ber is­sue; and per­form­ing in her Dance Again world tour that kicked off in Panama City in June.

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