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
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.