Jenny From the Block: The Life and Loves of J.Lo

Throughout the years, Jennifer Lopez has managed to stay on everyone’s radar. With many high-profile romances not resulting in a happy ending, people always wonder who she is dating and if it will work out. Having been married three times and engaged five times, J.Lo has had a wild love life.

Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez / Jennifer Lopez / Jennifer Lopez, A.Rod / Keke Palmer, Cardi B, Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart.

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Today she is once again dating one of Hollywood’s biggest names, Ben Affleck. Although we don’t know if this relationship will be her last, we can only hope she finally finds the one. J.Lo has said she is not giving up on love, so let’s take a look back at her dating history, from her marriages to engagements and more.

Dancing Her Way to the Top

Born in the Bronx, Jennifer Lopez began her career as a dancer. Growing up, she appeared in different stage musicals and various music videos. In 1990, she won a national competition and earned a spot dancing on the popular Fox comedy television series, In Living Color, as one of the “Fly Girls.” It was a dream come true for her, and it opened many doors to the acting world.

Jennifer Lopez is performing onstage.

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After landing the role on In Living Color, Lopez got a series of small acting jobs. People would always talk about her star quality and how she never complained whenever she went on auditions. After about four seasons of dancing on TV, Lopez left to work as a backup dancer for Janet Jackson. She was scheduled to go on tour with Jackson but opted to pursue an acting career instead.

David Cruz

Jennifer Lopez and David Cruz were high school sweethearts. They attended prom together and dated for nearly a decade. Cruz was truly head over heels for Lopez throughout their years-long romance. He always supported her dreams as she quickly rose to fame. The soft-spoken and kind-hearted man would do anything for her and let her take the lead.

Jennifer Lopez and David Cruz attend an event.

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Cruz would accompany her to many high-profile events, including the L.A. premiere of Money Train in 1995. He even worked as a production assistant on her film with Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson. However, the couple went their separate ways right before she landed her iconic role in Selena. Sadly, Cruz passed away in 2020 when he was just 51 years old.

Wesley Snipes

Right after her big breakup, Lopez was linked to Wesley Snipes. The two were costars in the movie Money Train, and Snipes made advances while they were filming. He was openly flirty with her and tried to date her. Snipes was always flirting with Lopez, but she brushed it off as friendly flirtation between costars. At first, it was completely harmless.

Wesley Snipes and Jennifer Lopez are against each other in the boxing ring.

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However, Snipes’s advances became a little more serious. When the cast would go out together, Snipes would drive people home, making sure to drop Lopez off last. He tried to kiss her once, and she said, “Wesley, please, I’m not interested in you like that.” We guess he backed off after she said she wasn’t interested, but the press stretched the truth by making it seem like they were an item.

Her Breakout Role

Lopez was an up-and-coming star in Hollywood after dancing on TV and acting in Money Train. However, it wasn’t until 1997 that she got her breakout role. Lopez landed the role of Selena in the biopic of the same name. She went through an intense auditioning process despite previously working with the film’s director on My Family. She seized the opportunity and got to show off her Latin roots.

Jennifer Lopez as Selena.

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Lopez described it as the role of a lifetime because Selena Quintanilla was her idol. She reportedly earned $1 million from the movie, making her the highest-paid Hispanic actress in history. After finishing the film, Lopez recorded the song “Vivir Sin Ti (Living Without You)” in Spanish, and her manager sent it to Sony Music. After hearing the demo, they were automatically interested in signing her if she could sing in English instead.

Ojani Noa

In the late ‘90s, J.Lo met Ojani Noa, an aspiring performer, when he was a waiter at a restaurant in Miami. The two quickly started dating and got married in February 1997. However, their marriage was short-lived. Barely one year after they said their vows, they got a divorce in January 1998. Because their marriage was didn’t last long, Lopez faced many legal issues.

Ojani Noa and Jennifer Lopez are on the red carpet.

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Following the divorce, Lopez hired Noa to manage her restaurant, Madres, in 2002. She ended up firing him just six months later because he found other work. Due to her massive success, Noa is forbidden to share any details of their marriage because it would violate their confidentiality agreement. While it didn’t work out, Lopez has only said nice things about her marriage to Noa.

Switching Things Up

Throughout 1997, Lopez took on many movie roles starring alongside big names, including Ice Cube, Sean Penn, Billy Bob Thornton, and Jon Voight. Lopez was passionate about singing, so by 1999, she released her debut single, “If You Had My Love,” and prepared for her first album. Everything was happening so quickly for Lopez, and she became the first artist to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 since Brittney Spears did with “Baby One More Time.”

Jennifer Lopez is performing onstage.

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Lopez’s debut album was named On the 6 in reference to the NYC Subway rail line connecting her home in the Bronx to her work in Manhattan. People wondered why she would risk launching a music career when her acting career was doing well. However, critics were shocked when the album made her even more popular. The third single from the album, “Waiting for Tonight,” is considered her best song.

Tommy Mottola

While their romance was never confirmed, Lopez was linked to Tommy Mottola, which started her decades-long feud with Mariah Carey. In 1998, Mariah Carey was married to Mottola, the same year Lopez divorced Noa. During the divorce, Lopez left Sony Music as Mottola started to invest more in her career.

Tommy Mottola and Jennifer Lopez at the red carpet.

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The press started to spread rumors that they were dating, causing a rift between her and Carey. Things have been tense between them ever since, and Carey has pretended she never heard of Lopez. It’s pretty bizarre, but that’s what happens when two divas battle it out.

The Green Versace Dress Moment

By the end of 1999, Lopez had successfully transitioned from film star to pop star. She joined the select few to achieve this feat, becoming the first since Vanessa Williams. Because of her rising music career, Lopez, accompanied by then-boyfriend Sean Combs (P. Diddy), attended the Grammy Awards in the iconic green plunging Versace dress.

Jennifer Lopez wears the Green Versace dress.

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This dress showed off her killer body and generated lots of controversy and media attention. Pictures of Lopez in this gown were downloaded from the Grammy website over half a million times in just 24 hours. Lopez had no idea it would be such a big deal, but it helped her get back into acting later that year.

Sean Combs

Lopez began dating hip-hop mogul Sean Combs, aka Puff Daddy, before he changed his name to P. Diddy. They met in 1999 on the set of a music video and were on and off until 2001. During their relationship, Combs slept with other women, and he was arrested. Although she never caught him, she knew he was cheating.

Jennifer Lopez attends the MTV Music Awards.

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While Lopez exposed Combs’s cheating, in a 2017 interview, he said she was one of his great loves. The couple remains friendly and embrace each other when they see each other backstage. It must have been hard to watch him go through a trial for possession of a stolen weapon after leaving the scene of a shooting in an NYC nightclub.

Return to the Screen and the Recording Studio

In 2000, Lopez returned to the big screen starring in the psychological thriller The Cell opposite Vincent D’Onofrio. During that time, she was also recording her second album, and she decided to change her image. Lopez became a sex symbol after the Versace dress moment, so she changed her appearance to match.

Jennifer Lopez attends ‘The Cell’ Premiere.

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Lopez started going by J.Lo, something fans often called her, and she used the name as the title of her second album. In 2001, Lopez debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 for her second album. It was a commercial success, and she proved she could do both music and acting. During that week, The Wedding Planner premiered, and it was a Box office success.

Cris Judd

While filming the music video for her single “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” Lopez met Cris Judd. She had just broken up with Combs, and Judd was one of the backup dancers. Things moved quickly between them, and they tied the knot by September 2001.

Jennifer Lopez weds Cris Judd.

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Sadly, the couple’s marriage was over by June 2002, and their divorce was finalized the following year. Judd said, “Things just didn’t work out.” They don’t know why their relationship didn’t work, but they are still very friendly with each other. Lopez seems to have a thing for backup dancers, as we will find out later.

Launching a Clothing Line

Between her album release and busy filming schedule, Lopez found the time to launch J.Lo by Jennifer Lopez, her clothing and accessory company. She felt voluptuous women were ignored in the fashion industry, so she wanted to create clothes that every woman could wear.

Jennifer Lopez promotes her J.Lo clothing line.

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Her product range included swimwear, fragrances, eyewear, jewelry, hats, gloves, and scarves, to name a few. It was a massive success in the first few years, selling $175 million worth of products. But Lopez eventually closed the label and started a line with the U.S. retailer Kohls.

Declining on the Charts

After several months, the album J.Lo was declining on the charts. This caused Mottola to recruit Ja Rule to create an urban-oriented version of her single, “I’m Real.” This led to the release of “I’m Real (Murder Remix),” which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule are performing onstage.

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The album J.Lo was reissued with the new remix, and it became the best-selling album of her career with 3.8 million copies sold in the U.S. and 12 million units moved worldwide. Seeing the success of the remix, Lopez released further remixes to keep the momentum going.

Ben Affleck

Lopez and Ben Affleck nicknamed “Bennifer,” met while filming the movie Gigli. The couple got engaged in November 2002 but split up just four days before their wedding. Lopez was distraught and questioned if she belonged in the business anymore. She felt like her relationship self-destructed in front of the world.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez attend an event.

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It took her two years to pick herself up again. Lopez lost her sense of self in the relationship, and it helped her learn what she wanted from a partner. Affleck ended up marrying Jennifer Garner just a year after his split from Lopez. That was also hard for her to watch because she truly loved Affleck, but that wasn’t the last time they would get together.

Kicking Butt and Taking Names

After opening her restaurant Madres in 2002, Lopez starred in the thriller Enough. Critics described it as a “kick-butt, female empowerment” movie. For the film, Lopez practiced Krav Maga, but she was overworked and suffered a nervous breakdown. Not many people knew about this; they only saw what she showed the world.

Jennifer Lopez in a scene from Enough.

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Lopez recalls feeling weird and sick, but she refused therapeutic help or medication. She didn’t want to move, talk, or do anything, which was hard for people around her to watch. She was doing too much with the restaurant, the film, and recording her third album, and it took a toll on her well-being.

Box Office Flop

2003 might have been the year that Lopez met Affleck, but it was also the year she filmed the worst movie of her career. The movie Gigli is considered one of the worst films of all time, and it was a box office bomb. The film’s poor reception was attributed to negative press preceding its release.

Jennifer Lopez as Ricki in the movie Gigli.

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The film was also overshadowed by Lopez and Affleck’s engagement. Lopez later said this was the lowest point in her career. The tabloid press was becoming very popular around this time, and she was its poster child and target. It was a challenging time in her life.

Marc Anthony

Lopez and Marc Anthony first met years before they started dating, while backstage at a Paul Simon Broadway show in 1998. They reportedly briefly dated right after Lopez’s first marriage ended in 1998. When Lopez ended things with Affleck, she reconnected with Anthony and believed they were meant to end up together.

Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez in New York.

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Less than a week after Anthony’s divorce from his previous wife was finalized, he and Lopez got married in a small, secret ceremony in 2004. The wedding was apparently a surprise to the family, and they were told it was just an afternoon party at the couple’s house. They went public as a couple the following year.

Taking a Break

After her career took a nosedive because of the movie Gigli, Lopez starred alongside Richard Gere in Shall We Dance? The film was a box office success, and people considered this a rebound for Lopez’s career after Gigli. While she was feeling good about the positive press, Lopez put her career on pause.

Alt Jennifer Lopez, Richard Gere, and Susan Sarandon attend the film premiere.

Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images

She took some time for herself and her new husband, and she said it was the best thing for her because she hadn’t taken a break since she rose to fame. After a few months of getting herself together, Lopez returned and released her fourth album, Rebirth. She felt like it was a new beginning for her career.

The Comeback

Once Lopez came back from her hiatus, she worked hard to keep her career on the rise. In 2005, she starred alongside Jane Fonda in Monster-in-Law, for which she received a $15 million salary. However, she wasn’t too happy that the film’s marketing played up her Gigli flop and tarnished tabloid image.

Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez in a scene from the film.

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Despite the harsh marketing, the film was a huge success. A few months later, Lopez starred alongside Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman in An Unfinished Life, a drama based on the novel of the same name, which was a turnaround for her career.

Career Setbacks

In 2007, Lopez and Anthony costarred in the biographical film El Cantante. The film is about the life of late salsa singer Hector Lavoe and his wife. Lopez felt her performance was Oscar-worthy, but she didn’t think Academy members saw it. However, the movie didn’t do well at the box office.

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony on the movie set.

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That same year, Lopez and Anthony co-headlined a North American tour. While on tour, Lopez released her sixth album, but it was her lowest-charting album worldwide. Every person’s career has peaks and valleys, Lopez was going through a low point in hers.

Welcoming Twins

After announcing her pregnancy in November 2007, Lopez gave birth to fraternal twins Maximilian and Emme. People magazine reportedly paid $6 million for the first photographs of the twins, making them the most expensive celebrity pictures ever taken at the time. Lopez decided to take some time off to be with her babies.

Jennifer Lopez and her children attend an event.

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In late 2009, she came back with two singles from her seventh album, “Louboutins” and “Fresh Out of the Oven.” However, the songs didn’t make it onto the Billboard charts, which led to her departure from Epic Records. She wanted to release her seventh album under another label.

Judging American Idol

When Ellen DeGeneres left American Idol, rumors circulated that Lopez would take her place on the judging panel. During this time, Lopez and Anthony were being considered for The X Factor to appeal to Latin and international markets. However, in September 2010, it was announced that Lopez would join the American Idol judges.

Jennifer Lopez as a judge in ‘American Idol.’

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

It was mutually beneficial because Lopez wanted to revive her career, and American Idol producers believed Lopez and Steven Tyler’s new positions would strengthen viewership. L’Oréal Paris named Lopez as their Global Ambassador to coincide with American Idol and the release of her new album to further promote her comeback.

Split From Marc Anthony

Just as her career was on the rise again, Lopez and Anthony announced their divorce in July 2011. Lopez said she knew quickly that their marriage wasn’t the right thing because it was just a band aid for her breakup with Affleck. Lopez had a hard time finding forgiveness after the divorce.

Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez perform on the stage of American Idol.

Photo by Kevin Winter/American Idol 2011/Getty Images

It wasn’t the dream marriage she hoped for, and it was easier to keep resenting Anthony and feeling disappointed. However, Lopez knows Anthony will be in her life forever because he is the father of their children. It was hard, but she finally got to a good place with him so they could co-parent.

Beau “Casper” Smart

As we said earlier, it seems that Lopez has a thing for her backup dancers. Just four months after separating from Anthony, Lopez started dating Beau “Casper” Smart, her backup dancer. He was working on her tour, and they seemed happy. But people had an issue with 18-year age difference.

Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart attend an event.

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Lopez later hired Smart as the creative director for her Las Vegas Residency. The couple had some trouble in 2014 when a gossip site claimed to have evidence of Smart exchanging photos and messages with a model. They took a break from each other that year and continued to be on and off before splitting for good in 2016.

Riding a Career High

As a new judge on American Idol, Lopez’s career hit an all-time high. She was simultaneously the Global Ambassador for L’Oréal Paris and Venus, so you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing her face on an ad. Lopez also released her comeback single “On the Floor.” The song topped the charts across the globe and was the most successful single of the year.

Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban are on the stage of American Idol.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

People thought her recording career was over, but she proved them wrong. Around this time, Lopez launched another fragrance, and it was her most successful fragrance launch. She was riding a positive wave in her career, and she wanted to keep the momentum going.

Returning to Acting

Lopez took some time off to focus on her music and other career ventures, so she put acting on the back burner for a few years. However, in 2012, Lopez returned to the big screen in What to Expect When You’re Expecting, alongside Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks, and Dennis Quaid.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting publicity shot.

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The movie was a hit, and Lopez felt more confident about taking acting roles again. While she had a few successful movies after her big Gigli flop, she wasn’t entirely confident to go back to acting for a while until this film.

She Owed Them One More Album

Although Lopez left Epic Records in 2010, she owed them one more album. Therefore, Lopez released Dance Again… the Hits in 2012. She previously announced that she had fulfilled her contract, but there was a problem, and she needed to give them more music.

Jennifer Lopez performs on the ‘Dance Again’ world tour.

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At the time, Lopez was going through her divorce, so she felt that “Dance Again” came at the perfect time. Her other single, “Goin’ In,” from the Step Up Revolution soundtrack and “Dance Again,” reached the top of the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs. It was the boost she needed during the challenging time.

Drake

In 2016, Lopez and Drake connected backstage after attending her All I Have show in Las Vegas. They were the real deal, and Drake pulled out all the stops to impress her. He rented out an L.A. Church for a winter wonderland-themed prom where they were crowned king and queen.

Drake attends an event / Jennifer Lopez attends an event.

Photo by Kevin Mazur, AMA2016, WireImage, Getty Images / Barcroft Media, Getty Images

While things seemed to be going well, Lopez and Drake ended things because the passion died down. He was leaving for a European tour, and she was busy with her Las Vegas show. He wrote about her in one of his songs and referenced her next relationship.

Is There Anything J.Lo Can’t Do?

From founding a mobile phone retailer catering to the Latino community to producing an ABC hit series, Lopez was on a roll. She was taking every opportunity coming her way, including performing for the Turkmenistan president in 2013. However, she received a lot of backlash because he was the leader of an authoritarian regime, so she issued a public apology.

Claudia Leitte, Jennifer Lopez, and Pitbull wave to the fans at the World Cup.

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Lopez also returned for a third season to judge American Idol, and she was ranked the fifth highest-paid woman in music in 2013. The following year, Lopez recorded the official song for the 2014 World Cup with Pitbull and Claudia Leitte, and the song was played everywhere.

Television Ventures and Residency

After finishing her Dance Again World Tour, Lopez began recording her eighth studio album. It experienced lackluster sales despite collaborations with Iggy Azalea, Pitbull, and French Montana. Although her album wasn’t a hit, she released her first book that year, and it was a New York Times best-seller.

Jennifer Lopez as Harlee Santos in ‘Shades of Blue.’

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Lopez decided to turn her attention to the small screen and starred in the NBC crime drama, Shades of Blue. The show was the network’s most-watched Thursday debut in seven years. While the show was a success and renewed for two more seasons, Lopez also signed a three-year contract for a Las Vegas residency. She was one busy woman!

Alex Rodriguez

Lopez and the former New York Yankee met in 2005 when she was still married to Marc Anthony. They attended a baseball game, and Lopez said there was weird electricity when they shook hands. Over ten years later, the two reconnected when they bumped into each other at a restaurant. A.Rod made the first move and asked her out to dinner.

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez attend an event.

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They made their red-carpet debut in 2017 and had a solid relationship. Lopez and A.Rod blended their families and bought a home together. Things were going well for the couple, and everyone enjoyed seeing them together at events.

Getting the Recognition That She Deserved

In 2019, Lopez starred and produced the film Hustlers. The film was inspired by a true story, following a group of Manhattan strippers who con rich men. Lopez’s portrayal in the movie garnered such positive reviews from critics, and people said it was the best acting performance of her career.

Keke Palmer, Cardi B, Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, and Lili Reinhart attend ‘Hustlers’ Premiere.

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The film gave Lopez her highest opening weekend at the box office and garnered her nominations for Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. She was finally getting the recognition she wanted for her acting career, and it was a massive milestone.

The Best Super Bowl Halftime Show

For Super Bowl LIV, Lopez and Shakira performed the halftime show. It was one of the best halftime performances in a long time, and Lopez’s daughter Emme sang in the show. The production value was top-notch, and people raved about it online. It received five Primetime Emmy nominations and won one.

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez perform onstage.

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The show also received other awards like Best Live Performance at the 2021 Premios Nuestra Tierra. Lopez had five costume changes, and many people were happy because it was an improvement over previous halftime shows. The performance was also an ode to Latin pride and cultural diversity.

Fourth Time’s the Charm?

In March 2019, Lopez and A.Rod announced their engagement after dating for two years. This was her fourth engagement, and people really believed this would be the one that stuck. The couple was so in love, and they made blending families look easy. Lopez and A.Rod were always gushing about each other on social media and in the press.

A close-up on Lopez engagement ring / Lopez and A.Rod go out for dinner.

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People anticipated that their wedding would be epic. However, due to the pandemic, they had to postpone it multiple times. At the beginning of 2021, Lopez was spotted without her engagement ring, and the couple said they were working through some things. Sadly, in April 2021, the couple officially announced their split.

On to Bigger and Better Things

Lopez is an ageless beauty, so she launched a skincare line in January 2021. The collection debuted at Sephora, featuring serums, a glowing mask, SPF, creams, a cleanser, and eye cream. Lopez said she had been thinking about this for 20 years, and she is passionate about skincare.

Jennifer Lopez performs onstage.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In that same month, Lopez performed at the presidential inauguration. She also signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce a range of films and television shows. Lopez keeps looking for her next project because she likes to be busy and hustle.

How Old Is Jennifer Lopez?

Although she doesn’t look a day over 40, Lopez recently turned 52 in July 2021. The actress/singer/dancer/businesswoman is a force to be reckoned with because she never ages, and she is not slowing down anytime soon. Lopez credits her youthful look to working out daily, taking care of her skin, and eating lots of protein.

Jennifer performs at Times Square.

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Lopez also said she never sunbathes and is a firm believer in SPF. She also doesn’t have alcohol or caffeine, so she must be superhuman. Despite her hectic schedule, Lopez needs 10 hours of sleep and meditates for 20 minutes when she wakes up. If this is how you stay young, sign us up.

Who Is Jennifer Lopez Dating?

A month after her breakup from A.Rod, Lopez was spotted with Ben Affleck again. Rumors started to swirl about a “Bennifer 2.0.” The couple went on vacation together in Montana, and things seemed more serious. They were seen working out together, and sources said Affleck was putting in extra time to make “Bennifer” last.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in a private yacht.

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Right after her 52nd birthday, Lopez and Affleck made their relationship Instagram official. Affleck had been seen with Lopez’s mom, and she moved back to L.A. to be closer to him. These days they are seen everywhere together, and it seems like they are looking to move in with each other. Maybe this is the relationship that will last.

How Much Is Jennifer Lopez Worth?

Between her music and acting career and her many business ventures, Lopez’s net worth is an estimated $150 million. She has appeared in nearly 30 films throughout her long career, released eight studio albums, had a series of world tours, and earned money from her Las Vegas residency.

A billboard featuring pop superstar Jennifer Lopez.

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Lopez also pulled in millions from endorsements with brands like Versace and DSW. She went from Fly Girl to flying on private jets and living the luxurious life. While she works hard for her money, Lopez has suffered because of her career in the past. Just because her life seems fabulous, there are downsides to everything.

Lopez Cares About Philanthropy

With a net worth so significant, one could only hope that people like Lopez give back to the community. Even at the beginning of her career, she was heavily involved in charitable activities following the September 11 attacks. She also launched the Lopez Family Foundation with her sister in 2009.

Jennifer Lopez and her sister Lynda Lopez attend an event.

Photo by Mike Moore/Getty Images

Throughout her career, Lopez has raised about $1 million for HIV/AIDS research and is an active supporter of LGBTQ+ rights. She cares about the world and wants to make it a better place with the help of her fellow celebrities.

What Will She Do Next?

While Lopez slowed down for a bit because of the pandemic, she is excited to get back to work. With her rekindled romance, Lopez is happy with everything going on in her life. She will star opposite Owen Wilson in Marry Me, which is supposed to be released in 2022.

Owen Wilson and Jennifer Lopez at the movie set.

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Lopez has many projects coming up, mostly in film, as she will move more towards producing rather than acting, but we hope she releases some more music because she has been killing it lately. The future is bright for Lopez, and you never know what big move she will take next.