Like any mom, Jennifer Lopez is hoping to spend a little quality time with her kids this summer. For most kids, that means a trip to the water park. For four- year-old twins Max and Emme, that means joining Mom on tour. On July 14thin Montreal, J-Lo will kick off her Mega Tour with Enrique Iglesias, reggaeton duo Wisin & Yandel and a killer wardrobe by designer Zuhair Murad. Little Max and Emme might prefer hanging out on the beach in the Hamptons, but they’ll probably manage to have fun with Mom and the gang on the tour bus.
The Mega Tour is just one of the projects Lopez is pursuing after two years on American Idol. She decided against committing to a third year on Idol, as Lopez explained that she just has too much going on. After the Mega Tour, Lopez has hinted at the possibility of a world tour.
The tour is just a continuation of a string of career highlights for Lopez. Last year, in addition to her reported $20 million payday for the second season of Idol, Lopez also released her CD Love? The first single out of the gate was “On the Floor,” featuring Pitbull, and it zoomed to No. 1 in 18 countries. The music video became the most-watched video by a female artist on YouTube, with 488 million hits. One of the big attractions of the video was Lopez’s sizzling hot wardrobe, which included a shimmering crystal bodysuit designed by Zohair Murad, a Lebanese designer who has outfitted Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, Vanessa Williams and Taylor Swift.
Lopez has always managed to push the fashion envelope. The green Versace gown held together with double-stick tape and a prayer that Lopez wore to the 2000 Grammy Awards was only the beginning. Twelve years later, Lopez walked the red carpet at the Oscars wearing another low-cut stunner of a gown that left spectators wondering if they were seeing more of Lopez than the singer/actress counted on. On this past season’s “Idol” finale, Lopez again had the fashion-loving fans buzzing about her ensemble—a white, studded Versace bra and sequined harem pants with a “drop crotch.” The wardrobe that Murad has designed for Lopez’s Mega Tour promises to be just as jaw dropping. Lopez first became a Murad fangirl a few years ago when she wore a strapless silver gown to the Met Ball at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
But Lopez hasn’t built her empire solely on her fashion sense. She has two big-screen offerings this year. What to Expect When You’re Expecting, in which Lopez plays a photographer hoping to adopt a child, has already hit the theaters. Later this year, Lopez will co-star with Jason Statham in the crime thriller Parker. Hopefully, it will do as well for Lopez as an earlier crime thriller she appeared in, Out of Sight, with George Clooney. On the animation front, Lopez has voiced a female sabre-tooth tiger, Shira, for the movie Ice Age: Continental Drift.
Lopez’s production company, Nuyorican, has several other film and TV production projects in development, including a rom-com, Taming Ben Taylor. Lopez mined box office gold in the same genre previously with The Wedding Planner and Maid in Manhattan. On the TV front, Lopez is developing a teen television comedy, The Amigas Sweet 15 Club. Lopez has even tried her hand at reality TV with South Beach Tow on TruTV. The former Fly Girl on In Living Color has also created and produced Dancelife, a reality series following the lives of young dancers in L.A., which aired a few years ago.
Another ambitious project, Q’Viva! had Lopez working with her ex Marc Anthony and director/choreographer Jamie King, as they travel all over Latin America searching for talented singers, dancers and musicians. The chosen artists were brought back to L.A. to be a part of a live show—a celebration of the greatest Latin music and culture. Q’Viva! airs in Spanish on Univision and in English on Fox.
Lopez has always been involved in a number of charities. She and her sister Lynda started the Maribel Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the health and welfare of women and children. The Maribel Foundation has partnered with Gillette’s Venus Goddess Fund for Education. The foundation is also working with the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles on a program that will bring medical expertise into underserved areas. Lopez is the National Spokeswoman for the Girls and Boys Clubs of America. While in Panama, Lopez visited a children’s hospital and donated medical equipment.
Jenny from the Block can now buy the block, and the entire village for that matter, but she has always remained true to her Latin roots. The National Council of LaRaza, the largest national Latino advocacy group, named her Entertainer of the Year at their annual ALMA awards.
The Bronx-born Lopez has had the chance to work with some of the best in music and film. Lady Gaga has collaborated with Lopez on two tracks on “Love?”—“Hypnotico” and “Invading My Mind.” “I’m Into You” features rapper L’il Wayne. In film, the list is impressive—Oliver Stone, Francis Ford Coppola, Stephen Soderburgh and Michael Apted. She’s flirted with George Clooney while trapped in a car trunk, traded barbs with “monster-in-law” Jane Fonda, danced with Richard Gere and romanced Ralph Fiennes.
It seems Lopez has done it all and has it all—but when it comes to her kids, she sounds just like any other mother you might talk to on the beach. (Lopez and the twins’ father, Marc Anthony, separated in July 2011 after seven years of marriage.) When asked how she would feel it Max and/or Emme wanted to go into show business, Lopez seemed pretty firm that she wanted her kids to have a college degree. In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, she added, “I don’t want them to be in the business at a young age. I just don’t think they need that burden, that pressure,” she says. “They should have a normal life—go to school, play, grow up. They should have a family life, as solid a foundation as I can give them. If they want to go off and be artists or singers or dancers or pilots or architects or anything—then they have my full support.”