If 2011 simply marked Jennifer Lopez’s return to the top of the pop charts, that would have been a significant achievement alone, but the superstar’s resurgence tapped into every area of entertainment as the Jennifer Lopez brand turned everything it touched into gold.
The revitalization started with “American Idol.” Lopez signed on as a judge in the talent show’s first post-Simon Cowell year. Within weeks, it was “Simon who?” as Lopez’s judging style not only led “American Idol” to again be the top-rated show of the 2010-11 television season, but also gave the world a chance to see the mother of twins’ appealing, nurturing side, as well as her better-known sultry persona. She recently agreed to return for a second season of the hit program.
With “American Idol” as a springboard, in February Lopez dropped a single, “On the Floor,” featuring Pitbull. The club smash reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Lopez’s first Top 10 hit as a lead artist since 2003. “On the Floor,” from her seventh solo album “Love?” went on to sell more than 3 million downloads and re-established Lopez as a pop radio princess.
She recently finished filming “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” with Cameron Diaz and Elizabeth Banks, and is shooting “Parker,” a crime thriller directed by Taylor Hackford.
All the more remarkably, Lopez’s behind-the-scenes activity as a world class entrepreneur matches, if not surpasses, her skills in front of the camera. In August, she inked a fashion and lifestyle deal with Kohl’s department stores for an unprecedented 21 years, according to Vanity Fair. This is on top of her other endorsements and her staggering 17 perfume brands through Coty, which have earned her a combined $1 billion since 2002, according to the magazine.
Additionally, Lopez, ex-husband Marc Anthony and “American Idol” founder Simon Fuller are producing a talent competition, “Q’Viva: The Chosen,” which will focus on discovering top Latin talent.
Record label executive and “X Factor” judge Antonio “L.A.” Reid is ardent in his admiration of Lopez’s wide-ranging skills. “I am such a fan,” he told Vanity Fair. “I think she’s the Sophia Loren of our generation.”
Job title: Singer, actress, “American Idol” judge
Role models: Rita Moreno
Leisure pursuit: Interior decorating
Philanthropic passion: Boys and Girls Club of America