Early in 2000, Lopez was nominated for Best Dance Performance for her second hit single “Waiting for Tonight,” but lost the award to veteran diva Cher. In the summer of 2000, she starred in the science fiction-thriller The Cell, in which she plays a child psychologist helping to track a terrifying serial killer. The same year, she starred in Enough, a portrayal of spousal abuse.
The popularity of the multi-talented Lopez reached new heights in early 2001, when her album, J. Lo debuted at No. 1 on the pop charts, while her film, the romantic comedy The Wedding Planner, shot to the top spot at the box office in its first week of release. In December 2002, she performed another one-two punch with the release of the record This Is Me … Then and a starring role in the comedy Maid in Manhattan, which was a box office hit, if not a critical one. In 2003, she co-starred with Ben Affleck in the box office bomb, Gigli. Other projects included Jersey Girl (also with Affleck) and An Unfinished Life, in which she played a single mom taken in by her father-in-law played by Robert Redford. She also starred opposite Richard Gere in Shall We Dance?, a remake of the top-grossing Japanese flick.
Lopez married singer Marc Anthony in June 2004 at a private ceremony at her Los Angeles mansion. Returning to the big stage, Lopez has found time to join forces with her husband in 2006. She acted along side him in the film El Cantante. In the film, Anthony played Hector Lavoe, the internationally acclaimed salsa singer. True to life, Lopez played Puchi, Lavoe’s wife.
In 2010, Lopez decided to enter into a new phase in her career: she announced her plans to replace Ellen DeGeneres as the new female judge on the tenth season of American Idol, which had also just welcomed Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler as part of its celebrity judge panel.
Lopez returned to the hit reality TV show for its eleventh season, earning a reported $20 million, almost double what she had made when she first signed on. Her career skyrocketed again, however, her personal life was troubled; in July 2011, Lopez and Marc Anthony announced their plans to separate. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Lopez didn’t reveal the cause of the breakup, but said, “I loved myself enough to walk away.” With a new hit song out, the superstar refused to be deterred. “I am positive, determined to move forward with my life, bring up my babies, and do the best job I can as a mother, entertainer, and person.”
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