Mega-star Jennifer Lopez has been on a massive promotional blitz in recent days to drum up interest and more importantly sales of her latest album release AKA. Judging from early sales indicators, AKA is poised to be DOA. According to music industry watchers, AKA is projected to register between 30,000 and 40,000 units in its debut week. Compared to Lopez’s last studio project called Love? which was coined a flop and registered a paltry 80,000 units moved in its first week of sales. To further compare past projects, Jennifer Lopez’s 1999 début album On The 6 made a splash début with 112,000 copies sold hitting triple platinum status.
Did J-Lo see this coming and did the multi-hypenate performer go into media overdrive with a string of unprecedented television and radio appearances in an attempt to save her latest project? Within the past week, Jennifer Lopez has been making the rounds of press stops and remotes for radio outlets, performed a concert in the park on ABC’s Good Morning America and even subjected herself to sitting on the couch for small chat with the likes of Bravo TV’s Andy Cohen on his night-time talk show Watch What Happens Live. She’s even appreared on the notorious Wendy Williams Show where in the past, Lopez has been the source of many of host Wendy Williams’ “Hot Topics.” To further ramp up her profile leading up to the release of AKA, Lopez went back to the block and did a concert in her hometown Bronx community and even took it internationally by performing on the stage of the World Cup opening ceremonies with fellow Puerto Rican singer, Pitbull.
It should be noted that AKA is the first album Lopez is releasing under her new deal with Capital Records. Prior to this new musical partnership, Lopez had been in a long time deal with Epic Records for much of her career before departing and joining forces with Island Records back in 2011. Island put out only one project with Lopez, the disappointing Love? before that business partnership went bust. In a Beyoncé world, Lopez, who turns 45 on July 24 has to deliver now that she is working with Capital if she expects to get continued label support.
Lopez is also facing competition from one of her fellow divas. Mariah Carey released her latest studio album indulgently titled Me. I am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse back in late May after a five-year absence. While not as strong as her personal best, the Carey project entered the top 10 of the Billboard 200 charts. When asked about the comparisons (and alleged feud) between herself and Mariah Carey, Lopez boldly defends their respective positions as seasoned artists who have each attained (several times over) the kind of success that today’s younger female artists like Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, and Beyoncé (whose last album dropped without any pre-release PR machine and sold 80,000 copies in three hours) are now enjoying.
Despite some unflattering reviews, Lopez considers AKA a project that will continue to peak the interest of fans and gain momentum as more singles get released to radio play. The albums first single I Luh Ya Papi will be followed up with Booty, a collaboration with Pitbull. Whatever ultimately happens with AKA, Jennifer Lopez has so much going for her in movies and producing television shows and fashion and beauty merchandising that her entertainment brand could most certainly weather this pending storm. Lopez will surely find shelter at the judges table on American Idol.
Opinion by Hal Banfield