From the Bronx in New York to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Jennifer Lopez has been taking international center stage coverage this past week. A Bronx, New York native; Lopez launched a premiere free concert for her hometown fans. The long past due concert took place at Orchard Beach which is also known to New Yorker’s as the Puerto Rican Riviera. Thousands of Lopez fans showed up on June 4 to enjoy the free show. Others also took the liberty to fete their Puerto Rican heritage, as the concert took place a mere few days before New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade.
While the Lopez concert was free, $150 V.I.P. packages were sold, with the proceeds going to Teach For America, The Kips Bay Boys and Girls Clubs, and The Lopez Family Foundation.
Bronx native Lopez, was born to both a Puerto Rican mother and father and raised in the Castle Hill neighborhood, where she and her parents lived in a two-story home. As a youngster, Lopez went to Catholic Schools and as a teen she took dancing lessons at the Lucile Palmaro Clubhouse on Randall avenue. A portrait of Lopez still proudly adorns a wall at the studio.
Lopez attended Preston High School, which is an all-girls Catholic school located in the Throgs Neck neighborhood of the Bronx. It was in 1991 that Lopez moved to Hollywood, California to dance as one of the Fly Girls on the hit comedy show, In Living Color. Her career finally began to take off when she was selected to perform in the starring role of the 1997 film Selena. Selena was a biopic based on the life of Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, who was murdered by the obsessed president of her fan club. While the producers of the film took a bit of flak for casting a Puerto Rican in the role of a Mexican singer, the controversy was short-lived. The film still managed to catapult Lopez into big-screen stardom, and into a career that still thrives today as Lopez takes center stage at the 2014 World Cup Opening Ceremony.
This past Sunday, 44-year-old Lopez made a second appearance in the Bronx to announce that she was donating $250,000 to the Montefiore Medical Center. The donations would fund a special unit on childhood obesity.
Over the years Lopez has had a number of high-profile relationships. She dated Sean “P-Diddy” Combs for a stretch. Later she began a relationship with actor, Ben Affleck after they starred together in the box-office flop Gigli. Later she married a former boyfriend, and long time friend, singer-actor Marc Anthony. They had two children together, twins; Max and Emmie. They divorced in 2013.
Lopez shared the center stage of the 2014 World Cup Opening Ceremonies along with rapper Pitbull and singer Cladia Leitte. The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be taking place in Brazil for about a month of international soccer madness. Like the Olympic games, the event only occurs every four years. Big cities like New York, with a large international population, find their sports bars gearing up for a month of large, animated crowds and booming sales.
By Janet Walters Levite