The Iconic Life of Jennifer Lopez: A Full Timeline
09th August, 2021
The Iconic Life of Jennifer Lopez: A Full Timeline Ken McKay/Shutterstock | Broadimage/Shutterstock | Kristina Bumphrey/​Starpix/​Shutterstock
From the iconic “Bennifer” and “J.Rod” to the “Puffy Era” and Marc Anthony, JLo has been linked with many men over her long and illustrious career. Jennifer Lopez is an international icon, singer, producer, actor, songwriter, and an inspiration to women worldwide. But more importantly, she is a romantic through and through and even has the history to prove it. Over the years, Lopez has been linked to celebs and Hollywood A-listers alike. Despite learning that love is hard, she has never given up on finding her Mr. Right. So, to celebrate her never-give-up attitude and her journey to find true love, here's an in-depth look at the songstress’s early life and relationships throughout the years.
A hard early life Kristina Bumphrey/​Starpix/​Shutterstock
A hard early life

Jennifer Lopez is a world-class performer. She has charmed the audiences with her moves, sweet vocals, and her tremendous acting skills over the last two decades. But all of that didn’t come easy. Being a woman of Latin origin, the superstar had to put in a lot of effort and work twice as hard compared to other artists in the industry. The hitmaker, often referred to as ‘Jenny from the Block’, was born into a Puerto-Rican family of five. A young Lopez lived with her family in a small apartment in The Bronx before they could move into a two-story house in the same locality. Her parents encouraged her to put on shows for her friends and family while they worked to make ends meet. Unfortunately, Lopez did not receive this support when she was older, which led to a fallout between her and her mother. This rift caused her to leave home at a young age. She found herself homeless and spent months sleeping in a dance studio until she finally hit it off.

Kickstarting her acting career
Kickstarting her acting career

While the popstar may not have had an easy start, things changed when she landed a dancing job in Europe. When she returned to the States, Lopez got right back into acting. She picked up smaller jobs and spots on stage musicals until she made her film debut in My Little Girl when she was just 16 years old. A few years later, she took on the role of a Fly Girl on the comedy TV show In Living Color, which marked her TV debut. After she quit this show, the songstress set her sights on acting and bagged multiple roles in both TV and film. Her acting chops and goddess-like looks led to some success. By the mid-1990s, Lopez had become a household name and had starred alongside many popular and notable stars such as Jack Nicolson and Robin Williams. Although she had done many roles by this time, she was yet to achieve stardom and success in her acting career. This changed when she finally got the lead role in Selena, a biopic on the Tejano singer who was assassinated. JLo bagged a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the film.

Highway to stardom Joanne Davidson/​Shutterstock
Highway to stardom

While her illustrious career as an actress took off, Lopez found herself experimenting with different roles. Between 1997 and 1999, the actress took on multiple projects and performed fabulously in every single one. In 1997, she also starred in the action drama Anaconda that catapulted her into the limelight. She also starred in U Turn and Out of Sight. She decided to dabble into the music industry and made her debut with the release of her first album On the 6. The album went platinum and sold almost eight million copies worldwide. This allowed Lopez to establish herself as a multi-talented individual and a global star. Notable tracks from this album include “Waiting for Tonight” which was nominated for a Grammy under the Best Dance Recording category. Lopez then released her second album J.Lo in 2001, selling almost 270,000 copies in the first week after its release. Since then, the singer has gone on to release a total of eight studio albums, one remix album, and three compilation albums.

Continued fame and fortune Ken McKay/Shutterstock
Continued fame and fortune

As of 2021, the actress-singer-performer is one of the wealthiest self-made women in the world and has amassed a massive fortune of approximately $400 million. This, of course, can be attributed to her continued success on professional fronts, including films, music, and various endorsements. Over her multi-decade career, Lopez has starred in almost 30 films and staged a series of world tours that have contributed to her accumulated wealth. She also earns millions by endorsing luxury brands such as Versace and DSW. JLo also owns a ton of real estate properties, including homes in Miami, Los Angeles, and New York. She is also an entrepreneur and has dabbled in business when she started her clothing line back in 2003. She has also released multiple fragrances that are rather popular with fans. The star makes anywhere between $40 to $50 million every year from various sources.

Cultural and global impact Kristina Bumphrey/​Starpix/​Shutterstock
Cultural and global impact

An icon in the music and film industry, Lopez is a source of inspiration to people across the globe. She is considered a representative of women in the industry and has paved the way for female artists. She is looked up to as a powerhouse that has transformed how Hollywood and the West perceives women of Latin origin. In 2018, she was even placed on “TIME” magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People. Fellow actor Kerry Washington who nominated her for the accolade, mentioned that Lopez was the first Latina actor to earn over $1 million for her role in a movie. She also spoke about Lopez’s influence on the girls living in The Bronx. In September 2019, Lopez was invited to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. She did so alongside “Hips Don’t Lie” singer Shakira. This again made history, as both of them were famous Latino artists. She also performed the same concert with her daughter Emme, who following in her mother’s footsteps, is an aspiring singer.

First marriage to Ojani Noa Bei/Shutterstock
First marriage to Ojani Noa

In 1997, just before she bagged the role of Selena in the hit biopic, the actress was married to Ojani Noa. Lopez met her ex-husband while he was working as a waiter at singer Gloria Estefan‘s restaurant. They were married on February 22, 1997, but were divorced within a year. There isn’t much information about their relationship or why they broke up. Lopez had a lot of unpleasant brushes with her ex-hubby even after their divorce.
There are reports that Noa tried to take advantage of her fame on multiple occasions, but Lopez managed to shut him down each time. In 2004, the singer was finally able to place a confidentiality agreement on Noa. These days Noa spends his time working out under the sun and hanging out with his dog on Instagram. According to IMDB, Noa’s acting resume is sparse and contains only three acting credits.

A blooming new relationship Bei/Shutterstock
A blooming new relationship

While Jennifer Lopez has had many notable relationships in the past, one that stands out is her relationship with fellow rapper and singer Sean Combs, also known as P. Diddy. The duo met in 1999 while collaborating on Lopez’s music video for her popular track “If You Had My Love.” From here, their relationship quickly blossomed. The pair first caught the public eye when they walked the Grammy’s red carpet together in February 2000. This moment was iconic for two reasons. The first being that it was the first time that both Lopez and Combs had officially stepped out as a couple. The second being Lopez’s infamous green Versace dress that made headlines for years to come. The couple then attended the MTV Video Music Awards the same year in all-white matching ensembles. The couple called it quits in 2001 after Diddy’s publicist released a statement saying, “Mr. Combs confirmed that he and his love, Jennifer Lopez, have, in fact, broken up.”

Rumors surrounding the breakup with Sean Combs
Rumors surrounding the breakup with Sean Combs

Both Sean and JLo were superstars of the music industry and were often in the public eye. This led to Hollywood’s ‘It couple’ breakup becoming a much-discussed topic on various tabloids. Some reported that the breakup was due to Diddy’s infidelity, while others reported otherwise. While there is no confirmation or denial on this front, Lopez apparently spoke about the allegations to “Vibe” in 2013. She mentioned how their relationship was kind of crazy and put her whole life in a tailspin. In the later years, their time together came to be known as the “Puffy Era.” In 2019. Lopez spoke to “The Breakfast Club” radio show and mentioned that she looked up to him as a mentor. She also elaborated and spoke about how he taught her about the music business and industry at large. Soon after that, the star went on to date Ben Affleck, but more on that in the next slide.

Marriage to Cris Judd Chris Weeks/BEI/Shutterstock
Marriage to Cris Judd

Lopez met Chris Judd by chance. In 2000, he was a backup dancer for JLo’s music video “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.” The two performers hit it off and tied the knot a year later in 2001. In a private residence in California’s Calabasas, they married in front of close mates. But their marriage was as quick to end as it began. By June 2002, they called it quits, and their divorce was confirmed in 2003. While in conversation with “Us Weekly,” Judd revealed that their marriage “just didn’t work out.” He repeated the word “work” too often during the talk that gave an impression that holding the marriage together would take quite some effort. Regardless of what happened, Judd said many good things about JLo, like how she looked fantastic post-split. Lopez has also admitted to Judd being an amazing person who she loved. All’s well that ends well, eh?

Bennifer sparks off Alex Berliner/​BEI/​Shutterstock
Bennifer sparks off

Ben Affleck and the “On The Floor” singer go way back. The steamy duo crossed paths while shooting for Gigli. After painting the town red with their two-month romance, Affleck popped the question with a sparkly 6.1-carat pink diamond ring, which was hands down one of the most gorgeous celebrity engagement rings ever. They were thus happily engaged in November 2002. While the media celebrated the “Bennifer” ship and fans prepared for pictures of the big day, the pair canceled their wedding unexpectedly. The news came only hours prior to their marriage. When speaking to “Vanity Fair” a couple of years later, JLo revealed that the breakup had been terribly hard on her. She said, “I was eviscerated. I lost my sense of self…” The two did seem pretty serious at the time, and people really thought they were going to be the next Tom and Rita. After the breakup, the pair moved on. Ben Affleck started going out with Jennifer Garner in 2004 and married her a year later.

The Jlo and Anthony saga Stewart Cook/Shutterstock
The Jlo and Anthony saga

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony’s love story began with an on-and-off chemistry. They met backstage at a Paul Simon Broadway show “The Capeman,” where Anthony was performing. In her memoir named “True Love,” Lopez said that the first thing Anthony told her was, “One day you’re going to be my wife.” After her first marriage ended in 1998, Lopez and Anthony reportedly dated for a brief time. Their love story didn’t take off then. They married other people. But they were destined to cross paths again to collaborate on the song “No Me Ames,” which was part of JLo’s 1999 smash hit album On the 6. In an interview with “Billboard” in 2019, Jennifer revealed that she was a great admirer of his music in Spanish. She told Anthony that she liked his music, and he said that he has a song for them. Not long after this collaboration, they began seeing each other, and this time, their relationship did take off!

Marriage to Marc Anthony Jim Smeal/​BEI/​Shutterstock
Marriage to Marc Anthony

After dating for six months, the couple tied the knot in June 2004 at Lopez’s house in Beverly Hills. Their marriage was one of JLo’s longest relationships. They were spotted at many high-profile events and even performed “Escapemonos” together at the 47th Grammys. Their professional lives slowly seemed to merge into one. When Lopez was a judge on American Idol, hubby Anthony joined as an unofficial mentor to the singers. In February 2008, they had beautiful twins, Emme and Max. But years later in 2011, when Lopez arrived at the BAFTA Brits to Watch party with no wedding ring or Anthony in sight, the rumor mills churned out stories about a possible breakup. As expected, the couple announced that they were separating in July 2011. During a talk with “W,” JLo revealed that she knew early on that their marriage wasn’t right. She added that it was not really the “dream” she had hoped for.

Brief romance with Beau ‘Casper’ Smart Rob Latour/Shutterstock
Brief romance with Beau ‘Casper’ Smart

JLo had another chance at love four months after her split from Anthony. In 2011, she began dating dancer Beau ‘Casper’ Smart who was 18 years younger. The newly single JLo and Beau’s relationship began with casual flirting, only to progress later into a deeper connection. In an interview with “Univision,” Casper revealed that they spent every day with each other for a year. It was quite the romance! Casper also said that the age difference was a problem for them. In 2014, the couple hit a bump on the road when a gossip website claimed to have proof that her beau was exchanging risque images and texts with a transgender model. They parted in June of that year but continued to see each other at intervals until 2016, when they finally split up for good. The two were on good terms even after their final separation. “Jennifer is, like, phenomenal, phenomenal, phenomenal,” Smart said to “US Weekly” in March 2017.

A slew of dating rumors Broadimage/Shutterstock
A slew of dating rumors

According to “Confidenti@l,” JLo had moved on with Maksim Chmerkovskiy after terminating her romance with Casper Smart. Maks and Lopez were seen together at the Shrine nightclub in Connecticut. The “Dancing with the Stars” contestant and JLo had performed at the 2013 AMAs, in which he lifted her up in the air. Chmerkovskiy took to Twitter to say that those moments were “the most stressful four seconds of my life.” We, too, would be stressed out of our minds if we had to lift a global icon over our heads, Maks. They were reportedly “inseparable” towards the end of March, according to a “Life & Style” spy who spotted them getting close at the Redbury Hotel in Los Angeles. The magazine added they seemed to be engaged in a very passionate conversation. When Maks spoke about their relationship, he said, “With the Jennifer thing, look, we’re friends and … we’re friends. This is it. This is where it ends, pretty much.” Hmmm…

Then there’s Drake…
Then there’s Drake…

Jennifer Lopez and the “Hotline Bling” rapper met backstage in December 2016 when he attended her “All I Have” performance. A source told “Us Weekly” in January 2017 that the two were dating and that they were “the real thing.” While the rumors began surfacing on the web, JLo and Drake tapped into their socials to post a picture of them snuggled up on a couch. We didn’t need a caption to know that they were a couple. News broke that JLo chose to spend time with family over a million-dollars-worth NYE performance in Miami. During their relationship, we also saw Drake really be boyfriend material, setting up a winter wonderland prom at a Los Angeles church, where the two were crowned queen and king. As all good things come to an end, the news of their breakup came in February 2017. Their romance had apparently dwindled down when the “God’s Plan” singer left for his European tour.

Alex Rodriguez – a yes and a no Broadimage/Shutterstock
Alex Rodriguez – a yes and a no

As far as we recall, 2017 was Jlo and A-Rod’s year; they were head over heels in love with each other, and they made it pretty public. They were posting Met Gala selfies; they had a Paris “baecation,” followed by a totally hot joint birthday party. The year ended with a bang, too, with news of their plans to move in together. By mid-2018, stories about a possible engagement were also brewing. That year, we saw pictures of their children together, and they looked like one happy family. In March 2019, the big moment arrived. Alex Rodrigues got down on one knee in the Bahamas, an emerald-cut ring in hand, and popped the question. The love-smitten JLo obviously said yes. The next few years were full of concerts and Thanksgiving and Christmas with family. 2021, however, brought some tough love. Official news of their split came on April 15 this year amid cheating rumors concerning Rodriguez. The rumors were downplayed, and the two said that they would continue to support each other.

Bennifer 2.0 Bei/Shutterstock
Bennifer 2.0

Not long after the split, the ‘Ben and Jen’ spark was rekindled. Ben Affleck and JLo were seen together in several pictures taken by the paparazzi. They were spotted arm in arm, walking towards celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant in West Hollywood for a romantic date. They were also seen together on a trip to Montana and a getaway to Miami. This couple surely has a thing for steamy dinner dates because a few weeks later, they were spotted at the fine dining restaurant Nobu in Malibu.
And this time, they leaned in for a kiss. There was some whispering and nuzzling too, but we’ll leave that for the tabloids. According to a source that spoke to “Us Weekly,” JLo and Affleck are really happy and are looking forward to their relationship. The source added, “They are full-on dating and very happy together.” Is Bennifer back for good? Cross your hearts, people.