At 44, Jennifer Lopez is still smokin’, but also increasingly serious about the business of her brand, as she releases her eighth album, tours and grabs the big booty ($52 million in just one year!) as she empire builds in the mode of a muy modern-day Martha Stewart.
“Things have changed so much for me,” she says. “I had to really do some soul searching and just realize a lot of things about love, and now I feel like I come from a place where I’m stronger and, I think, better.”
Of her relative vocal prowess, Lopez says, “I never put myself out there to show the world what I could do in the best way I could. And touring, you gain a lot when you go out there every night and sing when you feel good, or even when your voice is scratchy and you feel a little off. It made me want to get back into the studio without that cage I had put on myself. Once I let that beast loose, I was doing things I didn’t know I could do.”
“I’ve always strayed from embracing all these different parts of myself as a person and as an artist, but this time I was like, ‘I am all these different things,’ ” says Lopez. “I can be silly, I can make fun of myself, but I can also be deathly serious and way too deep and introspective sometimes. I think people have so many more sides to themselves than just one. We’re much more colorful than that.”
“I don’t feel like I have anything to prove anymore.”
Instead, she’d rather be measured against established icons: Cher and Tina Turner, “and all these people who came a generation before this one and showed us that you don’t have to, as a young woman, have an expiration date. You can go on, and you can do what you want into your 60s and 70s and you can be powerful and be vulnerable and be human. And I think we’re just carrying that on. I’d like to think I’m part of the generation that’s carrying that on.”
Lopez, for one, is clear-eyed about the immediate future. “I don’t know what I’m going to be doing in the next six months. I really don’t. And that’s OK for me. Because what I like is whatever happens is supposed to happen. And I’m good. I can roll with that.”