Pop icon and actress Jennifer Lopez credits her current career success to joining American Idol as judge in 2011. At the time, her career was in a bit of a slump. On an unofficial sabbatical after giving birth to twins in 2008 with her then-husband Marc Anthony, Jennifer needed something to kick start her career.
Jennifer told Variety in a current cover story: “I had the kids and wasn’t being offered a whole bunch of stuff. I really concentrated on my marriage.”
“It was a big turning point in my career,” Jennifer said of the decision to join Idol. “Everybody was like, ‘Don’t do this. Your career will be over, and they won’t offer you any movies. They’ll think you’re a joke as an artist.’ And I was like, ‘The truth is, I’m not getting offered a whole bunch of movies, so what are they not going to offer me?’”
Jennifer believes that her stint on Idol gave America the opportunity to really get to know her. “You can’t hide on reality TV,” she said. “And they got to see I was a real, caring person who was actually nice.” She added, “I don’t think I had been taken as seriously up until then for what I knew about music. Even though I had several hit albums, I think they put me in this ‘pretty pop’ category.”
Long time manager Benny Medina said he knew Idol would be a good move for the singer. “It was authentic to who she was,” he said. “It wasn’t just judging. It was participating in the growth of these kids and their artistic journeys.”
“Everything changed,” she said. Jennifer experienced several career highs during the five seasons she spent on the show (2011-2012, 2014-2016). She recorded her most popular club anthem to date, “On the Floor,” and went back to starring in popular movies, with 2015’s The Boy Next Door. In 2017, she executive produced the NBC reality competition series, World of Dance, now in its third season. Also, she kicked off a Vegas residency, “All I Have,” which sold more than $100 million in tickets.
However, Jennifer sparked controversy recently when she signed with Hitco Entertainment, the new company founded by former X Factor USA judge L.A. Reid, who was forced out of Epic Records, following sexual harassment allegations in 2017. “Benny and L.A. have a very long relationship,” Jennifer said. “And I don’t know of a perfect person out there. Nobody wants to be judged by their worst moment when they’ve lived a life when they’ve done a lot of great things. And that doesn’t excuse any behavior, because I don’t. It’s about going, ‘Oh, that was wrong, and I need to be better.’”
Check out Jlo’s Variety cover below.