Jennifer Lopez: A Companion Record

Jennifer Lopez: A Companion Record

Jennifer Lopez took more than 20 years to offer a companion record. Her 2002 album “This Is Me...Then” was one of the biggest hits of her music career with “Jenny from the Block.” In 2024 “This is Me…Now” has found her similarly motivated. "There was an inciting incident both times," Lopez told Morning Edition host Leila Fadel, "I fell in love."

Lopez and actor Ben Affleck were Hollywood's hottest couple back in 2002. The two split up a couple of years after Ben Affleck inspired This Is Me...Then. But they were in romance once again during the pandemic. The two married in 2022, and it led to inspiration mode of songwriting for Lopez.

Lopez said, "I know some artists make music when they're tortured and heartbroken, but not me. I'm the opposite".

This Is Me...Now looks like an obvious odes to Affleck, as "Dear Ben, Part II" (the first part which appeared on Lopez's 2002 album) and "Midnight Trip to Vegas," the site of their wedding. Lopez says her collaborators and she "wrote that the minute I came back from that weekend."

Jennifer Lopez is also offering a film which according to her is largely self-financed. The name of the film is, “This Is Me...Now: A Love Story — It is a sort of an extended music video. In this film she performs her songs with the dance moves, the songs that first made her famous. Between the videos there's a recurring storyline: J-Lo as a hopeless romantic.

"It's not exactly an autobiography about my life," she explained. "I do get very vulnerable in it. I do use experiences from my own life that inspire the story."

Lopez admits the experience of this kind of exposure was difficult, particularly keeping in mind the reaction of the public and press on her earlier relationship with Affleck. She was referring to the two films, Gigli and Jersey Girl, in which the pair had starred together. The two were severely criticized. The mononym – Bennifer shared by the two became shorthand for the tabloids. “Bennifer” was routinely used by the tabloids while invading the relationship between the two.

"There is a kind of a PTSD that I have from people, you know, beating you up and stuff in the media," Lopez said. "But I think I'm at a point in my life where I'm just too grown, and I have to follow my own instincts. Doing anything other than that usually turns out very badly."

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit 16 Feb 24.

Image Copyright: People.

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