Iíll tell you whoís bringing sexy back: Itís 44-year-old Jennifer Lopez.
The thrice-divorced, newly single mother of twins is looking hotter than ever on the cover of her new album, A.K.A, in a barely-there red satin top made up of straps.
“I like being sexy AND classy,” says the Bronx-raised Lopez down the line from New York City recently in a Canadian exclusive interview with QMI Agency.
“I don’t like pushing it too far, that’s part of who I am.”
Yes, Lopez believes in the old adage that women age like fine wine.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re in your 20s or your 40s or your 60s, we should be proud of our sensuality, we should be proud of who we are,” she says.
“We don’t have to stop being a woman or stop being sexy because we’ve reached a certain age.
“We should embrace it more and more as we go along because, to me, I feel much more in my own element now than when I did when I was in my 20s.”
Lopez had a specific look in mind for her A.K.A. cover.
“I had a whole vision of like a Versace ’90s supermodel thing that I wanted to do,” J.Lo continues. “So that’s what we went for. And, at the end of the day, it’s my choice.”
She’s also shaking her ample behind in the video for her next single about her most-celebrated asset, the aptly titled Booty, but says she’s not trying to school anyone (Miley Cyrus are you listening?) in the art of twerking.
“You know you’re doing a song called big Booty and it’s a Diplo track; there’s going to be some booty shaking going on and maybe a little bit of twerking,” says Lopez, downplaying her performance. “I’m not trying to show anyone how to do anything. I’m just doing it my way.”
Lopez, whose first big break came as a dancer on the early ’90s TV comedy show In Living Color and soon graduated to acting and singing later that decade, is clearly comfortable with her body.
And she says aging in the spotlight doesn’t bother her.
In her mind, she really is still Jenny From The Block.
“It’s funny, I don’t think about it all that much. I still feel and, I guess, I operate ... when I first started making records (in 1999 with her debut album On The 6) ... People do come up to me and say, ‘Oh, you’re inspiring,’ and to me, it’s always so touching…
“Also, when you’re coming up in this business, and there’s this criticism ... that weighs on you a little bit. And at a certain point you go, ‘Wait a minute… I’ve been doing this a long time. This is not a fluke! This what I do! It’s OK.’ ”
There does seem to be a ramped-up confidence with Lopez on A.K.A. — which features appearances by rappers Pitbull, T.I. , Rick Ross, Iggy Azalea and French Montana — and she says “this time of growing and transformation,” began a few years ago.
“I went on tour right after I left American Idol (in 2012) and right after I got (separated from third husband Marc Anthony); it was just like a whole time of rediscovery for myself … I finally feel like I’ve come out the other side. And here I am, I’m stronger.”
Lopez, who is mother to six-year-old twins Max and Emme in a shared custody arrangement with Anthony, recently tweeted out her available status following rumours linking her to Dancing with the Stars’ bad boy Maksim Chmerkovskiy following her breakup with dancer Casper Smart.
“I realize that’s an avenue for me to talk directly to (fans) or let them into moments of my life,” says Lopez.
“There were just so many rumours and I’m fine with it. I’ve been in the public eye a long time, 20 years now, and I know how to deal with it and things don’t usually bother me.
“But when you have kids and people are saying that you broke up with one person and you’re dating another person and no, it’s not that person, it’s this person, etc.
“It’s like, ‘Listen, guys, I’m not dating anyone ALREADY. OK? Please. It’s enough!’ And that’s another great thing about being able to talk directly to your fans and people, where you can kind of clear things up when you need to.”
Meanwhile, she’s giving her all in her live acts. She recently wowed a crowd at Universal Orlando Resort on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Wearing a skin-tight red-sequined catsuit, Lopez put on a stunning performance as she danced along to her new single, First Love.
“I almost broke my finger when I went to the floor. I jammed my finger; it’s so swollen,” says Lopez.
Her tour plans so far have seen her perform with Pitbull at the World Cup Opening ceremony, followed by a couple of select U.S. shows.
“It was spectacular, crazy energy, so surreal,” she says of the World Cup performance. “It was a very emotional kind of energy-filled moment. I was just so glad to be invited along for the ride.”
She also has a couple of movies in post-production, such as the sexy thriller The Boy Next Door, where she plays a divorced teacher who meets the wrong guy; and the revenge drama Lila & Eve, in which she and Viola Davis play women seeking revenge when their children are killed in drive-by shootings.
Moreover, she’s making her return to the small screen in American Idol Season 14 (which marks her fourth time on the show, and she was just confirmed again for the judging panel in 2015) and in NBC’s new drama series Shades of Blue, debuting Fall 2015.
Lopez, who is also executive producer (along with Idol colleague Ryan Seacrest), stars as a dirty cop working with the FBI to investigate corruption in her own precinct.
“Absolutely, we want to (tour),” says Lopez. “I would love to come back (to Toronto). We opened our tour there last time (with Enrique Iglesias), it was so awesome ... It’s probably the most fulfilling thing that I do because I get to interact with the people…
“It’s like how do we work everything out and make everybody happy and still be happy and my kids be happy too? So, it’s a juggling act — just like any single mom.”
All of J.Lo’s men
On the song First Love, from her new album, A.K.A., Jennifer Lopez sings: “I wish you were my first love, ‘Cause if you were my first, baby there wouldn’t have been no second, third or fourth love.”
She could be singing about her own personal life given she’s already been married three times and almost got to the altar a fourth time with actor Ben Affleck.
Here’s the breakdown on J. Lo’s notable men:
Ojani Noa (m. 1997–98): This brief marriage to a Cuban waiter led to a lot of legal troubles. She successfully sued to prevent him from publishing a book about their marriage and was also awarded $545,000 in damages. There’s presently a lawsuit regarding a compromising private honeymoon video in Noa’s possession.
Sean Combs (1997-1999): While working on her first album, On the 6, Lopez began dating record producer and rapper Combs but on Dec. 27, 1999, the couple were arrested along with two others in connection with a shooting outside a New York City club. She was exonerated, but he was indicted and charged by a grand jury. The relationship didn’t survive much beyond the incident.
Cris Judd (m. 2001–03): She married her former backup dancer. And, surprise, surprise, it didn’t last.
Ben Affleck (2002-2004): Ah, the days of Bennifer, which started the first name blending trend of celebrity couples. But it was not to be as the couple postponed their nuptials just days prior to the scheduled ceremony.
Marc Anthony (m. 2004–14): This one was going to be the one that lasted when J.Lo began dating and eventually married her longtime friend and fellow singer Anthony. Their lasting legacy is 6 year old twins Max and Emme.
Casper Smart (2011-14): Lopez dated another former, this time much younger, back-up dancer but it ended and was followed by tawdry headlines with two transsexual models claiming to Thedirty.com Smart had made out with them. He’s threatening a lawsuit.