Jennnifer Lopez covers WSJ. Magazine’s November Innovator’s Issue, out on newsstands Saturday, November 21st.
After an acclaimed role in Hustlers and a show-stopping performance at this year’s Super Bowl, the star is back with new music and a new movie—and a plan to build her brand into an empire.
At 51, Lopez has built one of the sturdiest careers in show business as one of Hollywood’s most bank- able stars (global box office receipts estimated at $4.3 billion) and one of the most successful pop singers on the planet (roughly 70 million records sold worldwide). Although the new music (the first two videos with Maluma, sung mostly in Spanish, dropped in late September) and new movie are what her fans will be buzzing about in the coming months, there is other big news in J. Lo’s world—and the reason she’s got talking points in hand: a new beauty line launching any day now (details of which are being kept under wraps); a pending IPO for a startup in which she’s a key investor; and perhaps most tantalizing, persistent rumors that she and A-Rod, to whom she is A-ffianced, have been in a bidding war to become the next owners of the New York Mets.
Lopez has never been afraid to show off her boss moves—and has always evinced the aura of la jefa, a woman who thinks strategically, especially when it comes to her career—but get her talking about how she’s juggling the intersecting parts of her portfolio and she goes full C to the E-O. “There’s the entertainment silo,” she says. “There’s the investment silo. There’s the building businesses silo. And in the entertainment silo, there’s a producing silo, an acting silo, a performing silo and the music silo. And everything needs to be managed and looked after properly, right?”
Lopez on owning her power as a woman: “There is something in me that wants to endure,” says Lopez. “I feel youthful and I feel powerful and I want to show women how to be powerful. There was a lot of symbolism in the performance at the Super Bowl. I wanted to be at the top of the Empire State Building, like King Kong, beating my chest: ‘I’m here!’ You know? It’s a very powerful thing to use your femininity and your sensuality. We are here and we matter. We deserve to be equal. You have to count us.”
Lopez on the industry and public’s reaction to Hustlers: Award nominations rained down on Lopez (though not the expected Oscar, a big letdown, she admits). “I was really taken aback by the reaction,” she says. “Not that I didn’t think it was good. I was proud of my performance. But that hadn’t happened to me since Selena. It’d been more than 20 years since I’d gotten those kinds of accolades.”
[Photo Credit: Gray Sorrenti for WSJ. Magazine]