Before taking the Paula Abdul Memorial Chair on American Idol… before “Jenny from the Block”… before becoming a brand name… well, Jennifer Lopez wasn’t even officially a singer at the start. She was a dancer and an actress.
Despite her parents’ belief that “Latinos don’t do that [acting]”, Lopez knew what she wanted coming out of high school. She’s done touring Broadway shows, a Japanese TV dance/pop show, then made her first mark on American audiences as a Fly Girl on In Living Color. From there, it was on to the Selena biography… a quick marriage and divorce… and it was time to take on the music world.
Her debut album was named for the subway line she rode. The first single from On The 6 was written for her by Rodney Jenkins. The problem was that “If You Had My Love” was almost exactly the same as a song he’d written for another singer, Chanté Moore, “If I Gave Love”.
Moore claims that J-Lo’s camp wanted “If I Gave Love”, but since Moore had already recorded it, Jenkins said he couldn’t give it to Lopez. However, he just happened to have this other song…
If you search Google Images, you’ll still find a picture of J-Lo in that barely-there green dress – it’s from the Grammy Awards of 2000, a ceremony she attended because of the success of On The 6.
The rest, of course, is history. 4 #1 singles… Idol’s resident cougar… acting, dancing, producing, 3 marriages, 3 divorces (and we can’t count Ben Affleck in there, either)… you just have to wonder how different it might have been if Rodney Jenkins had any integrity at all…
Tomorrow, the road ends for the greatest band in the world…
Other songs that reached #1 on June 12:
1965 – “Back In My Arms Again” by the Supremes (their fifth, 1 week)
1971 – “Want Ads” by the Honey Cone (their first, 1 week)