Mar 15 2010 By John Dingwall
SHE'S been J-Lo, Jenny from the Block and Lola ... but Jennifer Lopez says her latest incarnation as a happily married mum-of-two brings her the most fulfillment.
Having made her name as an actress, dancer, designer and entrepreneur, the star beams with pride when asked how she balances a musical comeback with being mum to two-year-old twins Max and Emme.
The 40-year-old singer, who is about to release new album Love?, says motherhood is the role she is most proud of and that she can't help but dote on her kids.
She said: "You always think you're not going to be that person but then you are.
"It is so funny. When I've been rehearsing, the kids are down there every day and it's just nice. They sing, they dance, they know my songs already.
"They come first and they make everything better. The twins get up at 6am and never take a day.
"But it's so amazing, so awesome, so fullling and so beautiful."
Listed by Forbes as Hollywood's richest woman of Latin-American descent, Jenny took time out to raise her family from her music and acting career, that included films such as 1998's Out Of Sight, with George Clooney, and 2005's Monster-in-Law.
She is only too happy to recommend marriage to others.
"Yeah, I do," she said. "And I think we always think we find the right person when we have strong feelings, and the truth is that it takes a lot more than that to have a marriage.
"I think when love is right, and there is some form of pure love, they just help you to be a better person."
After two failed marriages, and her much-hyped relationship with Ben Afleck, the Latina beauty celebrates her sixth anniversary with Marc in June.
Though he insists it was love at first sight, she resisted his advances for years and still finds their relationship a little confusing at times.
"It took me years. He's like, 'You're going to be my wife' and I'm like, 'OK? Nice to meet you'," she laughed.
But Jenny says his passion was what brought her round.
"That's the biggest thing about him," she admitted.
"Last night, he acknowledged that when he gets excited, he talks non-stop.
"I have known this man for 12 years and he said, 'I know, I know, I talk a lot.'
"We are in love and it's still hard. It's still confusing. There are so many great things about our relationship but it doesn't matter who you are, there are things that happen and you get through."
In the end, it was Marc's love and his response to a song that Jennifer sang at his 40th birthday party that gave her the confidence to return to the studio and end her break from music.
She recalled: "I sang a song for Marc's 40th birthday called My Man. It is an old Barbra Streisand song. But when I sang it - she's so my idol - I thought 'I can't believe I'm trying to sing a Barbra Streisand song its insane. What are you thinking?'
"But I sang it and it was almost like I had graduated. I needed to get to that point. When I sang it, he had tears in his eyes and we were both like, 'What was that?' And it just gave me that, that finally I am a singer. This is what I do. Nobody can ever make me doubt it again."
Like many working mums, Jenny juggles her work with parenting and takes the kids with her wherever she goes. But don't be fooled into thinking motherhood has mellowed her. She insists she's rediscovered her passion for singing and wants everyone to know it.
"The songs on the new album were all very specific to the concept of the title," she explained.
"They are all about love and the different things about it that can be confusing. The things that everybody wonders about. Is there a real true love? A once-in-a-lifetime thing?
"It's the eternal question. After many experiences myself, and watching what everybody goes through around me, it's the thing that is still the most confusing."
The curvy star's comeback sees the release of her first album since 2007's Brave and the same year's Spanish language Como Ama Una Mujer (How A Woman Loves) and follows last year's single Fresh Out The Oven, released under the name Lola.
Though the song topped the US charts, she was originally reluctant to record it.
Jenny explained: "The head of my record company, Amanda, really loved this record. She said, 'This record is for Jennifer Lopez. We've got to get this record to Jennifer Lopez'.
"She let me hear it and I said, 'You know what? I love the record, but it doesn't fit in with the album I'm making'.
"And she said, 'I don't care. You just have to record this record. I don't care if you put another name on it.'
"And so we did and we put it out and it went to No.1."
And if there is any doubt that Jenny from the Block is back, one listen to the album's first single, Louboutins - named after the posh French shoes - should dispel any doubts.
"In the song, Louboutins is representative of a high-end item, something that makes you feel fabulous when you put it on," said Jenny.
"Put that on, put your good stuff on, brush your hair, put on your make-up, remember who you are.
"Look at yourself in the mirror, think 'I'm great, I'm strong, I'm an amazing person and I deserve better than this' and walk it up out of there.
"It's about getting your power back as a woman when you're in a relationship with somebody who is doing you wrong.
"It's like, 'I'm a powerful person and I'm going to get out there and do my own thing. You're finished.'
"For the performance at the AMAs, I didn't want to start with them.
"I wanted to throw them on during the performance, which we did.
"So I was like, 'I really need a nice new pair of Louboutins'."
But she admits that having Marc watching her nervously from the wings can be a little disconcerting.
"He performs and he's fine. He doesn't care," she said.
"He goes up there, has a beer and a cigarette before he goes on - done.
"When I perform, this man is a nervous wreck. It is very cute.
"I'm like, 'Baby, I'm fine, everything's going to be fine' "I have one line in one of my songs, that says musicians are the worst.
"Marc doesn't like that. He doesn't like that line so much. But I said, 'It's a general statement. It's not about you, baby.'
"Going back on stage was like riding a bike for me.
"With the acting, I was a bit nervous at first. But with this, the first day back at rehearsal I was like, 'This is what I do'.
"It felt really good. I was really just so happy to be doing it.
"When I was finishing up my album and the music was feeling right, everything just came together. It's been nice to be back on stage and doing my thing. It's like coming back into the ring."