The multifaceted J.Lo started 2020 off with a bang at the super bowl halftime show, and she didn’t let the pandemic slow her down. She finished the year in times square, put out some music, and released a line of skincare products oh, and she almost bought the mets
By Joel Keller
When Jennifer Lopez shared the Super Bowl halftime show stage with Shakira in February of 2020, she had no idea what the rest of the year would bring. Of course, none of us did. But while the rest of us were hunkering down at home and growing sourdough starters, J.Lo kept busy. Really, really busy.
This is despite the fact that the release of the film she made in 2019, Marry Me, got pushed back a few times due to the pandemic. As of press time, it’s set to be released on May 14. And this is also despite the fact that she and her fiancé, former baseball megastar Alex Rodriguez, had to indefinitely postpone their wedding.
While the couple was disappointed they couldn’t get married in Italy as planned, Lopez and A Rod seemed to be philosophical about it. “I mean at our age, we’ve both been married before, it’s like, do we get married?” she said to Andy Cohen on his SiriusXM radio show. “Do we not? What does it mean for us? And it’s just, it comes down to like personal, like, what do you want to do? There’s definitely no rush though.”
Despite the disappointments, her 2020 would have been a banner year for anyone, but for the multifaceted Lopez, it was just a normal hectic trip around the sun. She introduced both a skincare and shoe line, released new music, and did lots of now legendary TikTok and Instagram videos. Oh, and she and A Rod came super close to buying the New York Mets.
But despite looking invincible, the 51 year old Lopez didn’t hesitate to publicly air her struggle with quarantining during the pandemic.
“I’ve never struggled more with my health and nutrition,” she told Yahoo Life in November. “And I’m a pretty motivated person. But throughout quarantine, I was just, you know, I just felt like some days I was motivated to eat well and work out. Others, I just didn’t want to; I just didn’t see what the point was.”
She was buoyed by the presence of her 12 year old twins, Emme and Max, whom she co-parents with ex-husband Marc Anthony, as well as Rodriguez’s two daughters.
“As the mom in the family you can feel bad for yourself for a little while, but you can’t feel bad for yourself for long,” she told Yahoo. “You have to get up and motivate everybody else to get up. I realized that when you’re a parent, it’s really about just taking a little bit of time out of your day and out of your work and going, ‘Let’s do some thing together.’”
If you look at her TikTok and Instagram, Lopez certainly wasn’t shy about setting her own dance challenges and responding to others. She and A Rod switched clothes in one TikTok video in May, with Rodriguez dancing in Lopez’s wedding dress. And in December she issued a dance challenge for her new song “In The Morning,” switching from her comfy quarantine pajamas to a more going out appropriate outfit.
Her kids love the fact that she does TikTok. “They love it, so they’re always encouraging me to use it,” she told Elle in March. “They love when I do! But for me, I swear, TikTok isn’t a social media app, it’s a dance app. You click around, you find a new move you want to learn, and you do it. You can do it with your kids, you can do it with your parents or your friends. If you’re stuck at home right now, you can go on TikTok and practice dancing, which is always something that makes your mood better.”
About “In The Morning”: She released that single right around Thanksgiving, right after two songs from Marry Me “Lonely” and “Pa’ Ti,” both duets with Maluma, one of her costars in the film. She also appeared with Maluma at the American Music Awards, in a set that made the viewing audience flock to social media to talk about their moves.
Then there’s the skincare line, introduced in December and released in January, which seems like a natural move for a woman lauded for looking ageless. The line Jlo Beauty is something that Lopez has thinking about starting for about 20 years, probably around the time she wore that gravity defying green Versace dress to the 2000 Grammys. It’s part of her goal for women to feel youthful no matter their age.
“Of course, I wake up and feel like I look like crap a lot of times, and I try to change those thoughts…I try to tell myself, like one of my idols Barbra Streisand, ‘Hello gorgeous,’” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “I say, ‘I am youthful and timeless at every age. I am happy. I am whole. I am surrounded by love.’”
And while she and Rodriguez ultimately lost out on the Mets the team was sold to hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohenit sure was an intriguing ride for a number of months. The group that “J Rod” (a portmanteau of Lopez’s and Rodriguez’s nicknames) put together came in second to Cohen, and at one point they were in the lead for the team when talks broke off with the billionaire.
At one point to sweeten the deal, the J Rod group put Lopez up as the future managing partner, which would have made her the first Latina woman to be the de facto owner of a Major League Baseball team. “We are New Yorkers and we are not going to give up,” she told the New York Post in September. “We feel we have the best bid for the sport, the team, and the city.”
Despite the deal falling through, Lopez kept going. When she ended her year performing in Times Square on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, she looked back on the trying year and got emotional looking forward to 2021, before launching into her massive 1999 hit song, “Waiting for Tonight.”
“If this year taught us anything, it taught us to be grateful for what we do have to cherish every moment,” she said during her Times Square performance. “We lost too many. Too many. So tonight we’re going to live, we’re going to love, and we’re going to dance again. And we’re going to keep on dreaming. Twenty years ago, I sang this song, and we never needed it more than tonight.”