Jennifer Lynn Lopez was born in the Castle Hill section of the South Bronx on July 24, 1969. She is the middle of three musically-inclined sisters, Leslie Lopez, a homemaker, and Lynda Lopez (aka Lynda Lopez), a DJ on New York's WKTU, a VH1 VJ, and a morning news show correspondent on New York's Channel 11. Jennifer always dreamed of being a multi-tasking superstar. Jennifer's parents, Guadalupe Rodriguez and David Lopez, were both born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, the second largest Puerto Rican city. The two were then brought to the continental United States during their childhoods and, eventually, met while living in New York City.
As a child, Jennifer enjoyed a variety of musical genres, mainly Afro-Caribbean rhythms like salsa, merengue and bachata, and mainstream music like pop, hip-hop and R&B. Although she loved music, the film industry also intrigued her. Her biggest influence was the Rita Moreno musical, West Side Story (1961). At age five, Jennifer began taking singing and dancing lessons. Aside from being a budding entertainer, Jennifer was also a Catholic schoolgirl, attending eight years at an all-girls catholic high school named "Holy Family", located in the Bronx, before graduating from Preston High School after a four-year stay. At school, Jennifer was an amazing athlete and participated in track and field and tennis. At age eighteen, Lopez moved out of her parent's home. During this time, Lopez worked at a law firm while she took dancing jobs at night.
After high school, she briefly worked in a law office. During this time, she continued dance classes at night. At 18, she left home because her mother was scared by her decision to pursue show business. Her big break came when she was offered a job as a fly girl on Fox's hit comedy, In Living Color (1990). After a two-year stay at In Living Color (1990) where actress Rosie Perez served as choreographer, Lopez then went on to dance for famed singer-actress Janet Jackson. Her first major film was Gregory Nava's My Family (1995), and her career went into over-drive when she portrayed slain Tejana singer Selena Quintanilla Perez in Selena (1997).