Happy Birthday, Jennifer Lopez! The Superstar in Her Own Words

On July 24, 1969, Guadalupe and David Lopez welcomed their baby daughter Jennifer Lynn into the world. Jennifer Lopez, a first generation American, lived with her parents and two sisters in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx. She studied singing and dancing starting at age five. At 22, she was cast as a dancer on the hit TV show In Living Color. Her major breakthrough came just a few years later when she played the title role in Selena, a biopic of the late Tejano music star. The movie Out of Sight with George Clooney soon followed and Lopez became the first Latina actress to earn more than $1 million for a film role.

From there her career catapulted into cosmic proportions as she became a recording superstar, fashion designer, and producer. And she's also a mom to twins Emme and Max. "My mom always told me that if you work hard, you can achieve anything... It's one of the truest things ever," Lopez once said. And she still holds her Bronx roots close to her heart. As Lopez sings in "Jenny from the Block," "Used to have a little, now I have a lot. No matter where I go, I know where I came from (Southside Bronx!)"