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A whole lotta hip-shaking

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JENNIFER Lopez

The arrival of Jennifer Lopez today, Sunday, for her concert tomorrow, Monday, at the Mall of Asia Arena comes at a time when the performer has been enjoying renewed popularity with “On the Floor”—her most recent single featuring Pitbull from her 2011 album “Love?”

It took six years for the New York-born Latino to bounce back into the music scene.

Her previous album, “Brave” (2005), was panned by critics.

Her return to the public eye was very triumphant, primarily due to her stint as one of the judges in the singing competition “American Idol.”

The question that lingers on the minds of serious music fans in the Philippines is, can Lopez, now 43, really sing? It’s a valid query, especially since her initial goal was to become a famous movie star.

She started her career in 1991 as a backup dancer for New Kids on the Block, and later as one of the Fly Girls, the dance troupe on the American sketch comedy TV series “In Living Color.”

Her terpsichorean skills would apparently serve her in good stead on the music videos that she starred in, after her debut album, “On the 6,” was released in 1999.

But before she became a pop star, Lopez fulfilled her wish to act in films. In 1996, following a number of support roles, she played the lead role in “Selena,” biopic of the top-selling Latin-American singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez who was murdered by the president of her fan club.

After “Selena,” Lopez recorded a demo song in Spanish that was heard by then Sony Music Entertainment boss Tommy Mottola, who signed her but suggested that she sing in English.

She attained major success through her chart-topping singles and albums in the next several years, but people remember her mostly for: 1) her controversial Green Versace Jungle Dress at the 2000 Grammy Awards, 2) dating Ben Affleck, and 3) marrying Latino singer Marc Anthony.

In any case, it would be unfair to thumb down Lopez at this point, when she’s in the midst of a 55-city world tour. Manila is the 42nd stop (tomorrow’s, Monday’s, show is presented by Vista Land, Zenea and PLDT Fibr). The tour is dubbed “Dance Again,” in support of her 2012 compilation album, “Dance Again…the Hits.”

There will surely be lots of hip-shaking at the Arena—with Lopez leading a full cast of back-up dancers and hopefully a real band. What else is there to do but let one’s hair down?


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