JENNIFER LOPEZ has carved out a remarkable career across music, movies and fashion over 25 years, alongside a well-documented rollercoaster personal life.

But the sexy superstar has opened up about the toll that the glare of the spotlight and intense criticism have had on her, revealing she almost packed it in while trying to navigate fame.

Jennifer Lopez has revealed she almost quit showbiz after her bum was mocked by the media
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Jennifer Lopez has revealed she almost quit showbiz after her bum was mocked by the mediaCredit: Getty

Jennifer made the revelation in new Netflix documentary Halftime which also features fiancé Ben Affleck
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Jennifer made the revelation in new Netflix documentary Halftime which also features fiancé Ben AffleckCredit: Getty


She admits: “There were many times where I was just like, I think I’m just going to quit.

“I had to really figure out who I was. And believe in that and not believe in anything else.”

Part of that came from the cruel mocking of her curvy figure, especially her bum, early on in her career, at a time when there was far less diversity in showbiz when it came to body shape.

Jennifer explains: “When I started working, the beauty ideal was very thin, blonde, tall, not a lot of curves.

“I grew up around women with curves so it was nothing I was ever ashamed of.

“It was hard, when you think people think you’re a joke — like a punchline.

“But it wound up affecting things in a way that I never intended.”

That included becoming a ­fashion icon, but even fiancé Ben Affleck was shocked at the sort of scrutiny she has come under.

Speaking in her new Netflix documentary Halftime, out today, he recalls: “I said to her once, ‘Doesn’t this bother you?’

“And she said, ‘I’m Latina, I’m a woman, I expected this’.”

The one-off special follows the star in early 2020, when she had a huge career resurgence in the critically acclaimed film Hustlers.

In the same period she headlined the Super Bowl halftime show with Shakira, seen by more than 100million people in the US alone.

But the triumph, soon after her 50th birthday, was a world away from where she had been eight years earlier after her divorce from her third husband, singer Marc Anthony.

She confesses: “I’ve lived in the public eye. One of the things I’m proud of is that I’m able to hold it together without anybody knowing how I feel.

“I had to learn that the key was not so much about other people but about yourself.

“It’s about being your own keeper and not looking for ­somebody to give you a home, but making your own home.

Jennifer said: 'It was hard, when you think people think you’re a joke — like a punchline'
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Jennifer said: ‘It was hard, when you think people think you’re a joke — like a punchline’Credit: Getty

In 2020 Jennifer headlined the Super Bowl halftime show with Shakira, seen by more than 100million people in the US alone
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In 2020 Jennifer headlined the Super Bowl halftime show with Shakira, seen by more than 100million people in the US aloneCredit: AFP

Jennifer has two children, Max and Emme, with ex-husband Marc Anthony
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Jennifer has two children, Max and Emme, with ex-husband Marc AnthonyCredit: jlo/Instagram
“As an artist I lost a little bit of who I was in trying to build a perfect life, and when my kids were three, I got divorced and I was a single mum with two little kids.

“At 42, movie roles were not knocking on my door. As I was getting back to work, I really felt like I didn’t know what my value was any more. I was doing American Idol.

“That was the first big job I did after I had my babies and it was good for me at that time — people could see me for who I was and that changed everything.”

The Ain’t It Funny singer has always been ambitious and tells how she did everything in her power to become a success.

She says: “When I was a little girl it was ingrained in my head that I wasn’t the singer.

“My sister was the singer and my other ­sister was the smart one.

“I was either the athlete or the dancer, so I wasn’t smart or could sing. So whenever anyone would ask me if I could sing, I would say no.

“I fell in love with dance and it totally distracted me from any type of school.

“My mom was like, ‘If you’re going to live in this house, you’re going to get your education’.

“So we got into a fight one night and I left. I was 18.”

During her career, J-Lo has scored 17 Top Ten singles, sold 80million records and starred in nearly 40 films.

But she was left crushed after failing to score an Oscar nomination for her turn as stripper Ramona in crime drama Hustlers.

Speaking in the documentary, J-Lo — who was heavily tipped to win a gong — says: “I dreamt that it happened. And when I woke up I realised it was a dream.”

Nor did things run smoothly when it came to her stint headlining the Super Bowl show.

She branded it “the worst idea” for bosses to force her to perform with Shakira, given the time constraints and the number of hits she wanted to sing.

But things got even stickier when it came to her desire to have child actors in lit-up cages in the stadium — to show her ­opposition to Donald Trump, whose border force held immigrants in cages.

The day before the show, bosses told her to lose the cages, but she refused.

In a row with ­producers, J-Lo ranted: “I’m ­trying to give you something with substance, not just us out there shaking our f****ing a**es.”

And after headlining the world’s biggest gig, she insists there is still lots more to come.

She adds: “It’s been a long road getting here and I’m proud of that person who’s kept it together.

“I’m actually thriving in a way I never could have imagined that I would be at this time in my life.

“I’ve got so much more I wanna do, so much more I wanna say. I’m not done. Not even close.”

SHAKIRA AIMING TO PEAS

BLACK EYED PEAS and Shakira’s massive ­summer anthem is out in just a few days’ time, and I can reveal it’s called Don’t You Worry.

I told in April how they were teaming up for a track.

Shakira has teamed with Black Eyed Peas on ­summer anthem Don’t You Worry
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Shakira has teamed with Black Eyed Peas on ­summer anthem Don’t You WorryCredit: Rex
And as if two stars were not enough, I can also announce that David Guetta has collaborated with them on the single.

A source said: “The song is the definition of a feelgood summer tune.

“Shakira and the Peas together was already incredible but adding David to the mix took it to the next level.”

I told last week how David also has a collaboration ­coming with UK Eurovision finalist Sam Ryder.

That should give Sam even more material to perform when he heads out on his tour next spring, in support of his debut album There’s Nothing But Space, Man! which is due out later this year.

SIR ROD BUST-UP

IT’S usually the young ’uns fighting but now Sir Rod Stewart and Elvis Costello have become embroiled in an hilarious spat.

The Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? singer, hit out on Twitter after Elvis said Rod’s ­performance at the Queen’s Jubilee was “s***e”.

Sir Rod Stewart and Elvis Costello have become embroiled in an hilarious spat
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Sir Rod Stewart and Elvis Costello have become embroiled in an hilarious spatCredit: Getty
Rod tweeted: “Dear Elvis, yes my voice was rough cos of Covid.

“I apologise, I thought it better to make an appearance rather than let everyone down – so sorry.

“By the way, where’s your hair gone, mate? Sir Rod.”

Elvis replied: “Dear Lord, Stewart. You know I love you.

“Think the Queen would have loved You Wear It Well or even Hot Legs.

“As to gigs, I had a stinker the other night in Liverpool. They come and go, like hair, which I keep sewn in my hat.”

MAISIE’S IN SIGN FORM

MAISIE PETERS has announced her biggest headline show to date, at London’s O2 Academy Brixton.

The Brit singer-songwriter has been supporting Ed Sheeran on tour and performed at Capital’s Summertime Ball at the weekend but will be going it alone when she plays Brixton on April 27 next year.

Maisie Peters has announced her biggest headline show to date, at London’s O2 Academy Brixton
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Maisie Peters has announced her biggest headline show to date, at London’s O2 Academy BrixtonCredit: Getty
She has also been working on tracks for her eagerly anticipated second album, after the success of her No2 debut last year, You Signed Up For This.

So there are likely to be some great new tunes by the time she makes it on stage.

LIAM IS EYEING UP No10 ENTRY

LIAM GALLAGHER has vowed that common sense will reign supreme if he ever makes it into Downing Street.

The no-nonsense rocker insists he would do a better job than current PM Boris Johnson.

Liam Gallagher insists he would do a better job than current PM Boris Johnson
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Liam Gallagher insists he would do a better job than current PM Boris JohnsonCredit: Getty
Liam said: “Anyone would do a better job than the dude that’s in there now.

“Well, I’m not getting political and that, but voting for governments, just . . . I would, if I was Prime Minister, ban all governments and just let people use their common f***ing sense.

“Know what I mean? We don’t need governments telling us what to do.”

The ardent Man City fan added: “I’d have to just put a law in and just gaffer- tape Scousers’ mouths, just like that.

“And then I’d also write ‘champions’ across . . . And what else would there be? And then Man United fans followed quickly second in that.”

Liam, who recently headlined two sold-out nights at Knebworth, Herts, continued to say that although there are zero plans for an Oasis reunion, he doesn’t tire of being asked about the possibility.

He told online site LadBible: “See, I don’t mind getting asked that, ’cos it’s natural. You know what I mean?”

“I like talking about Oasis cos it’s the best band in the world.

“What, getting back together? Not this week.

“But I mean, I’m ready to go. My bags are packed. Maybe the week after.”

There’s probably more chance of seeing Liam moving into No10 Downing Street than him sharing the stage with his brother Noel again any time soon.

Bizbit

JENNIFER HUDSON became only the second black woman in history, after Whoopi Goldberg, to achieve “EGOT” status after her show A Strange Loop won Best Musical at Sunday’s Tony Awards.

It means she is one of just 17 people in history to have won the big four – an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.

JAMAICA YOUR ALBUM YET, LEIGH-ANNE?

IT has only been a month since Little Mix’s sell-out arena tour ended but Leigh-Anne Pinnock is already hard at work on her debut album.

I first told in February how Leigh-Anne – posing here for her swimwear brand In’A’Seashell – had landed a massive deal with Warner Music, which is the home of superstars Ed Sheeran and Madonna.

Leigh-Anne Pinnock is already hard at work on her debut album
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Leigh-Anne Pinnock is already hard at work on her debut albumCredit: INSTAGRAM/LEIGH-ANNE PINNOCK
Now I can reveal she is using her current trip to Jamaica to write and record new tracks.

A source said: “Obviously she’s enjoying some downtime but Leigh-Anne is keen to hit the ground running.

“Some of the label team were with her as well as songwriters including Tayla Parx, who was behind one of Little Mix’s biggest hits Sweet Melody.

“No release dates have been set yet – it’s far too early for that – but the wheels are in motion.”