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That Was Ten Years Ago? The Origin Story of “J-Lo”

February 25, 2011

Jennifer Lopez has been crying all over the clips on blogs this week after an emotional episode of American Idol, but she’s been on my mind for different reasons. Hsofia casually asked on Twitter yesterday, “What is it with women named Jennifer having their names abbreviated to J[abbreviatedappendage]? Is Jennifer too long?”

Left: Happy! Right: Bored.

Let’s set the time machine for 2000 and find the answer.  Remember the above dress?At the March 2000 Grammys, Jennifer Lopez was there with her then-boyfriend Sean “Puffy” Combs aka Puff Daddy. (Yeah, remember that? Wikipedia doesn’t, there’s no mention in the “Personal Life” section!) They seemed to be a match made in heaven until Puffy got her involved in a shooting. Anyway, this Grammy appearance and this dress was stuck in the news cycle for weeks, months maybe, and while the hype was building, Lopez was working on her follow-up album to On the 6, with plans for it to be more ‘urban’, i.e. Puffy was hooking her up with producers for tracks and remixes.

In January 2001, she released said album, and it was called J.Lo, based on the pet nickname that Puffy (who also changed his own nickname to P-Diddy or just ‘Diddy’) gave to Lopez. The J.Lo album went to number one immediately because of the strength of the single “Love Don’t Cost a Thing”, and that same winter Lopez also premiered her romantic comedy The Wedding Planner with Matthew McHonkyGay to great box office success, making her the first woman to have a number one album and a number one film in the same week. She was everywhere and threatened to smother us all with her J.Lo-ness, though clearly we survived. However the scars remain, and now every woman named Jennifer plus 63% of other names automatically get J.Lo-ized in middling news headlines and bad party conversations with white people trying to be clever.

Thus concludes today’s lesson in pop culture history, which also didn’t cost a thing.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2011 10:44 am

    I totally miss the J-Lo era. I loved the big glasses and the fabulous clothing and big, designer it bags and the series of shootings. Okay, well not the last thing. I love how J-Lo was ‘hood until caps started flying, suddenly she ran out and found the whitest white boy who ever whited a white!

    • February 25, 2011 10:51 am

      I love how J-Lo was ‘hood until caps started flying, suddenly she ran out and found the whitest white boy who ever whited a white!

      HA! Which made the whole controversy over the “I’m Real (Murder Remix)” a little more awkward too.

  2. February 25, 2011 10:54 am

    Poor Diddy lost his luster as a suitor. Nicki Minaj deemed it “disgusting” to be romantically linked to him even in rumors!

    • February 25, 2011 11:24 am

      HAHAH. Oh, Diddy, the bloom is off the rose.

  3. February 25, 2011 12:57 pm

    The more you know!

  4. February 25, 2011 1:13 pm

    Ahh, those were the days. Glossy, sunny music videos. J-Lo with dark hair.

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