Lopez follows up her 2002 This Is Me...Then album, which immortalized her relationship with Ben Affleck in the video "Jenny from the Block" and "Dear Ben," with a new compilation of dance ditties and breezy pop tunes. Sales peak at 1.5 million.
Lopez and Anthony film El Cantante, the story of salsa king Hector Lavoe, with Lopez's production company producing the project. The couple also works together on her first full-length Spanish language album, Como Ama Una Mujer (How a Woman Loves).
Lopez and Anthony serve as grand marshals for the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City. That January, with an estimated $255 million empire that includes music, movies, clothes and fragrances, the New York-bred Latina gets top billing in People en Español's list of the top 100 Most Influential Hispanics.
The former Fly Girl returns to her roots with the MTV reality show Dancelife, acting as executive producer and appearing in only two episodes. The show follows six Los Angeles-based dancers as they audition for Lopez, Ashlee Simpson, Nelly Furtado, Gap and Candies. "It's a tough life and I want to show that struggle," Lopez says to MTV.com. "These dancers have dedicated their lives to this, and honestly, the glory is not always there."
Pregnancy rumors begin circulating when Lopez hits the runway of her fashion show in a dress that reveals a baby bump. Then, while on tour with her husband and promoting her album, Brave, the singer dons a series of roomy outfits that bump up the baby talk. After keeping mum, Lopez finally confirms her pregnancy in November.
Lopez and Anthony welcome twins, a boy named Max and a girl named Emme. The glowing mom introduces her babies to the world in an exclusive spread with PEOPLE. "I miss felling them inside of me," Lopez tells PEOPLE. "It's funny – when their little umbilical cords fell off, I cried. That was the last attachment we had where it was just us."
"It was nice to get back to work after being home for a little bit," Lopez says of returning to the big screen in The Back-Up Plan. "You get back to it, with a shift in priorities." The romantic comedy – about a woman who undergoes artificial insemination only to meet the man of her dreams afterward – opens at No. 2.
Confirming weeks of speculation, Lopez is announced as the latest American Idol judge for the show's upcoming tenth season. "I'm looking for the next Michael Jackson," the singer-actress, who'll be joined by fellow Idol newbie Steven Tyler and vet Randy Jackson, tells host Ryan Seacrest at the live announcement. "We're looking for the best American Idol ever." After two seasons, Lopez leaves the singing competition. "I could do Idol for the rest of my life," she tells colleague Ryan Seacrest, "but that would be giving up a bunch of other things."
Right before the season 10 premiere of American Idol, Lopez dishes on joining the judges' table with fellow newbie Steven Tyler in Entertainment Weekly. "These guys have been together for 10 years now," she says of working with Ryan Seacrest and veteran judge Randy Jackson. "We're the new kids. They embraced us so much. It feels like we're part of a family."
After numerous appearances on PEOPLE's Most Beautiful list, Lopez nabs the coveted cover. Being beautiful is "part of my job," the mother of two, 41, tells PEOPLE. "I don't want anybody thinking it's easy. It does take time and it's hard work." As for those diva rumors? "I kind of like it," the new American Idol judge says. "We've kind of owned it now."
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): amazon.com; Picturehouse; Ronald Asadorian/Splash News; Kevin Mazur/WireImage; Peter Iovino/CBS FIlms; Michael Becker/PictureGroup; Courtesy Entertainment Weekly