Actress, singer, dancer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Jennifer Lopez may well be the "world's most powerful celebrity," a title Forbes magazine bestowed on her this year.
From an early start as a backup dancer, the New York-born daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants has rocketed to the top of the record charts, Hollywood stardom and a reported $52 million in earnings last year.
At her recent concert in Los Angeles, Lopez, 43, talked to dpa about fame, family, love, and what's left of the girl from the Bronx who grew up to be one of the world's most famous entertainers.
Lopez is on her long-awaited first major concert tour ever. She started in June in Latin America, is sweeping through Europe from late September through November, then on to Russia and Asia, ending in mid December.
She is to perform in Germany on Oct. 13 in Berlin, followed by appearances in Munich Oct. 25, Hamburg Oct. 28 and Oberhausen Oct. 31.
dpa: You've been to Germany before. What's your favorite memory?
Lopez: Oktoberfest! I remember when I was on tour with a different show when I was very young I remember being at Oktoberfest for some reason and having waffles. And cherries. It was a long time ago!
dpa: How do you manage being on tour, being an actress, being a singer, being a mom? How does all that come together?
Lopez: It's a family affair. I have my cousin, the babies' aunt, who stays with them, and one of my best friends who's like their aunt. My security is like their uncle. It's a big family. My mom comes out and helps out with the babies once in a while, and we just make it work.
dpa: Forbes has named you the world's most powerful celebrity. What's left of that girl from the Bronx?
Lopez: All the good stuff. All the important stuff. The stuff on the inside. That's why I say in the show, don't let the sparkly pants fool you. ... In my heart, in my soul, I'm still the same person I was when I was 16 years old, walking down Castle Hill Avenue.
dpa: If you had a day to not be famous, how would you spend it?
Lopez: I would just go walk around outside. That's the only time (being famous) comes into play. When I want to go to a certain place I have to think, "Oh, wait a minute, should I go there? Is that going to be too much of a scene? Is it going to be dangerous? Can I go there on my own?"
dpa: You've had some highly publicized breakups. Do you still believe in love?
Lopez: Yes. My song Dance Again was about that, about still believing in love, still wanting to dance after something went wrong. And it's absolutely how I feel. ... It's all about learning and living and loving. And just keeping going.
dpa: Is it harder to find true love when you're Jennifer Lopez?
Lopez: I don't know. Sometimes I think about that, because people always want to put labels on you, examine your life. ... But being who I am is part of my journey. It's my destiny. And I love that. I created that. I helped make that happen. And so whatever that means for my personal life and those relationships, I also have a hand in that as well.
dpa: Who are you backing in the 2012 elections?
Lopez: Obama. Because I just believe in him as a human being and as a person, and as a president and as a leader. I feel like it's a tough job. For anybody and everybody. But I do believe he's trying to do his best, and I think that has value and merit.
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