JLo's musical evolution in 14 iconic hits

Is Jenny from the Block the Same Girl? A timeline of JLo’s music

Waiting for Tonight (1999)
Album:
On the 6
One of the songs that helped JLo’s astronomic rise to dance-pop fame, this iconic track was everywhere when it was released and became one of the most prolific dance tracks of the Millennium. It’s disco, club anthem, ’80s pop and ’90s R&B, all rolled into one. Critics went wild for it, and why wouldn’t they? It’s the kind of singalong, dance-along song that you can’t help but love.
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If You Had My Love (1999)
Album:
On the 6
This was JLo’s first-ever number one hit, an entire 18 years ago. It stayed at the top of the Billboard charts for several weeks, and was, in fact, one of the highest-selling singles of the year. Almost two decades on, with its nostalgic ’90s groove and hypnotic strings, it’s as popular as it ever was. So much so that it’s this song she chose to open her shows for her Las Vegas residency that kicked off in January 2016, while Drake sampled it in May for his track Teenage Fever.
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Love Don’t Cost a Thing (2001)
Album:
J.Lo
Two years on, JLo shoots to number one again, in the UK and the US with this sassy, catchy hit. It’s a JLo classic, and exactly the kind of funky, bold pop-R&B track that characterised the late ’90s and early noughties. It joined the ranks of hit singles featuring powerful lyrics from strong, independent female pop icons. Think TLC’s No Scrubs, Destiny’s Child’s Independent Woman, which came out in the same year, Christina Aguilera’s Can’t Hold Us Down and even (dare we say it?) Shania Twain’s iconic country track That Don’t Impress Me Much.
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Ain’t it Funny (2001)
Album:
J.Lo
It didn’t quite reach the astronomic success of some of her other tracks (though it still reached the Top 10 in charts across the world), but this smooth song fuses R&B beats with Spanish flamenco influences and hip-swaying melodies. It’s one of her first, and remains one of her most successful, Latin-influenced tracks.
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Play (2002)
Album:
J.Lo
Play didn’t quite manage to break into Billboard’s Top 10, but its ’80s pop vibe, starkly electronic sound and electric guitar riffs garnered plenty of attention. It’s one of the first hints of JLo’s dance-pop tracks that would become popular from the mid-noughties.
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Jenny from the Block (2002)
Album:
This is me… Then
It’s without a doubt JLo’s most famous hit of all time. As co-writer on the song, she carved out her own rags-to-riches identity with a catchy, old-school hip-hop track about staying true to your roots. It famously sampled a 1970’s song by 20th Century Steel Band, with its opening line: “Men go working, some go stealing, everyone's got to make a living". Deep stuff.
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Dear Ben (2002)
Album:
This is me… Then
Ah, Bennifer. One of Hollywood’s first super-couples, and forever immortalised in the sickly sweet lyrics of this love song. Written while Lopez was engaged to Ben Affleck, we can’t say this is our favourite JLo track (and a complete 180 from her dance-worthy R&B numbers) but it’s essential JLo listening, nonetheless.
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Get Right (2005)
Album:
Rebirth
Say hello to JLo 2.0. From her aptly named fourth studio album, this is where things start to change. A significant departure from her R&B style, Get Right was without doubt a dance track, with a jazz and funk-influenced sound that made the track a huge success, topping charts in countries across the world, though, oddly, the US wasn’t one of them.
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Do It Well (2007)
Album:
Brave
After the success of Get Right, Do It Well was another step closer to the JLo of today. It’s got the same catchy lyrics and melodies that Lopez is known for, but the chorus is razor-sharp. Much like the surreally edgy music video that was released with it, directed by David LaChapelle.
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Qué Hiciste (2007)
Album:
Como Ama una Mujer
JLo’s Spanish tracks do an incredible job of showing off her vocals. If you’re new these and you’re going to start somewhere, make the dramatic rock ballad Qué Hiciste your first port of call. Arguably her most popular Spanish-language song, it earned itself a spot on her greatest hits album Dance Again… The Hits, and you might recognise it from her Carpool Karaoke with James Cordon.
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On the Floor ft. Pitbull (2011)
Album:
Love?
At this point we’re onto JLo’s seventh studio album, which Lopez claims features some of her strongest vocals yet. But what stand out most about the album are the dancefloor tracks like this Pitbull collaboration (of which there are many), which sees her returning to her R&B-pop origins with a healthy dose of electro house. It was made for club dancefloors, where, for most of 2011, you couldn’t escape it if you tried. It’s one of her biggest songs, breaking one billion views on YouTube.
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Goin' In ft. Flo Rida (2011)
Album: Dance Again… The Hits
It never received the recognition of her Pitbull collaborations, but a spot on her first greatest hits album and a feature on the soundtrack to Step Up: Revolution meant Goin’ In didn’t go unnoticed. The Guetta-esque track has all the makings of a smash-hit club anthem, but gets overshadowed by the more accessible On the Floor.
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Dance Again ft. Pitbull (2011)

Album: Dance Again… The Hits
Another smash-hit collaboration with Pitbull. While it’s one of her most well-known tracks, it doesn’t top the popularity of On the Floor, though in terms of style, they’re near-identical.
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Ain’t Your Mama (2016)
Album: None – released digitally via iTunes
Pre-occupied with her Vegas residency and her work as a judge on American Idol following the releases of her eighth album A.K.A, JLo didn’t release any new material until last year, when she put out this single digitally via iTunes. Something of a return to her early noughties subject matter, and a step back from her clubby tracks that dominated her previous releases, it’s a good-old, sassy, feel-good track, penned by none other than singer-songwriter-producer Meghan Trainor.
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