Jennifer Lopez – singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, producer, entrepreneur, humanitarian, Latin icon.

She is all these things. She is also a mother, a devoted daughter and family member and still feels the depth of her roots. She’s Jenny from the Block.

Just what is it about this woman – Jenny, Jennifer, J.Lo – that fascinates all of us? It is not simply that she is beautiful, talented and known worldwide. There is genuineness about Jennifer Lopez. She owns all of who she is and the perception of her is that she is approachable and not all that different from you and me. Men and women are both passionate fans and followers. Her appeal is universal.

Jennifer Lopez had some professional success at an early age but it wasn’t until starring in the title role of the motion picture, Selena, in 1997, that she became a household name. She has continued to expand her horizons ever since.

So much has been written about her over the years, much of it sensationalized. There have been stories about her professional accomplishments, yes, but more about her personal relationships, many of which were very high profile. She has been lauded as a strong woman in an entertainment industry that is still dominated by men but she has also been the subject of controversy many times because of her perfectionist tendencies, fashion choices and her ambition. There have been many articles and reviews written about her music and others about how some believe she has very little vocal talent. And there has been so much said and written about how she takes pride in and celebrates her Latin heritage. Others criticize her for not being Latin enough.

Through all of this, J.Lo has just gotten bigger and bigger. What began as a modest acting career has turned into so much more. She not only continues to act but she is also a highly successful recording artist, a credited songwriter, an accomplished dancer and an influential producer. She has several successful lines of clothing, home goods, furnishings and fragrances. She is the most successful Latin artist of All-Time and has been listed as one of the richest and most influential women in the world. Everyone knows the name Jennifer Lopez. J.Lo is a worldwide brand.

Still, throughout her rise to unprecedented success, she has experienced deep lows, professional disappointments and even sudden halts in her career. The thing is, Jennifer Lopez doesn’t hide from the down times. She stays the course and is honest and forthright about her trials and tribulations.

She may be honest to a fault. It has been that truthfulness and candor that has often gotten her into hot water with one group of people or another. That does not deter her. She admits to being a workaholic and to being driven by ambition. She’ll own that she enjoys being provocative and that she champions the LGBTQ community and the underprivileged. She is always pushing the envelope, gladly.

J.Lo takes time away from performing for personal gain to contribute to humanitarian causes. She has often donated proceeds from some of her endeavors to charities she believes in.

She was among the many celebrities who donated funds and time to those who needed help after the 9/11 attacks. After the devastating hurricanes that affected Puerto Rico, she donated one million dollars of the profits from her Las Vegas show for humanitarian aid to assist those affected by the storms. She started The Lopez Family Foundation with her sister Lynda. It is a nonprofit organization that has worked to make healthcare more available to women and children both here in the United States and abroad. She has donated to programs that support physical fitness for children. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

She has said that after the birth of her children, she became innately aware of the need for those with the means to step up and do whatever they can to make this world a better place for our children. This is a women who will work tirelessly to make sure that each project she works on is the best it can be, so much so that she works 18 hours a day some days. Then after that long day, she will come home and call her mother. One of her favorite things to do in the small amount of free time she has is to cook the food she loved as a child, with her own children. She is giving them a piece of the childhood she remembers as a young Jenny, back in the Bronx.

It just seems that we can all relate to this person who stands up in front of the world and embraces her curves, her heritage, her gender, her drive to be the best, her sex appeal, her family and her humanity. Men can’t get enough of her. Women admire her and want to be her. She has fans in every medium.

Everyone loves J.Lo because she’s REAL.

Thanks for being a a loyal reader. Until next time, Eyes to the Sky.