How J.Lo and A-Rod Became the New 'It' Power Couple
Whether we call them A.Lo or J-Rod, it’s undeniable that Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez are one of the best celebrity power couples out there. They’re both incredibly talented, with movie, music and baseball fortunes having followed them over several decades’ worth of constant effort. Plus, they have adorable children that seemingly get along — proving that having a blended family can be easy.
Individually, they are amazing, but the two together are a force of nature to be reckoned with. Let’s take a closer look at one of our favorite celebrity couples and how exactly they came to be.
1969: A Pop Star Is Born
Jennifer Lopez was born in the Bronx, New York, to Puerto Rican parents on July 24, 1969. At a young age, she took singing and dancing lessons as well as trained in athletics.
In her final year of high school, Lopez began seeking out acting work, and finally got a small role in the film “My Little Lady” in 1986. She tried the college route at Baruch College in New York but left after only a short time to chase her showbiz dreams. This caused a rift with her parents, so Lopez moved out of the family home and into her own apartment.
Despite facing prejudice due to being Latina, Lopez pressed on, soon appearing as a backup dancer with New Kids on the Block before moving to Hollywood.
1975: And Then a Baseball Player Is Born
Also a native New Yorker, Alex Rodriguez was born in Manhattan to Dominican parents almost exactly seven years later on July 27, 1975. The family moved to Miami and briefly back to the Dominican Republic, according to The Seattle Times.
Before A-Rod got his big break, times became rough when patriarch Victor Rodriguez left the family in Florida to return to New York.
1994: A-Rod Comes Into His Own
The future shortstop told The Seattle Times he didn’t hear from his father again until he was drafted into the majors in 1993.
Rodriguez was called up to “the show” as a shortstop for the Mariners in 1994 at age 18, beginning what would become one of the most extraordinary careers in modern baseball.
1997: J.Lo on the Rise
Around the same time, J.Lo was chasing her showbiz dreams by choreographing dance routines for the classic comedy show, “In Living Color,” and taking bit acting parts when she could.
But it wasn’t until she beat out thousands of other hopefuls for the coveted role of Selena Quintanilla in the 1997 biopic “Selena” to bring her into the Hollywood A-list.
1997 & Beyond: Lopez’s Big Paydays
For “Selena,” Lopez earned a then-unheard-of $1 million, the first time a Latina actress had commanded such a salary. But that’s peanuts compared to the paydays to come in the 21st century.
According to IMDB, she took home a cool $4 million for the creepy-dreamy sci-fi flick “The Cell” in 2000, and earned more than $10 million a picture at least five different times by the close of the aughts.
1999: J.Lo Tries Music
In addition to films like “The Wedding Planner,” “Monster-in-Law” and “Anaconda” (which is one of the “best” bad films of all time and must be seen with an audience to be disbelieved), “Jenny From the Block” has also kept busy with a musical career.
Her first album, 1999’s “On the 6” (named for the 6 train in the Bronx where she grew up), features the danceable Latin pop staple “Let’s Get Loud” as well as the Top 10 hit “Waiting for Tonight,” which was also recorded in Spanish on the album as “Una Noche Mas.”
Her most recent album (and eighth overall) was 2014’s “A.K.A.,” which she promoted with a mini-tour.
2000: A-Rod Sets a New Salary Record
In 2000, the Texas Rangers (the team once owned by former President George W. Bush) lured the then-25-year-old A-Rod away from Seattle with a 10-year, $252 million contract that set a new record for Major League Baseball, according to ESPN.
This drew cheers in the Lone Star but also jeers that, unlike the NFL with its salary cap, star players could command such windfalls seemingly unfettered and “ruin” the purity of the game.
2005: The Two Meet in Person
Even though J.Lo and A-Rod didn’t become a couple until much later, the two technically met in May 2005 at a baseball game at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York. By this time, Rodriguez had been traded to the Yankees.
Lopez and her then-husband Marc Anthony were attending a game and got the opportunity to meet the baseball star. In what now seems like a funny jab at the future Mr. Lopez, Anthony was wearing a Mets jersey.
2007: A-Rod Sets Yet Another Salary Record
Since A-Rod was now a Yankee, it came as no surprise that George Steinbrenner, the cantankerous late owner of the Yankees, would approach A-Rod with yet another record-breaking 10-year contract in 2007. It was an offer A-Rod couldn’t refuse, so he agreed to sign on the dotted line for what Business Insider claimed was a contract worth $275 million — requiring Steinbrenner to buy the Rangers out of the last three years on Rodriguez’s contract.
It was the biggest major league haul until the Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton successfully signed a contract for $325 million, also according to ESPN.
2016: A-Rod Hangs Up the Glove
Baseball players, even ones as stellar as Alex Rodriguez, have a relatively short shelf life, so A-Rod retired from the majors in 2016. This was preceded not only by injuries and declining stats but also testing positive for steroid use in 2009 and a suspension in 2013 for similar reasons.
He played his final game on Aug. 12, 2016, retiring at age 41 with 696 homers and a healthy slugging percentage of .550, reports Baseball Reference.
Despite his unquestioned abilities — enhanced by steroids or otherwise — and astronomical compensation, Rodriguez left the game with just one World Series ring to his credit, having captured the title with the Yankees in 2009, and some wondering if the steroid scandals might hurt his chances of ever entering the Hall of Fame.
2017 & Decades Before: Lopez’s Many Famous Exes
Long before the Lopez-Rodriguez romantic relationship commenced, both parties notched a who’s-who gallery of famous lovers. J.Lo was romantically linked to Sean “Puffy” Combs in the late-’90s, followed by singer Cris Judd and then actor Ben Affleck in the new millennium. And while it’s impossible to prove one caused the other, J.Lo and Affleck broke up in 2004 not long after they starred together in the notorious commercial and critical flop “Gigli.”
Lopez then moved onto fellow singer Marc Anthony, whom she married and had twins with. Her next “famous” paramour was backup dancer Casper Smith before A-Rod came up to bat in 2017.
Also 2017 & Decades Before: A-Rod’s Romantic Links
Alex Rodriguez meanwhile has been linked to none other than Madonna — 17 years his senior — which allegedly broke up his marriage to Cynthia Scurtis in 2008.
Ranker reports he’s also been connected to other high-wattage companions such as Cameron Diaz and 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki, the onetime wife of Google co-found Sergey Brin.
2017: The Couple Officially Connects
Yes, J.Lo and A-Rod technically met in 2005 at a Yankees baseball game, but the attraction seems to go back even further. Harper’s Bazaar quotes Rodriguez as saying he’d kept a signed photograph of Lopez in his possession since the late 1990s, which is either cute or incredibly weird depending on your point of view.
But fast-forward to 2017, and J.Lo bumped into A-Rod at a restaurant, and suggested they get “dinner.” Finally!
Later in 2017: In a New York Minute
The couple was spotted about town throughout the spring of 2017, and gave several interviews in which they touted their growing relationship and love for one another. In June of the same year, J.Lo posted a photo on Instagram of her children and A-Rod’s daughters hanging out at the pool together in an “awwww” moment.
They continued to be photographed at public events from coast to coast and in Europe, and were even spotted together at a Floyd Mayweather fight in Las Vegas.
August 2018: Not Tomorrow, Today
In addition to being plastered on the covers of all the gossip rags, the power couple famously dropped by “The Today Show” in August 2018.
A-Rod made an earlier appearance on the same set, telling co-hosts Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford that his mother had called him that morning to say, “Son, you’ve finally made it.”
We’re guessing she’s not a baseball fan.
September 2018: The Vegas Residency
With the music industry upside down, it’s little wonder that so many stars are heading to Sin City for residencies, in which they can command rather hefty paydays for just a few hours of nightly work. J.Lo did just that from 2016 to late 2018 with her “All I Have” show raking in a whopping $100 million in ticket receipts during its nearly three-year run.
Beau Alex was there to help her celebrate the end of the marathon in September 2018, according to Harper’s Bazaar.
February 2019: An Oscar-Worthy Moment
The couple gave a rather saccharine interview on the Oscars red carpet this past February, in which J.Lo praised her man’s “cinematography” that he demonstrates on their shared social media posts.
According to People, this is one of A-Rod’s favorite hobbies, snapping away at every opportunity and citing his two daughters as the “biggest critics” of his social media posting skills — or lack thereof.
March 2019: She Says ‘Yes’
Their path to couplehood may have been anything but typical, but their engagement was the stuff of fairytales when the proposal came with a 16-carat diamond ring on a beach in the Bahamas this past March. J.Lo was the one dragging her feet, according to USA Today, due to her previous failures at marriage, but this time around might be different.
As quoted in Harper’s Bazaar, J.Lo believes that because both of them became famous in their early 20s and have each been married before. They understand the pitfalls of showbiz life and of how a midlife marriage is different than when they were both younger.
When Is the Big Day?
If you find out when this wedding is supposed to happen, kindly tell us, because the couple is being cagey on when they’ll tie the knot. In the meantime, they are keeping busy, as Jen kicked off her “It’s My Party: The Live Celebration” tour on June 7 in Phoenix that concludes on July 26 in Miami, just two days after her 50th birthday — guaranteed to be a diva-worthy celebration.
Meanwhile, Alex continues to be hard at work on his charitable endeavors via the A-Rod Corp., which provides scholarships to college ball players at the University of Miami, where he was supposed to attend on a football scholarship before opting out of school to pursue a baseball career instead. He also serves on the board of the Boy & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade and has worked feverishly to aid hurricane-relief efforts along the Gulf Coast and in his fiancee’s ancestral home of Puerto Rico.
Their Collective Fortune
By the time J.Lo and A-Rod finally get married, their joint piggy bank could top $1 billion, according to Money.com, ensuring that no matter what type of married life they will fashion together, it shall, indeed, be comfortable.