Jennifer Lopez is set to receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2018 MTV VMA, taking place tonight at 9 p.m. ET on Much and MTV Canada. A triple threat, the actor, singer and dancer has been producing some of the most iconic music videos in pop culture history since dropping her debut album On The Six in 1999. Two decades later, J Lo continues to dominate the top of the charts and set the bar for dance-centric music videos.
To celebrate her Video Vanguard Award, Lopez has been sharing some behind the scenes stories about her most famous videos on Instagram. Giving fans the never before heard history of her famous videography, Lopez has been going down memory lane in anticipation of tonight’s show.
After sitting in on the editing process for her second video “Waiting For Tonight,” Lopez says she saw the power of editing and has been involved in cutting all her music videos since them.
“WFT is one of my all-time favorites because it stands the test of time, it was 1999, just about to be 2000 or Y2K—everyone thought the world was going to crash, so the director Francis Lawrence and I just threw the ultimate rave in a rainforest!!” writes Lopez on her Instagram.
In 2001, Lopez dropped her second album J. Lo, which included her fourth single, “I’m Real.” With the “I’m Real – Murder Remix,” Lopez teamed up with Murder Inc. rapper Ja Rule and produced a video that went on to win Best Hip Hop Video at the 2002 MTV VMAs.
“We had already shot the first video but then I did this remix with Ja Rule – everyone went crazy for the song so we decided to shoot a video for it,” writes Lopez. “We shot it in one day. The stylists brought me all this fancy couture from all the big designers. But this little-known company Juicy sent these sweat suits for me to chill and hang out in. I loved them so much I decided to wear it in the video with my throwback Adidas and my nameplate and a bun. I shocked everyone when I decided to wear it! It seemed fitting since the song is called “I’m Real”, so I decided to be ME!!”
One of Lopez’s most iconic videos is 2002’s “Jenny From The Block.” Featuring then-boyfriend Ben Affleck, the song and video paid homage to Lopez’s rise from little girl from the Bronx to one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Working again with Lawrence, the video was shot in Lopez’s home state of New York and taken from This Was Me…Then, which J Lo calls her most personal album ever.
“Honestly my favorite album I’ve done so far,” says Lopez. “I just loved the sound of it and the sentiments…At that time I truly realized that being an artist meant you have to be vulnerable and bare your heart and soul…it takes courage to do that…to really show who you are at any given moment in time…and this was me then… completely. And one of the things that was important for me to remind everyone of in that moment was who I am and who I will always be…don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got I’m still I’m still…JENNY FROM THE BLOCK.”
For her third studio album This Is Me…Then, Lopez teamed up with famed director David LaChapelle to pay homage to the iconic dance film Flashdance. Lopez spoke to LaChapelle when looking for directors and after hearing the song he knew exactly what the video should look like.
“I’d always wanted to work with him (LaChapelle), so I reached out and said I had this new song and I wanted it to be a dance video…after he heard it he said we should do “Flashdance”… I said “OK…so like inspired by the movie?” He says “No, exactly like the movie!” LOL! “Oohh…ok”, I said…SO WE DID IT,” writes Lopez. “We had so much fun recreating the scenes and the styles and putting it to my music!! I was SO into it in one setup, I was just doing the MOST, dancing so hard that I threw out my neck!! We had to stop production and come back 10 days later to finish it!”
Part of Lopez’s seventh studio album Love?, “On The Floor” featuring Pitbull was nominated for the iHeartRadio MMVAs International Video of the Year and two MTV EMAs. Selling more than 11 million copies, “On The Floor” is one of the best selling singles of all time.
“This was my first track after I had my babies and I hadn’t put out a record in a few years,” says Lopez. “They gave us no money to make this video. It ended up leaking a few days before my debut on American Idol and started climbing straight up the charts! It’s also my first video to reach 1 billion views on YouTube, and I was the first female artist to do that.”
Watch Jennifer Lopez receive the Video Vanguard Award at the 2018 MTV VMAs tonight at 9 p.m. ET on Much. You can watch the show live on MTV.ca. The 2018 MTV VMAs will feature performances by Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Logic featuring Ryan Tedder, Travis Scott, and Post Malone.