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Jennifer Lopez' 'American Idol' Departure Plans: More Movies, Music, Parenting

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Jennifer Lopez after
Jennifer Lopez after "American Idol": more family time, movies and music.

NEW YORK — Jennifer Lopez was part of the all-star cast that helped lead "Ice Age: Continental Drift" to the top of the box office over the weekend, and the entertainer is eager to focus even more attention on her once white-hot movie career.

"I do miss doing films. I feel like the last two years with `(American) Idol,' I've really, really focused on, you know, my music. ... It was all kind of very synergistic, it worked really well together," said Lopez, whose movie hits include "Maid in Manhattan" and "Selena," and who was in "What to Expect When You're Expecting" earlier this year. "But (film) is something that I really loved, it's how I kind of started in this business, and it doesn't leave you. I am an actress, I need to do that, too."

She'll certainly have more time now that she's not going to be a judge on "American Idol." She announced last Friday that she will not be coming back to the Fox talent competition, following in the footsteps of fellow judge Steven Tyler, who announced a day earlier that he would leave the show to devote more time to his band, Aerosmith.

But before Lopez concentrates more on film, she has a lot on her music plate. She's releasing an upcoming greatest hits album, and this summer, she embarked on a world tour with Enrique Iglesias.

The 42-year-old singer-actress considers this her first world tour – she briefly performed several worldwide dates with then-husband Marc Anthony four years ago, but it wasn't as extensive as this new trek, which is currently in the United States.

Back then, she was pregnant with her twins, Max and Emme. Now they'll be on tour with her, and that represents another challenge for the superstar as she juggles performing with parenthood (she says her mother will join her for a time, and she has lots of help with her children, including other family members).

"From a personal standpoint, I just want it to be (an) enjoyable, healthy, exciting experience for us, something that we can look back on and say, `Oh, we did this,'" she said. "I don't even know if they'll remember, they're only 4 (years old) right now, but I want it to be something that will be good for them."

Lopez will also be keeping an eye out to make sure her fans have a good time. She's launching what's billed as "Tour Feed" on jenniferlopez.com on Monday. It will give fans inside information on the tour like set lists and rehearsal footage, photos and more.

"I really have enjoyed kind of getting on Twitter and using Facebook and using the little VIP things, because I think that's what they really want as fans. They want to know what's going on with you, and what it's like to walk in every day, and those kind of things that nobody knows. I do think it's a great thing for them to have a part in it," she said, adding that fan interaction was one of main reasons why she's on the road this summer.

"It was one of the biggest questions I got asked over and over again," she said. "I was like you know what? I think I need to tour."

___

Online:

http://www.jenniferlopez.com

___

Nekesa Mumbi Moody is the AP's music editor. Follow her at http://www.twitter.com/nekesamumbi

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