THE BLOG
07/25/2014 10:36 am ET Updated Sep 24, 2014

Happy Birthday, Jennifer Lopez: The Superstar in Her Own Words

July 24, 1969, Guadalupe and David Lopez welcomed their baby daughter Jennifer Lynn into the world. Jennifer Lopez, a first generation American, lived with her parents and two sisters in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx. She studied singing and dancing starting at age five. At 22, she was cast as a dancer on the hit TV show In Living Color. Her major breakthrough came just a few years later when she played the title role in Selena, a biopic of the late Tejano music star. The movie Out of Sight with George Clooney soon followed and Lopez became the first Latina actress to earn more than $1 million for a film role.

From there her career catapulted into cosmic proportions as she became a recording superstar, fashion designer, and producer. And she's also a mother to twins Emme and Max. "My mom always told me that if you work hard, you can achieve anything... It's one of the truest things ever," Lopez once said. And she still holds her Bronx roots close to heart. As Lopez sings in "Jenny from the Block," "Used to have a little, now I have a lot. No matter where I go, I know where I came from--South side Bronx!"

In honor of JLo's birthday, look at some of her reflective quotes.

"It was my parents who instilled in me that even though we were from where we were from and were who we were as far as nationality went, we were just as beautiful and smart and intelligent as anybody else in this country -- that I could do anything."

"If you don't love yourself, you can't love anybody else. And I think as women we really forget that."

"People assume I'm out there having this great life, but money doesn't erase the pain. When you're young you barrel through life, making choices without thinking of repercussions. A few years down the line, you wake up in a certain place and wonder how the hell you got there."

To read more quotes, click on to this Parade story.

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