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Jennifer Lopez: AMERICAN IDOL's true American idol!

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Dreams can come true. No one knows that better than Jennifer Lopez. As a tiny but talented seven-year-old girl of Puerto Rican heritage growing up in the Bronx, she sang and danced her way across New York State, traveling with her school. Twenty years later, she was the first Latina actress to earn over $1 million for a film role and, today, her record sales top 75 million and her ever-increasing film gross is over $2 billion. With success like that, who better to offer advice to young people with dreams of stardom? AMERICAN IDOL and “Jenny From The Block” — a perfect fit!

“At first I wasn't sure about it,” Lopez confesses. “And then I thought, I love this show and all the experience I have in this business and everything I've been through and all the things I've learned, where else could I put it to good use but by helping other artists? Because, at the end of the day, we're not here to break people down or do any of that. We're here to kind of help the kids move through it.”

The talent this season is stronger than ever and with every gifted performer reaching for the stars that graces the stage, Lopez feels a connection. “When you start talking about the contestants, I feel so emotionally attached to all of them already,” she smiles sincerely. “I hate seeing any of them go. I've already shed a couple of tears. It's a process, but I think what we have found and why we get so involved is because we see so much potential and we see so much great talent and so much artistry there. You see yourself years ago, you know. And you can identify, and you want to just guide them in the right direction.”

Young artists look at her with a different kind of respect because she, like so many of them, was just a normal kid from the neighborhood who made her dream come true. She is less a “judge” on the show and more of an example of everything that is possible. “In my heart and my soul, I would sing, make records, make music, perform, act for free,” she says. “That's what I love to do, and that's what I will always be doing.”

Tune in to AMERICAN IDOL’s season premiere January 15th on FOX!

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