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Video: J.Lo: ‘It’s exciting’ to be Most Beautiful Woman

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    >>> people magazine 's world's most beautiful issue.

    >> who can you find on the pages inside? here to fill you in is people's senior writer, julie jordan. we are kind of excited. we have got somebody on the horn. i think we have j.lo with us. we are so excited for you. what did it feel like to see yourself on the cover of people?

    >> it's exsicitexciting.

    >> jennifer, what did your family think? your beautiful babies. have they seen it?

    >> they have not seen it yet. my mom is the first person who wrote me. she is on the east coast and we're out here on the west coast . she was like oh, i knew my whole life you were beautiful , inside and out. you know mommy.

    >> aww. it's so fun to watch your resurgen resurgence. now you have got another song coming out.

    >> now to really get back into work and have them as well. it kind of feels like it's a complete package for the first time in my life and i'm able to enjoy it in a different way. and that shows my work and everything that i'm doing.

    >> the move to " american idol " was a bit of a leap for you and it has turned out pretty darn well so far. how much fun have you had?

    >> i love it. i knew i was going to have a good time with it but i didn't know that it was going to be all that i turned out to be. i went with my gut. people who said i should and said i shouldn't. at the end of the day , i was like you know what? i think i'm gonna.

    >> we're so glad you did. congrats again for your cover.

    >> thank you so much, guys.

    >> take care.

    >> so julie, joining j.lo you have a beautiful list of people . beyonce, george clooney , sandra bullock ?

    >> a nice group. it's not just about being beautiful . when you think of george clooney and sandra, they are trying to better the world, too. it's pleasing to look at them, for sure. these people are stunning. but it's nice on the heart. they are trying to do right by everyone.

    >> it helps to be good looking while you are helping the world. who are the new faces? clooney and those guys we expect.

    >> it's nice because we're giving zach ephron. matthew mcconaughey is the shirtless guy but zach is coming up there.

    >> it was fun seeing these celebs who went no make-up.

    >> everyone from like hayden, she is gorgeous. she loves having make-up because she has been acting since she was four. but she doesn't need it. and angie harman. she likes to wear lip gloss . nice to have good lips. it is nice because these women are so beautiful without the smoke and mirrors .

    >> tatiana ali is here. apparently you are in the smart and beautiful segment.

    >> and wearing make-up.

    >> when did you get the calm about this?

    >> i got the call, i guess it was a few weeks ago and i was just so excited. and it's also, you have to keep it secret so i couldn't tell too many people. that was the first thing.

    >> a lot of people remember you from fresh prince of belaire.

    >> i have a television show on tv now called love that girl.

    >> we have our season finale coming up on monday where martin lawrence is an executive producer and is in the episode.

    >> speaking for the men, a beautiful woman who is also smart is ten times more beautiful than someone who is just beautiful .

    >> thank you.

    >> thank you so much. we really appreciate it. it's a

Image: Jennifer Lopez
People magazine
By
TODAY contributor
updated 4/13/2011 10:51:59 AM ET 2011-04-13T14:51:59

Jennifer Lopez, who’s gone from being a background dancer on “In Living Color” to one of the most successful women in the entertainment industry, now has another honor for her resume — the most beautiful woman in the world.

That award comes courtesy of People magazine and its annual Most Beautiful issue, which hits newsstands on April 15. It’s part of what looks to be a resurgent year for Lopez, who also has a hit single in “On the Floor,” a new album that will be available shortly, and a prominent role as a judge on “American Idol.”

Lopez to debut music video on TODAY

“It’s exciting. It’s really exciting,” Lopez told TODAY on Wednesday. “Even when they told me I was kind of like … ohh … OK.”

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This is far from Lopez’s first brush with this sort of thing. It’s her 11th time depicted in the Most Beautiful double issue, and the mother of 3-year-old twins, Max and Emme, hasn’t lost a step in her two decades as a TV and movie star and top-selling musician. To the contrary, she feels that she’s in a better place now to appreciate what she has accomplished.

“It feels really great. Ever since I had the babies and I took a little bit of time not working as much as I had all my life — it was a different thing for me," Lopez told Hoda Kotb and Willie Geist on TODAY. "Now to really get back into work and to have them as well, it kind of feels like it’s a complete package for the first time in my life and I’m able to enjoy it in a different way,” Lopez said. “I think that shows in my work and in everything that I’m doing.”

Video: J.Lo: ‘It’s exciting’ to be Most Beautiful Woman (on this page)

Far from being over the hill, the 41-year-old told People she looks and feels better than she did in her early 20s.

She told the magazine that she works hard to stay in top form. "The thing is, it's part of my job," Lopez told People. "I don't want anybody thinking it's easy. It does take time and it's hard work. HDTV wide-screen is nobody's friend!”

But it’s also notable that the curvaceous Lopez won the honor while avoiding the dangerously thin look that was trendy a few years ago. She and several other stars went public with their disapproval of the move toward thinner-looking models and conviction that they could never be a size 0. Her selection as Most Beautiful will please those who are more curvaceous than the typical fashion model, and also shows that it’s not just a young woman’s world. Lopez has proven that it’s possible to sustain her look over time.

Beyond looks
Among the other big names on the Most Beautiful list are Jessica Alba, Beyonce and Zac Efron. In addition, People pays particular attention to stars involved with charities, highlighting those such as Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, whose appearance is more than matched by their philanthropy.

Sneak peek: PEOPLE's Most Beautiful 2011

One new section for the magazine this year includes stars without makeup, which includes celebs ranging from Hayden Panettiere to Anne Heche to Angie Harmon to Maggie Q. Other subsets featured highlight the Year of the Bombshell, older stars who still have the power to stop hearts in Half Their Age, and Beautiful Minds such as Tatyana Ali, who went from “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” to Harvard to her current roles on “The Young and the Restless” and “Love That Girl.”

A fixture
Though it doesn’t look it, Lopez has been a perennial part of the entertainment scene for two decades, starting with her stint as a Fly Girl on “In Living Color” from 1991 to 1993. After a supporting role in “Money Train,” her breakthrough role came a few years later, when she starred in “Selena” as the Tejano singer who was tragically killed by a fan. Lopez followed that with major roles in films such as “Out of Sight,” “The Wedding Planner,” “Maid in Manhattan” and “Monster in Law.”

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Lopez has also been a fixture on the music scene since her 1999 debut with “On the 6.” Her hit singles include “If You Have My Love,” “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” and “Jenny from the Block.” She’s been nominated for a pair of Grammys and won three American Music Awards. In addition, she has her own clothing and perfume lines, and has been a fashion icon since she first came onto the scene.

Video: J.Lo tops People’s Most Beautiful list (on this page)

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the star. Her personal life had its ups and downs, with two failed marriages and a couple of high-profile relationships that went sour before her current marriage with singer Marc Anthony. In 1999, Lopez was in a car with Sean “Puffy” Combs, who she was dating at the time, when he fled the scene after a nightclub shooting during which three bystanders were wounded. Combs was tried for illegal handgun possession and bribery. She later dated movie star Ben Affleck, which led to a painful breakup and the box-office flop “Gigli.”

But nothing has been able to keep her down for long, and this People magazine honor shows that her perseverance continues to pay off. She’s in the midst of a huge year, with the national platform of the “American Idol” audience and the sales from her new single getting her name and image back in heavy rotation. This magazine cover just marks another honor in what’s shaping up to be one of her best years ever.

Craig Berman is a frequent contributor to TODAY.com. Follow him on Twitter @CraigBermanas he live tweets each episode of "American Idol."

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Photos: Jennifer Lopez's rise to fame

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  1. Actress Jennifer Lopez arrives at the premiere of Lionsgate's "What To Expect When You're Expecting" held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on May 14, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Actresses Jennifer Lopez (L) and Cameron Diaz present at the 84th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, February 26, 2012. (Gary Hershorn / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart arrive at their hotel on January 31, 2012 in New York City. (Arnaldo Magnani / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Back together again?

    Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony attend the 2012 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour to promote their show,' ¡Q'Viva! The Chosen' on Jan. 14, 2012, in Pasadena, Calif. The show takes the former couple across Latin America in search of the best dancers, singers, musicians and street performers. (Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. 'Q'Viva'

    Lopez smiles toward photographers while filming the reality show 'Q'Viva! The Chosen' 'in Lima, Peru, on Dec. 3, 2011. (Karel Navarro / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. The glamorous judge

    Lopez joined "American Idol" in its 10th season, sitting alongside fellow new judge Steven Tyler, left, and returning panelist Randy Jackson. J.Lo quickly established herself as a nice judge, but unlike some who came before her, she gives the contestants constructive criticism they can use. She returned for season 11. () Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Leader of the pack

    Lopez performs at the 39th Annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 20, 2011. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Always a favorite

    Lopez poses backstage with her award for latin music favorite artist at the 39th Annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 20, 2011. (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. End of the road

    Lopez and her husband Marc Anthony attend the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony for British entertainment entrepreneur Simon Fuller in Hollywood, Calif., on May 23, 2011.

    The couple announced on July 15, 2011, that they were divorcing after seven years of marriage. "This was a very difficult decision," the couple said in a statement. "It is a painful time for all involved and we appreciate the respect of our privacy at this time." (Mike Nelson / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Here's the 'Plan'

    Lopez and Anthony arrive at a screening of her movie "The Back-up Plan" in Miami on April 14, 2010. (Gustavo Caballero / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Rocky romance

    Lopez costars with Alex O'Loughlin in "The Backup Plan," a 2010 comedy about a woman who becomes romantically involved after becoming pregnant by artificial insemination. (CBS Films) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. In white on Oscar night

    Lopez is a vision in white as she arrives for the 82nd Academy Awards on March 7, 2010. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Grammy glamour

    Lopez wore a metallic ensemble as she introduced the band Green Day at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2010. (Mike Blake / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Dazzling

    Lopez performs during Times Square's New Year’s Eve celebration in New York on Dec. 31, 2009. J. Lo's revealing diamond-encrusted catsuit was the talk of the town. (Craig Ruttle / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. New hit

    Lopez performs the song 'Louboutins' onstage at the 2009 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Nov. 22, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. After climbing a stairway of dancers and jumping off, Lopez tripped but made a quick recovery. (Kevin Winter/ama2009 / Getty Images Contributor) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. "This is it" premiere

    Lopez arrives for the world premiere of the Michael Jackson’s “This is it” at the Nokia Theatre at LA Live on October 27, 2009 in Los Angeles. (Robyn Beck / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Capitol hill visit

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Lopez's husband Marc Anthony, Rep. Nydia Valazquez and Lopez face reporters before a meeting to discuss education in the Latino community and college affordability legislation on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 16, 2009. (Yuri Gripas / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Domo arigato

    Lopez poses for photographers at an event by Japanese fashion company Samantha Thavasa in the young fashion district of Shibuya in Tokyo on March 29, 2009. (Toru Yamanaka / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Family affair

    Anthony and Lopez hold their twins, Emme and Max, on stage before Anthony performs at a Valentine's Day show at New York's Madison Square Garden on Feb. 14, 2009. (Kevin Mazur / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Golden girl

    Lopez arrives at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 11, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Fashion forward

    Lopez and Anthony arrive at the Fashion Group's 25th Annual Night of Stars in New York.on Oct. 23, 2008. (Peter Kramer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Oooo-oooo, that smell

    Lopez attends the launch of her fragrance Deseo For Men at Macy's at Herald Square on Sept. 29, 2008, in New York. (Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Triple threat

    Lopez begins the the bicycling portion of the 2008 Nautica Malibu Triathlon in Malibu, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008. She raised $127,000 for the Children's Hospital of L.A. thanks to her athletic achievement -- just seven months after giving birth. (Dan Steinberg / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Bundles of joy

    Lopez and Anthony arrive with their children Max and Emme in Zaventem, Belgium, on June 18, 2008, for a concert Anthony was giving in Antwerp. The twins were born on Feb. 22. (Virginie Lefour / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Bump in the relationship

    Anthony and Lopez arrive for the taping of "Movies Rock" at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., on Dec. 2, 2007. The two-hour special celebrated music's most iconic moments in film. And the celebrity couple was celebrating the fact that they were soon to be parents of twins. (Jason Redmond / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. World superstar

    Lopez performs at Luz stadium in Lisbon in July 2007 to present the New 7 Wonders of the World. (Francisco Leong / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Actress & activist

    Lopez shows her gratitude for receiving the Artists for Amnesty award during the 57th Berlinale International Film Festival. It was for her work producing and starring in the future film "Bordertown." (Hannibal Hanschke / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. A perfect match

    After several failed relationships and marriages, Jennifer finally married her Mr. Right -- Marc Anthony. The two tied the knot in a quiet home ceremony on June 5, 2004. (Danny Moloshok / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Cover girl

    There's no denying that Lopez is a Latin beauty. She's been featured in People's "50 Most Beautiful" issue in 2006 and the "100 Most Influential Hispanics" issue in February 2007. Despite what people might think of her acting, Lopez is one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood and the highest-paid Latin actress in Hollywood history. (People en Espanol) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Fan appreciation

    In March 2007, Lopez says thank-you to her fans with a New York City signing of her new Spanish language CD, "Como Ama Una Mujer." (Evan Agostini / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Jane vs. Jennifer

    The two divas -- played by Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez -- battle it out in Robert Luketic's 2005 romantic comedy "Monster-in-Law." (New Line Cinema) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. City girl

    The Bronx, N.Y., native shows she still has her New York edge and fashion in this fierce fur ensemble. (Kevin Mazur / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. The heat is on

    Lopez heats up the screen with Richard Gere in the 2004 film "Shall We Dance?" (Miramax Films) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Sweet smell of success

    Lopez ventures into the perfume industry with her debut scent Glow by J.Lo which broke numerous sales records. She's vaulted from backup dancer to global entrepreneur. (Glow by JLO) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. The rise of "Bennifer"

    Who could forget the highly publicized relationship between Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez? Dubbed "Bennifer" by the media, the two caused quite a stir when Affleck gave her a six-carat pink diamond ring worth a reported $1.2 million. The marriage, however, never happened. (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Casting against type

    Lopez's film career continued to soar with the romantic comedy "Maid in Manhattan." The film was released in 2002 and co-stars British cutie Ralph Fiennes. Lopez plays Marisa Ventura, a single mother who works as a maid at a five-star New York City hotel. (Columbia Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Husband No. 2

    Lopez and fiance Cris Judd show their love at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards. They met on the set of her music video, where he was a backup dancer, married on Sept. 29, 2001, and divorced in August 2002. (Gregory Pace / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. Muy caliente!

    Lopez heats up the Plaza with a belly-baring performance on the TODAY show's concert series on July 13, 2001, in New York City. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. She's got the look

    In 2001, the singer launched her clothing line, J.LO by Jennifer Lopez. (Jill Connelly / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. Critical acclaim

    Lopez went dark and edgy in the 2000 film, "The Cell," starring Vince Vaughn and Vincent D'Onofrio. (New Line Cinema) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Becoming a superstar

    Lopez strikes a pose in the infamous Versace dress with her boyfriend, Sean "Puffy" Combs, at the 42nd Grammys. Their relationship lasted for two and a half years. (Mike Blake / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. J.Lo the singer

    Lopez made her singing debut with her first album "On the 6," released on June 1, 1999. It featured the popular songs "If You Had My Love" and "Waiting for Tonight." (Sony) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. Starter husband

    Lopez met her first husband, Ojani Noa, when he worked as a waiter in Miami. They married on February 22, 1997, and divorced in March 1998. Several years after the divorce, she hired Noa as the manager of her Pasadena restaurant, Madre's, but he was fired only months later. (Terry Lilly / Zuma Press via Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. Ms. Fashionista

    In February 2005, Lopez showed the fall line of J.LO by Jennifer Lopez during Olympus Fashion Week in New York City's Bryant Park. (Mark Mainz / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  45. A star is born

    Early in her acting career, Lopez played Texas-born Tejano singer Selena. (Warner Bros via Everett Collecti) Back to slideshow navigation
  46. I believe I can Fly

    Lopez is shown with her hand on Keenen Ivory Wayans' shoulder in a 1992 promo shot for "In Living Color." Lopez gained her first regular high-profile job as a "Fly Girl" dancer on the television comedy program. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
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