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Assuring there's always room for J.Lo

How moguls of film and music molded Lopez into a star with mass appeal

Pop Culture

December 15, 2002|By Lynette Holloway | Lynette Holloway,NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Even after she ended her relationship with Combs in 2001, her popularity took on a life of its own, and Sony and Lopez began force-feeding her image to the public. They also timed the release of films and CDs to gain maximum publicity benefit. The strategy paid off in January 2001, when she had the No. 1 movie, The Wedding Planner, and the No. 1 album, J.Lo.

Lopez has capitalized on her popularity to promote her clothing line, J.Lo, and her fragrance, Glow.

The clothing line, which got off to a rocky start last year, is performing exceptionally well, said Ronnie Taffet, a spokeswoman for Macy's at Herald Square. In August, Glow was the store's second-largest women's launch in seven years.

So, continue to expect Lopez everywhere. Sony is negotiating a deal to run a Jennifer Lopez prime-time television special on Feb. 12, Mottola said.

Gone are the days when artists could just record a CD, pose for a magazine or billboard promotion and be finished with a record. Internet piracy, greater media choices and declining CD sales have forced music companies to work harder to persuade consumers to buy music.

Artists must go on exhaustive promotion campaigns, showing up on morning news shows and prime-time specials. They must be more open to fans than they were a decade ago. As a result, artists are more willing to risk overexposure.

"Today, artists are coming at you from all directions, but they want that," said Howard Stringer, the chief executive of the Sony Corp. of America. "It's no longer just do your music, sell your CD and goodbye. Piracy and problems in music companies have forced everyone to think outside of the box."

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