Latin-American idols: Lopez, Iglesias

  • Article by: JON BREAM , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 29, 2012 - 5:24 PM

Jennifer Lopez joins Enrique Iglesias for her first Twin Cities concert this week.


“It’s so easy to say from a chair, but when you get up there, it’s so hard to execute,” says Jennifer Lopez of her transition from “American Idol” back to the stage.

Photo: Arnulfo Franco, Associated Press

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Jennifer Lopez always makes an entrance. At the Grammys. In an arena. Even on the phone.

The plan was to have J. Lo and Enrique Iglesias talk about their North American co-headline tour in a conference call with a group of journalists. He was on time. She was not. He was calling from Miami. She was phoning from Brazil, where she was on her own tour.

"We now have Jennifer on the line," a male voice announced 20 minutes after the start of the session.

The pairing of these bilingual idols -- they're coming to Target Center on Wednesday -- seems natural. Both actress/singer Lopez, 43, and singer Iglesias, 37, got their starts in the 1990s, peaked in the '00s and are on the rebound. J. Lo, of course, has used her two-year stint as a judge on "American Idol" to jump-start her music career. "On the Floor," featuring rapper Pitbull, became one of the biggest singles of 2011. And her current single, "Dance Again," was co-written by Iglesias.

He has been on a roll since his bilingual album "Euphoria" was released in 2010. His singles, "I Like It," featuring Pitbull, and "Tonight," featuring Ludacris, were pop sensations, and "Dirty Dancer" became his ninth number to top Billboard's dance chart.

The tour, which started two weeks ago, is only the second for Lopez, who last toured in 2007 with soon-to-be-ex-husband Marc Anthony.

Q Whose idea was it to tour together?

Iglesias: Jennifer and I have known each other for quite some years, and we spoke about it, and we thought it was a good idea. Obviously, then you've got to talk to the promoters and then to the agents and all of that, but the ones that made the decision were Jennifer and myself because we are the ones that are going to be onstage, and at the end of the day, it's our responsibility.

Q How would you compare your shows?

Iglesias: Well, Jennifer's show is -- I don't want to say elaborate, but obviously more dancers, more costume changes. I'm a guy, so when it comes down to costume changes, I get a little more lazy. You could say mine's more a rock show in a way. We're not comparing ourselves to these acts, but I guess one's more a Madonna show, the other one's more a U2 show.

Q Who is going on first?

Lopez: I think that Enrique should close. I'll go first. I'll be home in time to put the babies [her 4-year-old twins] to bed. All those screaming girls for you, you have to close.

Iglesias: Look, whatever works well. The thing is that we're both on the same team. We'll be talking after each show, saying, "OK, let's do this, let's do that, and this is what worked, this is what doesn't work."

Q In what ways is performing different for you if the audience is heavily Hispanic, or if it's not, like here in Minneapolis?

Lopez: I don't think it matters. I think we both do pop music. Enrique's done a lot of Spanish music; I've done one Spanish album. It's kind of funny because I'm touring through South America right now, and all my music is in English. I think of myself as so Latina, and then I come here and I'm like, wow, I don't have a bunch of Spanish songs to sing. But they know all my English songs.

Iglesias: I agree with Jennifer. I think it's a pop bicultural tour -- a Puerto Rican-American and me being Spanish, and growing up in the U.S. The thing is that -- I think Jennifer would agree -- we've never been to a place in America where we haven't seen at least one Hispanic person. And by the way, I've done a bunch of radio shows around the U.S., and Minneapolis was one of the best crowds.

Q Jennifer, does having been an "American Idol" judge compel you to raise your game onstage?

Lopez: Absolutely. I think it's not about being hard on yourself, it's about remembering all the things that you're teaching. It's so easy to say from a chair, but when you get up there, it's so hard to execute. I mean these are things that we've always done, but you just relax and see yourself, and just realize that you're there to communicate something -- a feeling, an emotion.

Q Enrique, what's your favorite Jennifer Lopez song?

Iglesias: I would have to say it's probably the first one that I heard from her, which is "You Have My Love." Just because at the time that it came out, it was a very significant time for Hispanic artists. I remember hearing that song and I remember watching the videos, saying this makes total sense, and you just felt that it was going to be huge.

Q Jennifer, what is your favorite Enrique song?

Lopez: Oh, God, there's so many. You're probably going to hate me for this, because it's like one of your biggest pop songs. I would have to say the one that sticks in my head the most is always "Bailamos." I just loved it. That's a very iconic moment for me for Enrique, maybe because it was his big kind of entrance into the market.

Twitter: @jonbream • 612-673-1719

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    Opening: Frankie J • When: 7:30 p.m. Wed. • Where: Target Center, 600 1st Av. N., Mpls.

    Tickets: $29.50-$129.50;; 1-800-745-3000.

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