The year was 2014 and it came to our attention that Jennifer Lopez’s singing career was turning 15 after debuting in 1999 with “If You Had My Love.” What seemed like a vanity project at the time to prove she a multi-talented performer, On the 6th turned out to be a huge hit and launched a self-sustaining music career. Ten albums later, Jennifer Lopez is still going strong (well maybe not as strong as her initial debut but still humming along). Now that she’s back on the radio with the release of A.K.A., we thought it was time to rank all 30 of her singles from worst to best. Everything from “I’m Real” to “Into To You” finds its place among the highs and lows of J. Lo’s singing career.
Co-written with Lopez’s ex-husband, choreographer Chris Judd, the ballad was a total misstep. The song was produced for Enough, but was wisely left of the movie’s film score.
29. “Hold You Down”
“Hold You Down” attempted to replicate the success of “All I Have” but got lost in a Shirley Murdock sample that strangely chilling. Not a good vibe.
28. “Goin’ In”
A disappointing track by Lil Jon, this was a mess of a track recorded for the Step Up Revolution soundtrack.
27. “Hold It Don’t Drop It”
Going for a funky ’70s-inspired sound, Brave proved to be a misstep for the singer. Released in 2008, the second single failed to register with fans.
This was the only official single that does not appear on any of Lopez’s albums. The song came out during 2009 when the singer was desperately searching for a hit. Ultimately, the record represented the singer’s shifted focus on club-ready, beat heavy tracks (“On the Floor,” “Papi”) that followed.
Next >>> “I’m Glad,” “I’m Gonna Be Alright”
25. “I’m Into You”
Following the success of “On the Floor,” Lopez spent a lot of time trying to replicate the record. Here she paired up with Lil Wayne for an okay dance-pop recording.
24. “Baby I Love U!”
The final single from This Is Me… Then was a cheese-dipped love ballad written about her relationship with Ben Affleck. While the vintage sound is appealing, the song puts too much emphasis on Lopez’s vocals.
23. “I’m Glad”
The song was largely saved by the accompanying music video, which was a remake of Flashdance.
22. “Live It Up”
Another collaboration with Pitbull that started to get tedious compared to the previous records.
21. “I’m Gonna Be Alright”
This song always felt like an anomaly in the Lopez’s singing career. Unusually down-tempo, it’s her most hip-hop inspired track that paired her up with 50 Cent and Nas, depending on which version fans heard on the radio. It was okay.
Next >>> “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” “Papi”
20. “Me Haces Falta”
An edgier beat, “Me Haces Falta” played on emotion rarely heard in Lopez’s dance records.
19. “Love Don’t Cost a Thing”
While a big hit for the singer — the song peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 — the song doesn’t hold up well upon repeat listens. Though, the video still ranks among her best.
A pure dance track, the song makes no apologies for attempting to make fans dance.
17. “No Me Ames”
Consider this ballad with Marc Anthony Lopez’s testament to Selena and telenovas everywhere.
16. “Que Hiciste”
The song from her Spanish-language album was a nice appreciation of the singer’s long-running career. The guitar driven song felt like an age-appropriate Adult Contemporary jam for Lopez was 38 years old at the time.
Next >>> “Dance Again,” “Play”
15. “Dance Again”
Her second collaboration with Pitbull, “Dance Again” literally was the sequel to “On the Floor.” Just not quite as good.
14. “Jenny from the Block”
The song would have been higher on the list (largely thanks to the production) but stalled due to Lopez’s false presentation of something “real.”
13. “I Luh Ya Papi”
The song may be cheesy, the video may be campy, the whole experience may be a bit too much but it surpasses much of Lopez’s false starts on this list.
12. “Do It Well”
The funky beat is almost derailed by Lopez’s coarse vocals but once she settles into the song, it turns into a slick R&B jam. (Though, this song really should have been given to Amerie.)
Written by Christina Milian, “Play” was a funky dance-pop record that sounded like a Prince farce but worked to push Lopez further into the club world. It also helped that Milian smoothed things about by providing backing vocals.
Next >>> “All I Have,” “Let’s Get Loud”
10. “Ain’t It Funny (Remix)”
On her second collaboration with Ja Rule, Lopez went with an edgy sound that reworked Craig Mack’s “Flava In Ya Ear.” But there was no mistaking that this was J. Lo’s record. She was no hook girl.
9. “All I Have”
Paired with LL Cool J, “All I Have” was a drippy R&B duet that played cat and mouse with Lopez’s chorus calls and the rapper’s rhymed response. The second single from This Is Me… Then moved the singer into a more formulaic world of the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Grammy Award but it still felt fresh at the time.
8. “First Love”
The electropop ballad was the second single off A.K.A. While it hasn’t had enough time to take off, it’s a smart mid-tempo dance record that doesn’t overdo it.
7. “Feelin’ So Good”
One of the slicker songs produced on her debut album, P. Diddy brought a much-needed urban edge to Lopez’s sound. The song recalled 1997 while managing to still sound contemporary. The song also became a tribute to Big Pun who died around the song’s release.
6. “Let’s Get Loud”
Written by Gloria Estefan for Gloria Estefan, Lopez slipped on some Estefan-like shoes and delivered her best Estefan impression. It worked.
Next >>> “On the Floor,” “Waiting for Tonight”
5. “If You Had My Love”
Produced by Rodney Jerkins, Lopez’s debut single drew on everything that was popular in 1999. It fused together the synths made popular by TLC, highlighted the Latin flare made profitable by Ricky Martin and came packaged with Lopez’s movie brand recognition and sex appeal. The pop song did what it was supposed to do, debuting at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and announcing that Jennifer the singer had arrived.
4. “Get Right”
On overlooked single from 2005, “Get Right” was a funky, fresh, jazz-influenced R&B record. It certainly was a new sound for Lopez who straddled the line between dance, Latin and pop while only dabbling in hip-hop. The horn-blasting beat, produced by Rich Harrison was ultimately perfected on “1 Thing” (Amerie) and “Crazy In Love” (Beyonce), but it worked here with Lopez’s vocals. Plus the video introduced fans to so many J. Lo personalities it was hard to figure out if cholafied Lopez was worth keeping around. (The answer was yes.)
3. “On the Floor”
While an easily addictive dance record that infused club music with a Latin flare and Pitbull’s “wooooooos,” this song was important for revitalizing Lopez’s stalled singing career. It also updated the “I’m Real” formula (see below) that shifted her sound entirely into dance and included a Pitbull rap whenever possible.
2. “I’m Real (Remix)”
The remix of “I’m Real” was hardly a remix as it was a brand new song featuring her first collaboration with Ja Rule. The song was a legitimate hit — coming from her sophomore album — proving that her debut wasn’t a fluke. The rapper’s gruff voice balanced so well with her kitty cat coos that fans wondered if these two should release a duet album. (For awhile, it seemed like a real possibility.) Ultimately, this song (and “Ain’t It Funny”) proved to be the only time the two would collaborate. However, J. Lo found her formula: slick beats + J. Lo’s booty shaking x guest rapper of the moment = hit. (See: “On the Floor,” “Dance Again,” “All I Have,” “I Luh Ya Papi.”)
1. “Waiting for Tonight”
One of the strongest songs on Lopez’s debut album was easily “Waiting for Tonight.” The Latin-infused dance record kept the singer’s vocals focused (reducing ad libs that plague many of her other songs). She didn’t over sing, instead she let the beat build around her until the song climaxed with her “ohhhhhhhhs.” Even though the song only peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, it quickly became a staple for the singer. Infused with the anticipation of the millennium, “Waiting for Tonight” became an anthem for the end of an era. It simultaneously built up the excitement for the New Year while while kissing off the fears and drama of the past. It was 1999 after all, and anything could happen.
Now enjoy every J. Lo single in on Spotify playlist: