Jennifer Lopez says she felt like she was 'going to die' after first split from Ben Affleck

This is Jennifer Lopez... now.

The singer and actress is opening up in an intimate new interview about the inspirations behind her forthcoming album, This Is Me... Now, which she just announced on Friday, on the 20th anniversary of her album This Is Me... Then.

This is fitting, because that album was released at the height of Lopez's first engagement to Ben Affleck in November 2002. The duo were engaged until 2004 before splitting up, rekindling their romance in 2021 and ultimately getting married in Las Vegas in July.

"That album, This Is Me... Then, really captured a time where I fell in love with the love of my life. And I just, it's all right there on the record," Lopez told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1. "Every single song we wrote, me writing 'Dear Ben,' it was such a special moment in time to have captured."

However, the "painful" breakup made it hard for her to sing those songs afterwards. "I wouldn't even perform these records. It was so painful after we broke up," she recalls. "Once we called off that wedding 20 years ago, it was the biggest heartbreak of my life, and I honestly felt like I was going to die."

Though Lopez would go on to release several albums (and star in many films) after the split, she admits it caused her to "spiral" a bit creatively in her music career. "I didn't make music in that way that I did in 2002 until now... It set me on a spiral for the next 18 years where I just couldn't get it right. But now, 20 years later, it does have a happy ending. It has the most, would never happen in Hollywood ending."

This Is Me… Now will be released in 2023, nearly a decade after Lopez released her last album, A.K.A., in 2014. Like its predecessor, This Is Me… Now appears to once again be a love letter to Affleck, with songs titled "Dear Ben Pt. II" and "Midnight Trip To Vegas."

Watch the full interview with Lopez in the video above.

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