Jennifer Lopez Opens Up About Her Debut Album 'On the 6' Turning 20 (Exclusive)

Jennifer Lopez
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Ahead of her 50th birthday, the singer exclusively tells ET what she'd tell her younger self now.

Jennifer Lopez has so much to celebrate right now!

The pop star, who turns 50 on July 24, is currently gearing up for her highly anticipated It's My Party tour this summer. On top of that, Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of her debut album, On the 6, which was released when she was 29 years old.

"It's been 20 years since my first album. All of this is all very amazing," Lopez told ET's Nancy O'Dell. "It coincides [with the tour] because it was [released] June 1, 1999. And now we're going out [on tour June 7], so that same week."

The On the 6 title references the 6 subway line in New York City, which the Bronx native frequently took to Manhattan during the early days of her career. Originally getting her start as a dancer and actress, Lopez, a former Fly Girl on In Living Color, didn't begin her professional music career until after her big break as Selena Quintanilla-Pérez in the 1997 musical biopic, Selena

ET was actually with J.Lo on June 1, 1999, where she talked about her hopes for the future. "It's just a balance," she said at the time, of singing and acting. "I take both careers very seriously. Hopefully, the music will do well, and I'll be able to continue doing that, as well as the movies. I'm just going to keep working hard and trying to make good music and make good movies. That's all I can do, That's all I want to do."

Looking back on what she would tell her younger self now, Lopez said it would be to not take herself so seriously.

"When you're young, you're just so, like, you think you know everything," she explained in her latest ET interview. "When my first album came out ... I just thought that I had it all figured out."

"You don't realize until you're in your 30s that you know nothing," she added. "Then in your 40s, you start kind of figuring it all out. And then when you're 50, you're just like, 'I'm just me and it's good.' It's great."

As we all patiently wait to see Lopez in concert this summer (and help her celebrate her milestone birthday!), ET's taking a look back at where her hit-making all began. We're breaking down some of the best songs from On the 6, and why we're still rocking out to them today.

"If You Had My Love"

Who could forget the first time we met Lopez, the pop star? "If You Had My Love" marked the singer's debut single, with the song becoming an instant hit and reaching No. 1 in the U.S.

It was also her first music video and is still to this day considered one of her best of all time. Showing off her enviable abs in a white bikini top and matching athletic pants, Lopez made fans everywhere fall in love with her fast through the video's voyeuristic internet theme.

"Let's Get Loud"

This salsa dance song, the final single off On the 6, begins with J.Lo encouraging fans to "turn the music up," "get loud" and live their best lives. "If you wanna live your life, live it all the way and don't you waste it," she sings. "Every feelin' every beat can be so very sweet you gotta taste it."

It's no surprise why this is one of Lopez's signature hits, as it proved how the singer could flawlessly infuse her Latin flavor into pop music. Interestingly enough, "Let's Get Loud" was originally co-written by Gloria Estefan to sing on her own, but the legendary singer suggested at the time that Lopez would have "more fun with it." And that she did!

"Waiting for Tonight"

Released as the third single from the album, the music video for "Waiting for Tonight" is now considered iconic. From the Y2K New Year's Eve theme to the fashion and seductive dancing, everything about it is timeless.

"'Waiting for Tonight' is one of my all-time favorites because it stands the test of time," Lopez explained via Instagram last year. "It was 1999, just about to be 2000 or Y2K -- everyone thought the world was going to crash, so the director, Francis Lawrence, and I just threw the ultimate rave in a rainforest!!"

"No Me Ames"

Sang entirely in Spanish, Lopez released "No Me Ames" (a cover of an Italian song called "Non Amarmi") as her second single from the album. Both the song and the music video featured the singer's future husband (now ex) Marc Anthony, who helped the Spanish-language duet rise to the top of the Billboard Latin charts.

"Just look at the video. There was magic all over the place," Sony Music Entertainment chief executive Tommy Mottola told Billboard. "The guy is the best singer in the world in his game. We were constantly conscious of the global market and paying attention to the Latin roots as well as urban and pop. We knew [we] would have multi-formatted music that would really gain all audiences and we wanted to take advantage of that."

Earlier in ET's exclusive chat with Lopez, she also teased what fans can expect from her It's My Party tour, which kicks off June 7 at The Forum in Los Angeles (find tickets here).

"It's my party! It's gonna be a big celebration," she exclaimed. "I want to say everything, but I don't want to say anything... you have to come. Yes, it's gonna be a concert tour, but it's also, my aim is to make it feel like an intimate party as well. Just kind of like we're all celebrating together. We're dancing, we're singing, we're having a good time."

"I want to create a different atmosphere than normal," she continued. "I want it to be interactive, I want to share this moment [with fans]. We've been talking a lot about what this tour should be -- what it means and how special it is, and how special this time in my life is."

Lopez added that there will be plenty of surprises throughout the tour, which also features 17 hand-picked dancers from each season of her popular dance competition show, World of Dance.

"I think it's just gonna be a special experience. We have a couple of beautiful, special things planned," she teased. "We're taking a bunch of the kids. We have The Lab, Swing Latino and Briar Nolet."

"I'm super excited about it," she added. "I don't think I've ever done anything like this and in thinking about the tour, it's made me think about life. It's made me think about everything and I'm just excited to be able to put something so elaborate together for this moment. It'll be something that I know I'll never forget, and I hope people will never forget, too."

Hear more in the video below!