“What do you get someone who already has everything?” muses Alex Rodriguez, a.k.a. A-Rod, ex-baseball player extraordinaire and partner of J.Lo. He poses the conundrum in a video that he posted to YouTube entitled “My Birthday Surprise For Jennifer” in July 2019. “You have to be creative,” he teases. But the question is certainly a good one.
A native of The Bronx, J.Lo is a woman of many talents. First coming to notice as a dancer on hit TV show In Living Color in 1991, she moved into movies in 1993. And the New Yorker was a star almost from the off, gaining a Golden Globe nomination in 1997. Soon she was the best-paid Latina in Hollywood.
But J.Lo isn’t just a top actress. She’s also a singer who’s taken the pop world by storm. When she released her record J.Lo at the same time as romcom The Wedding Planner, she was the first female to enjoy the top spot for a record and a movie simultaneously. Flooded with awards and cash, she’s one of the world’s best-known Latinas.
J.Lo’s fiancé Alex Rodriguez made his name in a different arena; he was one of the world’s finest baseball players. For 22 years, he starred in the MLB, turning out for the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers before becoming the darling of New York baseball fans – well, half of them anyway. Indeed, he spent a dozen years in Yankee pinstripes.
A stellar talent, A-Rod, as he was universally known, had an unmatched record as a hitter. His ability made him an All-Star 14 times and MVP (Most Valuable Player) three times. He was also a whiz in the field, twice a Golden Glove, although, as ten Silver Slugger Awards suggest, it was as an offensive force that he earned two of baseball’s highest-paying contracts.
Whatever J.Lo thought of baseball back in the day, certainly A-Rod was a fan of hers when he was still rising in the ranks. In 1999 he met the superstar and begged an autograph. He told Instagram about it, writing, “#TBT to almost 20 years ago when a big-time global pop superstar signed a pic for a young ball player.”
It would be another 16 years before the pair encountered each other again. At the time J.Lo was still wedded to former husband Marc Anthony, and the couple were at Shea Stadium to see the Yankees. Rodriguez was also married, although he’d be divorced from Cynthia Scurtis by 2008. He, like J.Lo, had two kids from his previous marriage.
J.Lo was also divorced by 2017, when it became public knowledge that she and Rodriguez were dating. A source told People magazine, “She seems excited. He has been around her family, and she really likes that he is a dad. She is aware, though, that he is a ladies’ man too and is being cautious. For now, it’s just fun. She is single and enjoys dating.”
In April of that year A-Rod told Ellen about how they got together on her chat show The Ellen DeGeneres Show. He said, “Someone taps me on the shoulder, and I turn around and I do not recognize this person. And it’s Jennifer, but she’s dressed up as Harlee from Shades of Blue, and she’s in her jeans and her big boots. And it took me about four or five seconds.”
But J.Lo soon put him straight, as he recalled. He continued, “And she said, ‘It’s Jennifer! It’s Jennifer!’ I go, ‘Oh my God, Jennifer, you look beautiful.’ I was so embarrassed and then I got a little nervous, and I’m like, This is so goofy, we all know who Jennifer is and she’s everywhere. Then we basically had a small chit-chat… and she says, ‘You have my number, reach out.’ And I went home that night and reached out.”
To back up Rodriguez’ story, J.Lo herself talked about it when she too appeared on Ellen’s show. She said, “I was having lunch somewhere and I saw him as he passed by. Afterwards, I went outside, and for some reason I felt like tapping him on the shoulder.” And with that, A-Rod took a swing and asked her out.
No sooner had the pair admitted that they were seeing each other than they were sharing pictures of one another on Instagram. First J.Lo shared a picture of the two of them watching a Yankees game, then both posted car selfies to their Instas. The night of the joint posting, they were seen together in public for the first time at the Met Gala.
In June 2017 the two took a holiday in Paris, with pictures of the pair illuminating J.Lo’s Instagram page. The next month they showed that they could throw a party too. The couple had a joint birthday celebration – which was appropriate because their birthdays are only a few days apart.
It wasn’t long before the couple were discussing setting up home together. In October an insider told People magazine that it was on the cards. They said, “They will invest together in a new home when they find the perfect one. They are starting to make more financial decisions together. It’s nice for Jennifer to be with a man who has his own money and spends it wisely.”
After a joint Thanksgiving, naturally they spent Christmas 2017 as one happy family. And the loving vibe was obvious when the pair shared photos on Snapchat to celebrate Valentine’s Day a couple of months later. Of course, the filters got a workout too! When asked that month how things were going, J.Lo didn’t hold back.
The singer told TV show Entertainment Tonight that things were just swell. She said, “We both are so happy about our lives right now and where we’re at professionally, as well as personally… things seem to be flowing in a really beautiful way. We both have a lot of support for each other and a lot of love for each other.”
However, in March 2018 J.Lo was telling Harper’s Bazaar magazine that she was in no hurry to convert that happiness into marriage. She said, “I do believe in marriage, and I would love to grow old with somebody in a committed relationship. But I’m not forcing anything right now.” She added, “It’s good, it’s healthy; we communicate well. We understand each other’s lives in a way that most other people couldn’t.”
Not that J.Lo wasn’t keen on Rodriguez, as a gushing appearance on chat show The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon revealed in December 2018. She said, “He’s come into my life and really contributed in such a way. He’s so supportive, he’s so loving… He’s just a very loving, generous spirit.”
By March 2019 J.Lo had obviously decided that A-Rod was the man for her. When he popped the question on a Bahamas beach, she didn’t need asking twice. Perhaps it helped that alongside the proposal came a massive diamond ring. The $1.4 million band featured 15 carats of diamonds.
Steve Quick Jeweler’s Brandon Hill told Elle magazine about the ring. He said, “A-Rod went with a very classic emerald-cut diamond which accentuates Jennifer’s fingers with its elongated shape. The diamond… [is] set in a simple but elegant solitaire mounting, which will look beautiful with a wedding band next to it in the future.”
J.Lo was by all accounts delighted by the engagement, although it had been something of a shock. A friend told Elle, “Jennifer is ecstatic and so are their families and friends. Very few people knew Alex planned on proposing. It was very much a surprise for Jennifer. It was just how Alex wanted it.”
J.Lo shared with GQ magazine how she’d known A-Rod was right for her. She said, “I mean, we’re very similar. We’re really alike in our drive, in our ambition. He’s an athlete. He wanted to be the best. I’m the same way. I just want to be great at what I do. We’re both like that. We’re both super-hard workers. We’re driven by our passions. And we have a tremendous amount of respect for each other.”
The superstar continued, “Everybody in the room can be talking, and if he says something, I key in on it, and if everybody in the room is kinda in his ear and I go, ‘I don’t think that’s the right thing,’ he’ll hear me; he’ll listen. He knows I only have his best interest at heart, and I only want him to thrive and succeed and to be his best self.”
Even so, J.Lo still wasn’t in any hurry to tie the knot. She told Oprah all about it during a tour in February 2020. The singer said, “I said, ‘If we’re going to be together for the rest of our lives, what is the rush?’” And indeed, in April 2020 the pair pushed their wedding back.
J.Lo told Ellen, “We will see what happens now. Honestly, I really don’t know what’s going to happen now as far as dates or anything like that. We’re just kind of in a holding pattern like the rest of the world. So, again, it’s something we’re just going to have to wait and see in a few months how this all pans out.”
Back to 2019, and J.Lo’s birthday is dawning. And it’s a milestone for the star – this is the day that she’ll mark her half-century. On the day, the star prepared for a huge party on Miami’s Star Island at a home owned by Gloria Estefan. She’d celebrate her day with views out over the Atlantic Ocean.
A source shared details with entertainment website E! Online. They said, “There are multiple tents and the decor is modern with a lot of white and gold. There are big gold balls being strung across the yard and a large gold bar. There’s lounge furniture and sofas also being set up on the lawn.” But the superstar had already had one present, a surprise gift from boyfriend A-Rod.
A video uploaded to YouTube shared the surprise with fans. In it, A-Rod is musing to himself with the time-honored question, “What do you get someone who already has everything?” It occurs to the super slugger that J.Lo has not been behind the wheel of a car in 25 years. So it’s sure that as he blindfolds the Latina queen, she will have no clue what’s coming.
The blindfolded star assures A-Rod that she can’t see a thing as she stumbles through their home. They make their way slowly out to the back of the house. Meanwhile, we can see the couple’s four kids stuffed into a sports car, wheeling their way to a fateful meeting with their parents.
As the noise of the car nears, J.Lo is freaking out. She still does not have a clue what’s going on as Rodriguez beckons the children to drive up closer. Then the blindfold is off, and the superstar actress’ surprise is clear to see – and hear. She says, “What the hell?”
With the blindfold off, the singing sensation can see that she’s been treated to a new car – and not just any car. No, this is a Porsche 911 GTS. A source later revealed that the red convertible apparently came wrapped in a bow and sported a license plate reading “JLO.” There was also a monogram in the same initials.
J.Lo is overjoyed to see her present, although she does have one small concern. Will she be able to remember how to drive? After all, it really has been a quarter-century since she was last behind the wheel. But she’s not going to look a gift Porsche in the eye, so she hugs the kids and gets ready to motor.
A friend told E! Online how it had gone. They said, “She took the car for a spin before the party with A-Rod and looked very excited.” And the excitement was real, as the official figures make clear. The car can do 0 to 60 in less than four seconds, and if you happen to drive on a track, you can push it up to 190mph.
As it turns out, the Porsche wasn’t the only thing that the baseball legend gave J.Lo for her birthday. He also put his social media presence to use. Rodriguez put together a montage of his fiancée and uploaded it to Instagram. And of course there was a special message for his beloved too.
The champion ballplayer said, “Hi baby girl, just want to wish you a happy birthday. I cannot believe this baby girl. Since we’ve been together, you have made me feel like every day is my birthday. Thank you for your passion and your energy and your inspiration and your endless pursuit to be the best at everything that you do.”
That wasn’t all that Rodriguez had to say. He added, “You are simply the best partner in life, the best daughter, the best mother, the best performer. We love you, your fans love you, your children love you, and I love you. Let’s make this birthday a very special one.”
If the message was intended to leave the recipient in tears, well, it had the intended effect. J.Lo replied, “I’m crying… I love our life… I love you so much… thank you my beautiful Macho…” But that wasn’t the only response that the Hollywood star had – as she demonstrated on Rodriguez’s birthday a few days later.
Amazingly, J.Lo too had a motoring surprise for the slugging legend. For his birthday, he received a vintage Ford Bronco. This beauty hailed from 1974 – it was an original, not one of the 2020 reissues. And of course, appropriately for a former star of Shea Stadium, it was in Yankee blue.
The Porsche was not the first gift Rodriguez had found that showed a lot of thought. He doesn’t just shower J.Lo in diamonds. No, to mark two years together, he had a very special present. The singer told Ellen all about it on her chat show. She said, “I’m obsessed with Fixer Upper. Do you guys know Joanna Gaines and Chip Gaines? I’m obsessed with it.”
J.Lo explained that her renovating of the couple’s home had been interrupted by A-Rod. She said, “It was a Sunday and he was like, ‘I want you to do a meeting…’ And he opens up the FaceTime, and it’s Joanna Gaines! And I was like, ‘Agh!’ I totally fangirled out.” She concluded, “I was looking at him and I was like, ‘You listened to me! I love you. You are so amazing!’ It really blew me away.”