Jennifer Lopez refused to perform songs written near the time of her break-up with Ben Affleck.
The 53-year-old singer added Affleck, 50, who she married earlier this year after they reunited after decades apart following their 2003 split, is now her “biggest fan” and loves hearing all her tunes.
She told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1: “Dude, I wouldn’t even perform these records. It was so painful after we broke up. Once we called off that wedding 20 years ago, it was the biggest heartbreak of my life.
“I honestly felt like I was going to die. It sent me on a spiral for the next 18 years where I just couldn’t get it right.
“It’s funny because when me and Ben got back together, he was like, ‘You never performed the songs. You never did, I’m glad. You never did this, you never did that.’ I was like, ‘You’re right. It was painful.’
“It was a part of me then that I had to put away to move on and survive. It was a survival tactic, for sure.”
After Lopez and Affleck called off their wedding in 2003, Ben married Jennifer Garner in 2005, and had children Violet, 16, Seraphina, 13, and Sam, 11, with the actress, while Lopez had twins, Emme and Max, 14, with ex-husband Marc Anthony.
She said about Affleck’s love for her 2002 record “This Is Me … Then”, released months before they called off their engagement in 2003: “He loves that album. He loves that music. He knows all of the words. You know what I mean?
“It’s crazy. He also was with me while I was creating it … he’s my biggest fan, which is awesome, and supporter.”
Lopez, who is preparing to release her latest album “This Is Me … Now”, added: “That album, ‘This Is Me … Then’ really captured a moment in time where I fell in love with the love of my life. It’s all right there on the record. I didn’t even realise what was happening and what I was doing.
“It was just every day going from the set to the recording studio, doing the thing, being in love, him coming into the studio, writing ‘I’m Glad’ and going, ‘This reminds me of …’, you know what I mean?
“Me tweaking the lyrics with him. Every single song that we wrote there, me writing ‘Dear Ben’, it was such a special moment in time to have captured.”
But she said the 2002 album was “prophetic” as it seemed to foreshadow her and Affleck’s split after it was released.
She said: “I decided to call it ‘This Is Me … Then’ – this moment in time was captured of finding your soulmate in that time and it’s all there.
“When I listen to the lyrics now, I didn’t even realise I was writing some of our story that would happen, which was sick still.
“Some of the records on there, which were more obvious about Ben, but even records that you were like, ‘That’s a breakup record’ – I didn’t even realise that it was prophetic in a weird way.”
Lopez also told how Affleck had the message “Not. Going. Anywhere” inscribed on her engagement ring, saying: “Because that’s how he would sign his emails when we started talking again. Like, ‘Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere.’”