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How this image of Madonna changed Jennifer Lopez's life

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Jennifer Lopez has revealed the specific and surprising inspiration behind her megastar career.

A pap photo of Madonna jogging.

In the late 1980s, when she was still a wannabe actress living in the Bronx, it wasn't Madge's flashy outfits or famous boyfriends that catapulted Jen's now-legendary ambition - it was the image of her idol sweating it out in the park, surrounded by burly minders.

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Madonna and her crew running in Hyde Park, London, in 1990

"It was all about Madonna for me. She inspired me to want to sing, to dance, to work hard. I saw those pictures of her running in the park, training, and I thought, that’s what I need to be doing," the 46-year-old tells HuffPo UK.

"I’m a girl living in the Bronx at this point. I’ve never seen the inside of a gym, but I thought, I’m going to find myself a track. It wasn’t a moment on stage that did it, it was a picture of Madonna in the park."

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She even does her own make-up - on set of TV drama 'Shades of Blue' this summer

Now they're both superstars in the music and movie industry with a career longevity rarely seen in Hollywood.

And it seems that a healthy lifestyle (Jennifer is tee-total) is not all the pair have in common, Like Madonna, J-Lo also approaches her work with relentless perfectionism.

"People are paying, and it has to be the best it can possibly be," she says of her 2012 blockbuster world tour. "You want people to have the best night of their life ... That’s your role, your responsibility as a performer.

"I’m driven in that way," she explains. "That’s what makes an artist. People in this business understand that, and everyone in the team pushes and pushes. They’re all artists. They want to be driven, everyone’s seeking perfection."

Jennifer Lopez's HBO documentary Dance Again goes behind the scenes on her world tour and is available on DVD and digital download. Watch the trailer here:

Images: Rex Features

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