Gorgeous celebs like Jessica Alba, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira may strut their stuff down the carpet now but they struggled through the same growing pains as everyone else back in the day. Take a look and see how some of your favorite Latino celebs have evolved over the years.
Jennifer Lopez – Jenny from the Block to Glamazon
J.Lo. has definitely softened her look from the “Jenny on the Block” days. Now, you’re more likely to see the Puerto Rican diva shopping with her adorable twins or adopting a puppy with her boyfriend Casper Smart. But the former “American Idol” judge’ is keeping busy as always; she’s working on two albums and her new film “Parker” comes out this month.
Jessica Alba – Dark Angel to Sophisticated Seductress
Jessica Alba began her career first breaking tween hearts on “The Secret World of Alex Mack” then teen hearts on “Never Been Kissed.” Not much has changed since then–the mother of two is considered one of the most desirable women in the world. But Alba only has eyes for her producer hubby Cash Warren, whom she met on the set of Fantastic Four in 2004.
Sammy Sosa – Baseball legend to master of delusion
Retired Chicago Cubs right fielder Sammy Sosa apparently hasn’t quit “rejuvenating” his skin, but maybe he thinks that will get him elected as president of the Dominican Republic. The Dominican-born Sosa frequently requests that his outstanding baseball record –609 home runs, 160 RBIS in a single season, 2,408 hits– land him a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame, but it doesn’t look like the steroid-tainted player will be inducted any time soon.
Tatyana Ali – Baby Girl to Triple Threat
Tatyana Ali has grown up a lot from playing the sweet and precocious Ashley Banks on “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” The Harvard graduate has released three hit singles, starred in a string of blockbuster films and now runs her own production company Hazrah which led to her BET show “Buppies.” The half-Panamian, star, who is also in the TvOne series “Love that Girl,” was just nominated for an NAACP Image Award.
Jon Secada – Backup Singer to Crossover Crooner
This two-time Grammy winner launched his career as a backup singer and songwriter for Gloria Estefan. He skyrocketed to fame after Estefan brought him on-stage to sing a solo. Soon after, he released the hit song “Just Another Day,” and a self-titled album that sold six million copies worldwide and went triple platinum. Recently, the Afro-Cuban Secada returned to the recording studio for a new single about military families called “I’m Never Too Far Away.”
Shakira – Wallflower to Multi-Million-Dollar Siren
Colombian sensation Shakira wrote her first song at 8, signed her first record deal at 13 and released her first album, “Pies Descalzos,” at 18. The half-Colombian, half-Lebanese superstar infuses her music with her Latin and Arab roots, singing merengue-inspired tunes like “Loca,” and mesmerizing audiences with her belly dancing moves. The pop queen just gave birth to a brand new baby boy, Milan, with her husband, footballer Gerard Piqué. She will soon lend her musical expertise to emerging stars as the newest judge on “The Voice and has kept fans in suspense as they await her upcoming eighth album.
Ricky Martin – Teen heartthrob to international pop idol
After his first audition for the Puerto Rican boy band “Menudo,” Ricky Martin was turned down because executives thought he was too short. But the persistent Martin returned for a third audition, and they admitted him. His addition launched the group to stardom and the Grammy-award-winning pop singer went on to become the group’s most famous alum. Martin recently wrapped up a ten-month-run on Broadway as “Ché” in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita” and is developing a new show for NBC, expected to debut this year. In the meantime, he’ll head down under to become a judge on “The Voice” in Australia. The 41-year-old father of two made headlines in 2010 when he came out as gay. Since then he’s spoken out against homophobia, most notably at a UN awareness conference in 2012, saying “I lived in fear.”
Wilmer Valderrama – Goofball to Ladies Man
Best known for his role as the often-bullied foreign exchange student “Fez” on “That 70s Show,” Wilmer Valderrama has matured into a multi-talented star with credits in film, fashion and charity work. The handsome Colombian-Venezuelan actor recently announced he will produce and star in a new series on 20th Century Fox TV and is also recording tracks for a new studio album. The 32-year-old is also known as a Casanova; he’s often bragged about his many starlet conquests including Mandy Moore, Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan and Demi Lovato.
Fat Joe – Butterball to ‘Drop a Body‘
Fat Joe, or Joseph Antonio Cartagena, grew up in public housing in the Bronx and broke out on the music scene with songs like “Lean Back,” “Make it Rain,” and “What’s Luv,” with Ashanti. The child of Puerto Rican and Cuban parents, Fat Joe recently caught heat for failing to pay more than $700,000 in taxes but really made headlines for a massive weight loss in 2011. At one time, the rapper weighed close to 460 pounds, but was inspired to lose weight after his childhood role model Big Pun died from a heart attack. Fat Joe hit the gym and ate healthier foods, shedding nearly 100 pounds in a single year. Now, he’s one of the backers of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign against childhood obesity. But, he says, he’s sticking with the name.
Rosario Dawson – From rags to riches…literally
Photographers discovered Rosario Dawson on the stoop of the abandoned apartment in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York where her family squatted illegally. They immediately cast the Puerto-Rican-Afro-Cuban beauty in the controversial indie film “Kids.” 2012 was a busy year for Dawson; as the co-founder of “Voto Latino,” the actress dedicated herself to registering voters and reelecting President Obama. This year, she’s planning a return to the big screen. She will star in the biopic “Chavez,” alongside Gael Garcia Bernal, about workers’ rights revolutionary Cesar Chavez and she’ll join Ryan Reynolds for a thriller directed by Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan.