If You Had My Love

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"If You Had My Love"
Single by Jennifer Lopez
from the album On the 6
B-side "No Me Ames"
Released May 4, 1999
Format Cassette single, CD single, 12" single
Recorded 1998;[1] Sony Music Studios (New York City, New York)
Length 4:25
Label Work
Writer(s) Rodney Jerkins, LaShawn Daniels, Cory Rooney
Producer(s) Rodney Jerkins
Jennifer Lopez singles chronology
"If You Had My Love"
"No Me Ames"

"If You Had My Love" is a song recorded by American singer Jennifer Lopez for her debut studio album, On the 6 (1999). Controversy followed the song's composition, as Rodney Jerkins had previously written a similar song for Chanté Moore. The song is well known for its voyeuristic music video and is one of her signature hits along with "Waiting for Tonight".[2] "If You Had My Love" was serviced to radio in the United States on May 4, 1999.[3][4]

Recording and production[edit]

"If You Had My Love" was produced by Rodney Jerkins of Darkchild Entertainment, Inc., who has worked with a range of popular artists such as Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.[5][6] Lopez recorded her vocals for the song at Sony Music Studios in New York City; the song was later mixed by Tony Maserati at The Hit Factory in New York City and Larrabee Sound Studios in California.[7][8] Larry Gold and Jennifer Karr served as backing vocalists to Lopez.[7] According to recording artist Chanté Moore, her song "If I Gave Love" which was intended to be released as the second single from her album, This Moment Is Mine, released in March 1999, was re-written by Jerkins with the same arrangement for Lopez after Sean Combs, a producer for On the 6, said he wanted the song.[9] As a result of this, Moore's plans to release "If I Gave Love" were shelved as the songs were almost identical.

In 2008, Moore stated that "We should have been aggressive instead of backing off our single, we backed off of it because J.Lo had such a machine at the time. We should have just stepped out."[9] She explained the issue further in her interview with NPR, stating: "I heard that it was because Puff Daddy walked in and heard my song and said, 'I want that song.' [Rodney] was like, 'Yeah, it's already taken. We wrote that for Chante.' And [Puffy] was like, 'Yeah, mmm hmm, I want that song.' So Rodney wrote really the same song [...] Hers, I can't even remember. It's so close I can't even sing it right now. Same song."[10] Moore continued to say "I wanted to sock him [Jerkins] in the head," and her song "It Ain't Suppose To Be This Way" is believed to reference the event of Comb's "stealing" her song.[9][10]

Music and lyrics[edit]

A twenty second sample of the radio edit of "If You Had My Love", one of 1999's most "infectious singles".[11]

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"If You Had My Love" is a mid-tempo song[12] with a length of four minutes and twenty-five seconds (4:25).[13] The song was written by Rodney Jerkins, La Shawn Daniels and Cory Rooney; Rodney Jerkins also served as producer.[7] According to the digital music sheet published at musicnotes.com, the song is written in the key of B♭ minor. The instrumentation of "If You Had My Love" consists of a piano and guitar. Lopez's vocals in the song span from the lower note of A♯3 to the higher note of E♯5.[14]

Lyrically, the song is about Lopez confronting her admirer with a number of ground rules before they begin their relationship. The song's opening lines consist of Lopez saying "Now if I gave you me, this is how it's got to be/ First of all I won't take you cheatin' on me/ Tell me who can I trust if I can't trust in you/ And I refuse to let you play me for a fool."[15] In the chorus of the song, Lopez sings the "lusty-leery" lyrics "If you had my love/ And I gave you all my trust... Would you lie to me/ And call me baby?"[16] Vibe magazine describes the song as "sweet", stating that it is upbeat and contains strong vocals.[17] Allmusic lyrically described it as "insistent", calling the sound fiery and soulful.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

A writer from NME noted that Lopez "really comes into her own" on the "street-smart swingbeat winner" song.[18] Aaron Beierle of DVD Talk praised the track as catchy, writing that it "showcases the singer's style well."[19] Beth Johnson of Entertainment Weekly reviewed the song, and pointed out "Considering the dustbins filled with movie stars' vanity discs, why expect this actress' recording debut to be hit-bound? Well, surprise, surprise." Of the song, Johnson wrote "Lopez lays down a silky groove, and the law [...] on this Rodney Jerkins-masterminded, salsa-laced hip-hop. It hardly seems fair that she gets to sizzle on screen and on this slow-funk track."[20] A writer of the Los Angeles Times wasn't as receptive of the song, "non- singer Jennifer Lopez's "If You Had My Love," which sounds like a Brandy Norwood or Monica reject."[21] In 2011, Jocelyn Vena of MTV News noted that the song was the beginning of her singing about love, "Lopez has explored the topic of love since the start of her career, beginning with her first single, "If You Had My Love," a tune that questions the nature of her beau's affections."[22]

Chart performance[edit]

Lopez performing the song on her Dance Again World Tour in Paris, France 2012.

"If You Had My Love" is one of Lopez's most commercially successful songs. The song debuted at 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 on May 15, 1999, and moved to sixty-four the next week on May 22, 1999.[23] The next week, the song entered the top ten of the Hot 100, and moved to six on June 5, 1999, earning the "Greatest Gainer" title of the week.[24] On June 12, 1999, "If You Had My Love" reached the top spot of the Hot 100.[25][26][27] The song dethroned Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca" as the number-one song in the country; this was the first time a Latin artist followed another Latin artist to the top of the chart since Gloria Estefan's "Coming Out of the Dark" replaced Timmy T's "One More Try" in March 1991.[25] It became the 843rd number one on the Hot 100 charts. Lopez also became the first artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 with their debut single since Britney Spears did so with her single, "...Baby One More Time just four months prior.[25] "If You Had My Love" was also Rodney Jerkins' third song to top the chart.[25] The song bowed at two on the US Pop Songs, six on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and five on Hot Dance Club Play.[26] After a one-month stint atop the Billboard Hot 100, the song fell to two on July 17, 1999, having been dethroned by Destiny's Child's "Bills, Bills, Bills".[28] The song remained in the top ten until September 11, 1999[29] and finally left the Billboard Hot 100 on October 30, 1999, last seen at number 50.[30]

"If You Had My Love" was successful internationally. It topped the charts in New Zealand,[31] Australia,[32] Canada,[33] Netherlands[34] and Finland.[35] The song bowed at four on the UK Singles Chart and also reached the top ten of seven other countries.[36] The song was eventually awarded a platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of 1,000,000 copies; and was also certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association for shipments of 70,000 units.[37][38] In France, it was certified gold by the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique for shipments of 100,000 units.[39] It was also certified gold in Germany, Switzerland and New Zealand.[40][41][42]

Music video[edit]

In the video for "If You Had My Love", Lopez sings and dances while asking questions about love to a camera, while various people watch from screens elsewhere

The music video was directed by Paul Hunter in April 1999.[43][44] It begins with a man (portrayed by actor Adam Rodriguez) logging onto his personal computer—while prompted by a search bar—and enters the name "Jennifer Lopez", and is redirected to a website Jennifer Lopez Online. He clicks onto the link and is transported through the internet (which is displayed by special effects emulating binary numbers). After arriving, a figure in white walks across a room filled with cameras recording action: it turns out to be Lopez in a hallway. From the privacy of his computer, the man then redirects to a new page where Lopez is now seen in the living room and crawling over a table, and she is visibly aware of the cameras and viewers, waving at it at a point.[44]

The man is not alone in his voyeuristic actions as patrons of an Internet café and a little girl logging in from her own computer, watches Lopez, streaming live, on "Internet TV". The man then clicks on a room showing Lopez in the bathroom, singing whilst checking her reflection in the mirror. Worldwide, Lopez's feed is being streamed live to a nightclub and to other users with laptops. The man then clicks on the dance option and is once again entered through the special effect binary. Lopez then proceeds to perform a series of dances (including jazz, house, and Latin soul) as the song moves into a remixed (Pablo Flores Remix) portion. The man then zooms in on Lopez's skirt, as she dances to Latin music.[44]

He then raises the sexual intonation again by requesting a scene in which Lopez is taking a shower (although she is never seen nude). Garage workers who had been watching this soon turn their heads to Lopez and pay no attention to their burning car as they glue their eyes to the screen. A new user is introduced, and it is implied that he throws his computer underwater to "turn down the heat" (so to speak). He then continues to watch her there.[44]

An alternate ending of the music video which features Rodriguez running his left hand under his shirt while sucking his fingers from his right hand as Lopez stares at him through the camera in the shower was supposed to be part of the original director's cut serviced to MTV, but was removed and replaced with glam shots of Lopez in front of a fan, after manager Benny Medina found the cyber-interaction between Lopez and Rodriguez as too suggestive and controversial.[44]


The song was ranked 12 on Billboard's 1999 year-end Hot 100 chart, and 46 on the 2000s decade-end Hot 100 chart.[45][46] The song's music video received four MTV Video Music Award nominations.[47] Looking back on the record's success, during an interview in 2011, Lopez stated: "Still I think about that and still it's like wow, my first record I ever did went to number one. It's just an overwhelming feeling. This does not happen all the time. This is a very special thing."[48] Lopez was one of few artists who have converted successfully from an acting career into a recording career, and the first since Vanessa Williams (1992) and Martika (1989).[25] Bill Lamb from About.com said that "If You Had My Love" landed atop the charts with its "elegant feel laced with surging strings", while noting that the song's music video "caused a stir as it centers on voyeuristic interest in Jennifer Lopez."[49] AOL Radio placed "If You Had My Love" atop their list of Top 10 Jennifer Lopez Songs, also stating that the song was controversial for its use of Internet surveillance themes.[50]

Following its release, the "body-emphasizing" music video for "If You Had My Love" received a heavy amount of airplay on the MTV Network.[51] A writer from Billboard wrote that Lopez "isn't too far behind Ricky Martin as the leading light of Latin Music in Asia"—and that the song had skyrocketed Lopez from an unknown to superstar status internationally, reaching music markets as diverse as India and the Philippines. Jeff Selamutu, a programming manager from Channel V, said that "Up to now, it's only been Janet Jackson and Madonna." Selamutu said that people were "enjoying her hot, sexy dancing on the video [for If You Had My Love]."[52]

Formats and track listings[edit]

US CD single[53]
No. Title Length
1. "If You Had My Love"   4:28
2. "No Me Ames" (Tropical Remix) 5:05
Total length:
EU maxi single[8]
No. Title Length
1. "If You Had My Love" (Radio Edit) 3:47
2. "If You Had My Love" (Pablo Flores Remix Edit) 3:54
3. "If You Had My Love" (Dark Child Remix Radio Edit) 3:56
4. "If You Had My Love" (Dark Child Remix Extended) 6:01
Total length:
UK Cassette Single
No. Title Length
1. "If You Had My Love" (Album Version) 4:25
2. "If You Had My Love" (Darkchild Remix Radio Edit) 4:00
Total length:
US maxi single[54]
No. Title Length
1. "If You Had My Love" (Radio Edit) 3:47
2. "If You Had My Love" (Pablo Flores Remix Edit) 3:54
3. "If You Had My Love" (Dark Child Remix Radio Edit) 4:00
4. "If You Had My Love" (Pablo Flores Remix) 9:12
5. "If You Had My Love" (Dark Child Remix Extended) 6:18
6. "No Me Ames" (Tropical Remix) 5:03



Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[72] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Belgium (BEA)[73] Platinum 30,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[74] Platinum 80,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[75] Platinum 30,000^
Greece (IFPI Greece)[76] Platinum 6,000[77]
Germany (BVMI)[78] Platinum 300,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[79] 2× Platinum 30,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON)[80] Platinum 60,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[81] Platinum 40,000^
United States (RIAA)[82] Platinum 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


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External links[edit]