Here’s a Complete History of Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey’s Alleged Feud

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Robert Kessler
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Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey (Photos: Getty Images)

Rumors of a feud between Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey have existed in Internet lore for years. And, like most pop star-on-pop star feuds which appear to exist solely in the minds of fans, it’s the type of thing that the two are constantly having to deny. Twice this week Jennifer Lopez has had to address it and, twice this week, Lopez has denied it.

So here’s how the whole thing went down.

The Beginnings

In the early ‘00s, Mariah Carey was doing an interview with a foreign TV station in which she was asked her opinion about several pop stars. She called Beyoncé “nice” and “a good writer” and then she was asked about Jennifer Lopez. “I don’t know her,” Mariah Carey said. And, immediately, a meme was born.

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If you’ve not seen the GIF, you’ve probably not spent a lot of time on the web.

The Aftermath

It is years later; “I don’t know her” has become perhaps the most iconic words to come out of Mariah Carey’s mouth since “all I want for Christmas is you.” It was Andy Cohen, in 2014, who was the first to ask J.Lo directly about the shade of it all.

“I know from back in the day, I’ve read things that she’s said about me that were not the greatest, but we have never met,” Lopez, who is no amateur at delivering a verbal knockout, said. “Like, we don’t know each other. I think it’s kind of from word of mouth of things that have happened in the past that I’m not really aware of.”

Then, last year, Carey was doing an interview with The Cut in which she was asked about gifts she receives from her army of fans, the “Lambs.”

Recently? I don’t know. [yawns] I’m sorry, I’m having a “sleep” moment…

Well, there was a very interesting shirt that a fan made with a quote that I said years ago that, when I said it, I really wasn’t trying to be funny. I was just being honest and everybody’s kind of blowing it out of proportion but this guy had a shirt on and it was a picture of me that he made and the quote was underneath it — and I’m going to leave you hanging as to what it was.

To recap: Carey yawns before she explains she was “just being honest.” The word shade is thrown around hyperbolically these days, but true shade doesn’t really sound like an insult. However, the recipient knows. Mariah Carey is one of the masters of the art.

Round Two

Talk of the feud picked up after last year’s Billboard Music Awards, at which Lopez was caught checking Instagram during Carey’s performance. Video of Lopez idly scrolling through her feed immediately became Lopez’s visual response to Carey’s “I don’t know her” GIF.

Which Brings Us to This Week…

Jennifer Lopez is currently on a media blitz promoting the staggering number of projects — Shades of Blue, American Idol, The Fosters, etc. — she’s currently working on. Her first stop was Watch What Happens Live where, again, Andy Cohen asked about Mariah Carey.

“First of all, that was not fair with the texting thing because I watched a lot of it — it was a long performance,“ Lopez said, in what is not not shade. “I watched most of it, I may have looked down for one second and people were like, ‘Look at her! Look at her!’”

Lopez then booked it over to The Wendy Williams Show where she was talking about her Vegas residency, saying she saw all the shows currently on before she signed her deal, except for Mariah Carey because Carey’s show didn’t start until Lopez was already back in New York to film Shades of Blue. Williams saw her chance and took it with the gusto of a bird of prey.

“Who?” the talk show host joked of Carey. “No, I’m playing because that’s what Mariah said about Jennifer one time.”

“She does say that,” Lopez responded, before delivering her magnum opus. “She’s forgetful I guess.”