Jennifer Lopez says her first break-up with Ben Affleck sent them into career “hyper-gear”.

The singer, 53, added they threw themselves into their work despite realising they had been “crazy” for each other after they met on the set of 2003 film ‘Gigli’, and went on to get engaged, before they called off their wedding in September that year.

She told Zane Lowe in an appearance on Apple Music 1 to mark the 20th anniversary of her ‘This Is Me... Then’ album: “I think what happened is, as we worked together, we became such good friends. We realised that we were crazy about each other.

“I found myself kind of thinking about him after the movie was over. And having to take care of my own business, because I was coming out of a relationship at that time.

“But it’s like you just knew it. It’s just like, ‘This is the person I want to be with.’ And that happened over a period of months. It wasn’t an instant thing because we weren’t allowed to do that. Yeah, it kind of grew over time.”

Blaming media attention for their break-up, the mum-of-two, who married Ben, 50, at his estate in Georgia this year after they reunited, continued: “It was a new thing and it destroyed us. That was part of what destroyed us was the outside energy that was coming at us. And we loved each other. It was hard.

“It felt, at times, unfair, but neither one of us is that person to be like, ‘Woe is me.’

“So we were like, ‘Well, we just got to dust it off and keep it moving.’

“I think, in the weirdest way, that it motivated both of us to then become and do the things that we wound up doing, which is going into hyper-gear.

“He went into hyper-gear and I went into hyper-gear. But not together. We had to do it separately. He went on to start directing, win his Oscar, do his second Oscar, do his thing where people had written him off in a way. The same thing with me.”