Gloria Estefan has a great friendship with JENNIFER LOPEZ - and even confesses her fellow Latina star calls her the "original J.Lo".

CUTS BOTH WAYS singer Estefan, 46, has enjoyed a successful singing career since the 1980s, and she and her husband EMILIO have also written and produced songs for Lopez and Shakira amongst others.

But Estefan admits that despite their similarities, Lopez is much more confident than she ever was.

Gloria says, "I met her years ago. She started dating one of my waiters, OJANI NOA, and they got married. She was such a sweet girl but I knew she would get a whole lot more.

"I love Jennifer because she is so hard-working and wants to be the best she can be. She says that when she looks at me she can tell what she's going to look like in ten year's time.

"Physically there are a lot of similarities - I even had her bum when I was her age. But I never had that physical confidence Jennifer has. She is such a sexy girl. All us Cuban girls like sex and lots of it, but Jennifer wears that feeling like a second skin."

However, Gloria gives her pal advice when it comes to marriage - don't rush it.

She adds, "I tell her to live in sin. Who cares? You don't need to get married, you don't need to rush things."

17/09/2003 13:39