Waiting For Tonight
The music video for "Waiting for Tonight" was filmed in Los Angeles. Part of it was shot at the Los Angeles Arboretum. Jennifer Lopez took time off from filming The Cell to complete the music video. It was directed by Francis Lawrence, whose work Lopez had admired. Speaking of the video's concept, Jennifer Lopez said: "I wanted it to be fun and have a certain type of energy and he came back with the treatment of the video where it was this millennium party in the jungle. Just the way he described it, it sounded perfect, the kind of thing I really wanted to do so we just went with it." When casting extras for the music video, Lopez stressed that she wanted those appearing around her to look like "real people". For "Waiting for Tonight", she worked with choreographer Tina Landon, who previously hired Lopez as a backup dancer for Janet Jackson in the early stages of her career. Landon also made an appearance in the clip as an extra. A second version of the music video featuring the Hex Hector remix of the song (which you can find at the end of this article) was released, later being included on her extended play The Reel Me (2003). The creation of "Waiting for Tonight" was documented and aired by MTV in Making the Video. Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan of The Baltimore Sun stated that it revealed the "death-defying dance stunts" which Lopez undertook, "donning stiletto heels and a micro-mini to perform elaborate footwork on a narrow, 6-foot-high Plexiglas platform while cameras caught her from every possible provocative angle". The music video premiered directly after the Making the Video special on MTV, on August 23, 1999.
The music video was widely popular, receiving heavy rotation on MTV, and establishing Jennifer Lopez as a "dance princess". According to monitoring by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, it was the most-played clip on VH1 for the week ending November 28, 1999. It is known for its thematic depiction of a Y2K dance party. Justin Myers of the Official Charts Company called the video a "chilling reminder of the worldwide fear of the so-called Millennium Bug – Jen looks quite anxious when midnight comes at her very futuristic looking New Year bash, doesn't she?" Author Dominic Pettman observed that the music video captured an "orgasmic anticipation" for the new millennium. Fuse ranked the clip at number 30 on their list of the "Top 100 Sexiest Music Videos of All Time" in 2011. Entertainment Weekly regarded it as the best music video of Jennifer Lopez's career.
The visuals of "Waiting for Tonight" became distinctive, particularly the green lasers appearing in the background, and the crystals Jennifer Lopez wore on her body. Lopez said in 2014, "[Green lasers] just became so signature to that song and that time. I think that was the first time anyone had used them in a video that way." In a press release published by Cision in 2014, it was noted that "Lasers in the jungle and the Y2K vibe of that years New Years Eve celebrations are unforgettable images that helped catapult JLO to international success." Maitri Mehta of Bustle magazine wrote that she was "mesmerized by a vision of a bronze J. Lo gettin' life from those green lasers. In almost all of her music videos, J. Lo is extremely, overtly sexy but that's the point." American Idol alumnus Adam Lambert revealed, "I remember when I was a kid graduating high school and 'Waiting for Tonight' came out (...) And she had all the rhinestones on her face and she just looked like just dewy and stunning and amazing." Diane Cho of VH1 noted that Lopez "trademarked" the glitter-look in "Waiting for Tonight", which was adapted by Britney Spears in "Toxic" and Beyoncé in "1+1".
Monica Herrera of Billboard stated that Adam Lambert's music video for the song "If I Had You" took the "late-night wilderness party motif of Jennifer Lopez's classic 'Waiting for Tonight' clip" and added "more lasers, guyliner, thrashy dance moves, silver top hats and outrageously spiky shoulder pads". MTV's Nicole James compared Rihanna's "Where Have You Been" music video to "Waiting for Tonight". Tiffany Lee of Yahoo! stated that Selena Gomez was "channeling" an early Lopez in her song "Slow Down", drawing comparisons between both songs and videos, observing that "the premise for both music videos are almost identical", with "dancing in front of flashing lights and sweating in dance floor crowds". Pitchfork Media's Lindsay Zoladz stated that English singer FKA twigs' music video for the song "Papi Pacify" features "perhaps the most dazzling use of body glitter in a music video since J. Lo's 'Waiting for Tonight'". Natasha Bird of Elle magazine compared the music video for Zayn Malik's "Like I Would" to "Waiting for Tonight", writing: "with the addition of all the smoke, lasers and gyrating girls in booty shorts, we can't help but think that this video is an excellent tribute to Jennifer Lopez's millennium party single".
The music video received several award nominations, including three wins. At the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, "Waiting for Tonight" was nominated in the Best Choreography and Best Dance Video categories, winning for Best Dance Video. It also won for Best Dance Video at the International Dance Music Awards. At the Billboard Music Video Awards, "Waiting for Tonight" received two nominations for Best Video and Best New-Artist Video. It received multiple MVPA Award nominations, including for Pop Video of the Year, and won for Best Hair.
The clip begins with an image of the sun setting. Jennifer Lopez and her female friends are at a house preparing for a New Year's Eve party. Inter-cut are scenes of Lopez dancing in a jungle, where green lasers are flashing behind her. Later, another scene features Lopez covered with sparking crystals on her face and body. The females later canoe over a river and travel to a rave party which is being held in a rainforest. Towards the end of the song's bridge, the music briefly stops, as the party-goers stare up at a large clock and count down to the year 2000. There is a six-second power outage (A reference to the Y2K concern). The power returns, and the party celebrates the new year. This is inter-cut with scenes of Lopez dancing on top of the crowd, as well as frolicking in a Hawaiian river wearing a black bikini. The Hex Hector remix version features the same premise of the original clip, while including a variety of different shots, and new scenes of Lopez dancing in a jungle with green lasers flashing behind her. This version also incorporates a strobe effect throughout the music video.