Rivera in 2009
|Born||Dolores Janney Rivera 
July 2, 1969
Long Beach, California, United States
|Died||December 9, 2012
Iturbide, Nuevo León, Mexico
Cause of death
|All Souls Cemetery, Long Beach, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||California State University
Long Beach City College
|Net worth||U.S. $300 million (2014 estimate)|
|Spouse(s)||José Trinidad Marín (1984–92)
Juan López (1997–2003)
Esteban Loaiza (2010–12, her death, divorce was never finalized)
|Children||Janney 'Chiquis' Marin
Jacquelin Melina Marin
Jenicka Priscilla Lopez
Juan 'Johnny' Lopez
|Awards||List of awards and nominations|
|Genres||Banda, Norteño, Ranchera, Latin Pop|
Universal Music Latino
|Associated acts||Lupillo Rivera|
Dolores Janney Rivera (July 2, 1969 – December 9, 2012), better known as Jenni Rivera, was a Mexican-American singer, songwriter, actress, television producer, and entrepreneur known for her work within the regional Mexican music genre. In life and death, several media outlets including CNN, Billboard, Fox News, and the New York Times have labeled her as the most important female figure and top selling female artist in the regional Mexican music genre.
Rivera began recording music in 1998. Her recordings often had themes of social issues, infidelity, and relationships. Her tenth studio album, Jenni (2008) became her first No.1 record on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart in the United States. In 2010, she appeared in and produced the reality TV show Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis & Raq-C. She also appeared in and produced I Love Jenni starting in 2011 through 2013 and Chiquis 'n Control in 2012. Her acting debut was in the film Filly Brown, which was released in 2013.
Rivera, along with six others, died in a plane crash near Iturbide, Nuevo León, Mexico, on December 9, 2012. Her death made international headlines for weeks. As of 2014, the plane crash that took her life is still currently being investigated. Lawsuits involving the owners of the plane, Rivera's estate, and family members of those on board with Rivera have been filed in state and federal courts.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Musical style
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Death
- 6 Posthumous commemorations
- 7 Discography
- 8 Filmography
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Rivera was born and raised in Long Beach, California, to Rosa Saavedra and Pedro Rivera, who were undocumented immigrants from Mexico. Her parents raised Rivera and her sister and 4 brothers in a tight-knit, musical household; her brother Lupillo is also a regional Mexican musician. Rivera spoke both English and Spanish fluently. Her family introduced her to traditional Mexican music, including the genres of banda, norteña, and ranchera. Her father was a bartender and businessman who created the record label Cintas Acuario in 1987, which launched the career of Mexican singer and songwriter Chalino Sánchez.
Rivera earned straight As in school until her sophomore year, when at 15 she became pregnant with the first of her 5 children, Janney "Chiquis" Marin Rivera. She supported the two of them by selling CDs at flea markets to support herself and her child, while working toward her GED at a continuation school and graduating as class valedictorian. Speaking in 2003 of her experiences as a teenage mother, Rivera explained, "Usually, when a young girl is pregnant, she drops out of school and concentrates on being a mother. I thought that's what I had to do, but my counselors told me there was no way they would let me drop out. I had too much promise."
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1992—2004 Career beginnings and first Latin Grammy nomination
Rivera made her first recording in 1992 as a Father's Day present to her father; she made more recordings and signed to Capitol/EMI's Latin division. Her first album, Chacalosa (slang for "party girl"), was released in 1995. In the beginning of her musical career, she was told many times she would not make it. At that time and still today, the genre known as regional Mexican music was and is dominated by men. In a 2011 interview with Billboard magazine, she stated, "It was hard knocking on those doors to get my music played. One radio programmer in L.A., the meanest son of a bitch in the world, threw my CD in the trash right in my face." Those were the kind of issues Rivera faced as a female trying to crack the regional Mexican genre. She then released the albums We are Rivera and Farewell to Selena independently, the latter a tribute album to Tejano music singer Selena who was murdered in 1995. She signed to Sony Music in the late 1990s, and then with Fonovisa Records in 1999; in the same year, Rivera released her first commercial album with Fonovisa, titled Que Me Entierren Con la Banda, featuring local hit "Las Malandrinas". Rivera stated that she wrote "Las Malandrinas" to pay homage to her female fans. She also said, "The song blew up. People became interested. That's when Jenni Rivera the artist was actually born."
In 2001, she released the records Dejate Amar and Se las Voy a Dar a Otro, which garnered her, her first Latin Grammy nomination for Best Banda Album. She became the first American—born artist to be nominated for the award in 2003. Her 2003 release Homenaje a Las Grandes (in English "Homage to the Great Ones") was a tribute album to female Mexican singers including Lucha Villa, Mercedes Castro, Rocío Dúrcal, Lola Beltrán, and Alejandra Guzmán. In 2004, she released her first complication disc titled Simplemente... La Mejor, which became her first record to detonate a chart in the United States.
2005—10 Parrandera, Rebelde y Atrevida, Mi Vida Loca, Jenni and La Gran Señora
She began to attain more substantial success with the record Parrandera, Rebelde y Atrevida, released in 2005, which peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart, since its release it has been certified double-platinum in the Latin field by the Recording Industry Association of America. The second single released from the album, "De Contrabando" became her first and only number—one song to hit the Latin Regional Mexican Airplay in the United States. It is also said to be one of her most known songs.
In 2007, she released Mi Vida Loca, which debuted at number 1 on the Regional Mexican Albums chart and number 2 on the Top Latin Albums chart in the United States, the album garnered an award for Regional Mexican Album of the Year at the 2008 Latin Billboard Music Awards. In a 2011 interview with Billboard magazine she stated, "That was more of Jenni telling her story through music. My life has been so put out there by the media that I figured I might as well put it out there myself, in my own words and through my music. I wanted to clear up speculations about my private life." The album also garnered Rivera her first Lo Nuestro Award for Regional Mexican Female Artist of the Year, an award she would dominate for the rest of her life. The same year she released La Diva en Vivo, a live album that consisted of songs recorded with a mariachi band, which garnered her, her second Latin Grammy nomination for Best Ranchero Album. That year she was the only female singer nominated in that category. The album was recorded at The Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, California, Rivera sold out the concert which led her to become the first female banda singer to do so. Her tenth studio album, Jenni released in 2008, became her first No. 1 record on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart in the United States. The album led Rivera to win her second Lo Nuestro Award for Banda Artist of the Year, becoming the first female act to win the accolade. A feat that currently stands to date. In 2009, she changed course and recorded her first full mariachi studio album titled La Gran Señora, which garnered a Latin Grammy nomination for Best Ranchero Album, it peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart in the United States. In an interview Rivera said that releasing the album was very daring and marked her career in a positive way, she said she wanted to grow as an artist and the people that listen to banda will listen to mariachi if they find a good album that they feel is worth buying. She went on to say there are certain nationalities that will listen to mariachi and not banda. Those were the people that she was going after. She also stated, "Commercializing a ranchera album is much harder. There had not been a successful female mariachi artist in a long time. It was a big risk, but it was a risk that I was willing to take. La Gran Señora ended up being the biggest-selling [regional Mexican] album of 2010."
2010—12 Reality shows, Las Vegas Star, Joyas Prestadas, and La Voz Mėxico
In 2010, she released La Gran Señora en Vivo, a live album that consisted of hits in banda and mariachi, it debuted at No. 8 on the Top Latin Albums chart in the United States. She recorded the album and became the first artist to sell out two back-to-back nights at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California, on August 6 and 7, 2010. On August 23, 2011, she renewed her contract with Universal Music Latin Entertainment/Fonovisa Records. To celebrate this event, she performed and sold out at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, becoming the first female Regional Mexican singer to do so. At the concert, she announced she would be recording Joyas Prestadas which consists of eleven cover versions, with the first album being recorded in Latin pop, while the second was recorded in banda. Both albums were produced by Enrique Martinez. According to Rivera, the songs she chose to cover were those she was enamored with while working as a cashier in a record store. It was her first production to include ballad recordings. She has also sold out Mexico’s National Auditorium, a feat few female singers in her genre ever achieve.
Rivera was a producer on the Mun2 reality TV show Chiquis & Raq-C, featuring her oldest daughter Janney Marin. She then appeared in the spin-off show I Love Jenni. Rivera worked as coach in the second season of the Mexican talent show La Voz... México, based upon The Voice franchise. In October 2012, People en Español named her on of the Top 25 most powerful women.
In December 2012, Rivera was only the third singer to place three albums on the entire top three on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart with her albums No.1 La Misma Gran Señora, No.2 Joyas Prestadas: Pop, and No.3 Joyas Prestadas: Banda. She joins two other leading singers, who also achieved the feat only in death Celia Cruz and Selena Quintanilla. In life and death, several media outlets including CNN, Billboard, Fox News, and the New York Times have labeled Rivera as the most important female figure and top selling female artist in the regional Mexican music genre.
2013—14 Posthumous movie, book, and album releases
By early 2013 Rivera had sold some 20 million albums worldwide. On December 11 2012, two days after her death, Fonovisa Records released La Misma Gran Señora, the album debuted at No.1 on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart, No.1 on Billboard Regional Mexican Albums chart and No.1 on Mexico's Top 100 chart. It was said to be the best-selling Latin album of 2013. Since its release, it has been awarded one Billboard Music Award, three Latin Billboard Music Awards, and two Mexican Billboard Music Awards. At the 2013 Billboard Music Awards it was awarded the Top Latin Album accolade.
Since her death in 2012, she has earned herself a spot on the Forbes Top Earning Dead Celebrities of 2013, making an estimate of 7 million dollars. Posthumously, Rivera has been awarded two Oye! Awards (Mexico's equivalent to the Grammy awards). Posthumously, Billboard magazine named her the "Top Latin Artist of 2013". Her years' long career included such honors as 20 million albums sold worldwide, making her the highest earning banda singer of all time.
On April 19, 2013, her debut film Filly Brown was released. Rivera played a drug addicted mother in prison. Oscar—nominated actor Edward James Olmos, who served as executive producer on the film, calls Rivera's performance "Oscar-worthy." On July 2, 2013, Unbreakable/Inquebrantable, Rivera's official autobiography arrived. Rivera had been working on it for years, and after her death her family put it together and turned it into a full book that became an instant New York Times bestseller. The total sales from Jenni Rivera's autobiography's different editions including (English and Spanish) made it the highest selling book in the United States the week of its release, Univision reported. 
Rivera's family has released two parts of her last concert in Monterrey, titled 1969 - Siempre, En Vivo Desde Monterrey, Parte 1 and 1969 - Siempre, En Vivo Desde Monterrey, Parte 2, both albums have been commercially successful, in the United States and Mexico. Both albums peaked at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart, No. 1 on the Regional Mexican Albums chart, and No. 2 on Mexico's Top 100 chart. Rivera was ranked in at number 1 on Billboard's "Top 10 Regional Mexican Musicians 2009-2014" list. On July 1, 2014 Rivera's album 1969 - Siempre, En Vivo Desde Monterrey, Parte 2 went on sale and sold over 10,000 in the week ending July 6, according to Nielsen SoundSCan. Since the album's release, Rivera has tied with Selena Quintanilla for most no. 1s by a female on the Regional Mexican Albums chart. Billboard magazine named Rivera the highest-ranked woman on the year-end Top Latin Artists chart of 2014, ranking at No. 5. The next-highest female artist is Shakira, at No. 32.
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Rivera's musical style was classified as banda, a form of traditional Mexican music popular in Mexico and parts of the United States with large Hispanic populations. Banda music originated in the state of Sinaloa and the music sound is primarily instruments such as tuba, clarinets and trumpets, i.e. Banda El Recodo; Banda La Costena. However, according to Leila Cobo of Billboard, her music contained a "contemporary, outspoken flair". She was significant as one of the few female artists in the often male-dominated genre. She sang in both Spanish and English and often addressed personal themes such as her struggles with domestic violence, divorce, and her weight. Rivera described speaking openly with her fans about her personal issues as a "primary part" of her career. Discussing her unconventional approach and her single "Las Malandrinas", Rivera explained, "It was the late 1990s and the early 2000s and the female singers were singing ballads and romantic fare. So I figured, I'm not typical at all in any way, so I'm going to do what the guys do but in a different voice." She was given names such as "La Diva de la Banda" and "La Primera Dama del Corrido" for her work in the banda and corrido genre. Although banda was her main focus, she was very aware of other styles of Mexican music, which led her to release albums in norteño and mariachi.
Marriages and children
Rivera was married 3 times and had five children. She had her first child, Janney "Chiquis" (born 1985), while still in high school. She later married Chiquis' father, José Trinidad Marín, and they had two more children: Jacqueline (born 1989) and Michael (born 1991), but she ended the marriage in 1992 citing physical and emotional abuse. In 1997 her younger sister Rosie confessed that Jennis' ex-husband (Marin) used to sexually molest her, and was now doing the same to Chiquis, physical examination showed he'd done the same with Jacqie. The molestation case was opened in 1997 and Marín spent 9 years as a fugitive before he was apprehended in April 2006, convicted of sexual assault and rape and sentenced to more than 31 years in prison without parole.
Rivera married her second husband, Juan López, in 1997. They had daughter Jenicka in 1997 and son Johnny in 2001 before they divorced in 2003. In 2007, Juan López was convicted of selling drugs. He died from complications of pneumonia while in prison in 2009.
On August 6, 2010 Rivera was named spokeswoman for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. A proclamation was given "officially naming" August 6 “Jenni Rivera Day” by the Los Angeles City Council for all her charity work and community involvement. Rivera was a Christian and her brother Pedro Rivera Jr. is the pastor of the Primer Amor Church in Whittier, California. She stated that she desired to be a dedicated Christian.
In June 2008, Univisión reported that Rivera was arrested after a concert in Raleigh, North Carolina, for allegedly hitting a fan. Media reports state the incident occurred after Rivera was hit on her right leg with a beer can that was thrown by someone in the crowd. Rivera made the culprit climb up on stage, and allegedly started assaulting him physically and verbally. After the altercation, the fan called the police, and Rivera was arrested after wrapping up the concert. Rivera was detained for a few hours, but released shortly after paying $3,000 bail.
In October 2008, a sex video featuring Rivera began circulating. Rivera was arrested on May 18, 2009 by customs authorities at the international airport in Mexico City. She failed to declare $52,467 cash in her purse. Rivera later paid a fine of $8,400 and was released. According to New York Daily News, Rivera performed and consumed cocaine at drug cartel parties in 2009.
In late 2014, controversy and accusations continued to surround the circumstances of Rivera's death. Rivera's widower, Esteban Loaiza, has sued Starwood for wrongful death. A request by his attorneys to dismiss the case was granted in late October, court records show. Loiaza's suit contended the pilots flying Rivera.
Rivera's estate have launched a copyright lawsuit against her former manager Laura Lucio. The plaintiffs are asking a judge to instruct law enforcement officials to confiscate Rivera's writings and interviews from Lucio so she cannot use them for a book project. In January 2014, Lucio filed a lawsuit claiming Rivera's estate published a biography of Rivera using the writings and interviews that she helped put together before Rivera passed. Lucio alleged her book project, Mi Vida Loca, which she claimed to have written with Rivera, was shelved following Rivera's death but was later published under a new title, Unbreakable: My Story, My Way, without her permission. Rivera's estate subsequently had the lawsuit moved out of a state court and into federal court, but in September 2014, U.S. District Judge George Wu granted Lucio's request to have the case moved back to state court. She then published the materials and Rivera's estate are now claiming they are the rightful owners of them. The lawsuit reads, "Defendant even falsely listed herself as the author of these copyrighted works, created by Jenni Rivera and/or owned by Jenni Rivera Enterprises, in a registration of a manuscript titled Jenni Rivera, Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life) as told to Laura Lucio; with the Writer's Guild of America's Intellectual Property Registry.
On December 9, 2014, the estate of Rivera sued the owners of the plane that was carrying her. The negligence case is against Starwood Management Inc., which owned the Learjet 25 jet that crashed in northern Mexico, after plunging more than 28,000 feet. The case is also against the companies that serviced the aircraft, Bombardier Inc. and Learjet Inc. Rivera's parents and five of her children, two of whom are still minors, are plaintiffs in the case. The suit seeks unspecified damages on their behalf. Rivera's estate has also been sued along with Starwood by relatives of those killed in the crash, including her attorney, hairstylist, publicist and makeup artist and one of the plane's pilots.
Rivera performed a concert at Monterrey Arena on December 8, 2012, in Monterrey, Nuevo León. At 2:00 a.m. on December 9, when the show ended, she held a press conference at the same venue. She left the Arena along with her staff and departed from Monterrey International Airport at 3:00 a.m. CST. At approximately 3:20 a.m. CST a US-registered private Learjet 25 N345MC (manufactured in 1969, the year she was born) carrying two pilots and five passengers, including Rivera, lost contact with air traffic control near Iturbide, Nuevo León, Mexico. The plane was en route to Toluca for an appearance by Rivera on La Voz ... México.
All on board were presumed dead by Mexican authorities when the wreckage was found later that day with no apparent survivors. Jenni Rivera's father Pedro Rivera confirmed in a Telemundo interview that his daughter had died in the crash. Mexican aviation authorities declared in the media that her plane was shattered into fragments which spread as far as 300 meters or the equivalent of three football stadiums. The impact of the crash was so severe that it is believed the plane went down in a nose dive at speeds of up to 700 mph. Because the plane was a US-registered aircraft, and had one U.S. American citizen on board (Jenni Rivera) the NTSB sent its team of investigators to assist their Mexican counterparts. Univision reported that the plane had been involved in a 2005 fuel system incident.
Rivera was finally buried on December 31, 2012 at All Souls Cemetery in Long Beach, California. Her father told Telemundo that legal issues had caused this delay. Her death made international headlines for weeks.
Stories of Rivera's disappearance and death appeared on Telemundo and Univision, the United State’s leading Spanish-language networks, as well as CNN, MSNBC, ABC and near the top of The New York Times website. Shortly after her death, CNN en Español reported that Rivera started to become more known internationally, with her name trending on Twitter worldwide and a surge of sales in her albums being bought from people outside of Mexico and the United States.
Universal Music Group (Fonovisa's Parent Company) also released a statement, saying: "The entire Universal Music Group family is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our dear friend Jenni Rivera. The world rarely sees someone who has had such a profound impact on so many. From her incredibly versatile talent to the way she embraced her fans around the world, Jenni was simply incomparable. Her talent will be missed; but her gift of music will be with us always." United States Senator Marco Rubio made a statement about Rivera’s life and death on the Senate floor, where he said Rivera was "a real American success story". Celebrities, from Mario Lopez to Gloria Estefan tweeted their condolences to Rivera's family.
As of June 2014, there has been a lot of speculation surrounding the death of Rivera. While in the middle of singing her song "Paloma Negra", her fans are screaming and it appears a man yells "Hoy la matan" which translates to "Today, they kill her." When watching on YouTube, the video of her singing "Paloma Negra", at the 2:20 mark, it's possible to hear the threat and it appears as soon as she hears the threat, she lifts her head and continues singing. It was confirmed by the Spanish talk show, "El Gordo y La Flaca" that the video was a hoax.
A website claiming to be CNN, stated that Rivera has faked her own death. The site also stated that if this is true, the star could face 15 years to prison for accounts of bribery, fraud, falsifying documents, conspiring and money laundering. The report even used a photo of Rivera wearing a jail uniform which was just a shot for her film, Filly Brown. The original photo was showing her wearing a blue jail uniform. But, the fake site used Photoshop to make it look like an orange uniform. The website also featured a Telemundo logo with edited pictures that appeared like screen captures. The fake site's story was put under the scope, but the host evidently took the page down. Still, people kept on retweeting the fake news that went viral in just a couple of days.
On the 25th anniversary of Premio Lo Nuestro, they dedicated the awards ceremony to her. She received a tribute by various artists singing the songs that she performed. She was awarded five awards, including Artist of the Year. At the 2013 Latin Billboard Music Awards she was posthumously awarded 7 awards, including Artist of the Year. Her brother, Juan Rivera performed one of her songs titled "No Llega el Olvido" at the ceremony.
On October 8, 2014, Long Beach, California Councilman Dee Andrews pushed to name a park in memorial of Rivera. Andrews is proposing to name a public right of way park in central Long Beach at Walnut Avenue and 20th Street the “Jenni Rivera Memorial Park.” The request will be heard at the next City Council's meeting. The agenda item was cosponsored by Councilwoman Suzie Price and Councilman Roberto Uranga. Councilman Andrews said,
|“||“Jenni was an inspiration to us all. By honoring Jenni Rivera with a Memorial Park, the City of Long Beach will be paying tribute to a great citizen of our city who was a remarkable entertainer, inspirational leader and an amazing ambassador of all of Long Beach.”||”|
Andrews’ office released a written statement from the Rivera family in regard to the park name proposal stating. “We are honored and humbled to have a great community asset named after our mother, daughter and sister in the greatest City of the world. Jenni always considered herself a chic from Long Beach with pride, no matter how many millions of albums she sold. She always knew she’d return to her hometown, but this exceeded her dreams. We are forever grateful.” On October 17, 2014 The Long Beach City Council voted 8-0 in favor of moving forward with 6th District Councilmember Dee Andrews’s item requesting the Council consider naming a park in the 6th District in honor of Rivera.
- Si Quieres Verme Llorar (1999)
- Reyna de Reynas (1999)
- Que Me Entierren Con la Banda (2000)
- Déjate Amar (2001)
- Se las Voy a Dar a Otro (2001)
- Homenaje a Las Grandes (2003)
- Parrandera, Rebelde y Atrevida (2005)
- Mi Vida Loca (2007)
- Jenni (2008)
- La Gran Señora (2009)
- Joyas Prestadas (Banda) (2011)
- Joyas Prestadas (Pop) (2011)
- En Vivo Desde Hollywood (2006)
- Besos y Copas Desde Hollywood (2006)
- La Diva En Vivo (2007)
- La Gran Señora En Vivo (2010)
|2010||Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis & Raq-C||Herself||Mun2 reality TV show about Jenni Rivera's daughter and her friend, Jenni Rivera appeared in and produced|
|2011||El Show de Jenni Rivera||Herself||Host her own show and interview other celebrities
After a couple of episodes she decided to cancel the show
|2011-2013||I Love Jenni||Herself||Mun2 reality TV show about Jenni Rivera's life, also produced by Jenni Rivera|
|2012||La Voz... México||Herself (coach and judge)||Season 2|
|2013||Filly Brown||María Tenorio||Acting debut|
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- Allmusic review
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- 11th Latin GRAMMY Awards Nominees Announced Grammy.com
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- Premio lo Nuestro 2014 - Uforia Música - Univision.com
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jenni Rivera.|
- Official website
- Jenni Rivera page (Universal Music Latin Entertainment)
- Jenni Rivera at the Internet Movie Database