Dolores Janney Rivera (July 2, 1969 – December 9, 2012), better known as Jenni Rivera, was an American Latin Grammy nominated singer-songwriter, actress, television producer, and entrepreneur known for her work within the banda and norteña music genres....
Dolores Janney Rivera (July 2, 1969 – December 9, 2012), better known as Jenni Rivera, was an American Latin Grammy nominated singer-songwriter, actress, television producer, and entrepreneur known for her work within the banda and norteña music genres.
Jenni 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 #1 record in 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.
Rivera was born in Long Beach, California, to Pedro Rivera and Rosa Saavedra, who were undocumented immigrants from Mexico. Her parents raised Rivera, her four brothers, and sister in a tight-knit musical household, and 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, norteño, 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/songwriter Chalino Sánchez.
Rivera earned straight As through her sophomore year in high school. During her sophomore year at age fifteen, she became pregnant with the first of her five children. Rivera sold CDs at flea markets to support herself and her child, Janney "Chiquis" Marin Rivera. She continued her education while pregnant and after the birth of her child, earning her GED at a continuation school and graduating as class valedictorian. Speaking of her experiences as a teenage mother in 2003, 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."
Rivera made her first recording in 1992 as a Father's Day present to her father. She then made more recordings and signed to Capitol/EMI's Latin division after receiving significant airplay on Southern California radio stations. Her first album, Chacalosa (slang for "party girl"), was released in 1995. 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". In 2001, she released the records Dejate Amar and Se las Voy a Dar a Otro. 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. She began to attain more substantial success with the record Parrandera, Rebelde y Atrevida, released in 2005, which peaked at #10 on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart.
Rivera sold over 1 million albums in United States and was nominated at the 2003, 2008 and 2010 Latin Grammys. She was awarded a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars. She started many companies, including Divina Realty, Divina Cosmetics, Jenni Rivera Fragrance, Jenni Jeans, Divine Music and The Jenni Rivera Love Foundation. Jenni Rivera became the first female banda artist to sell out a concert at the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, California, 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.
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. For years, Rivera was writing an auto-biography. She never completely finished it, but the Rivera family put it together and turned it into a full book. On July 2, 2013, Unbreakable/Inquebrantable, the only official autobiography written by Jenni Rivera, went on sale, becoming an instant New York Times bestseller.
Rivera's musical style was classified as banda, a form of traditional Mexican music popular in Mexico and many 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."
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 the child's father José Trinidad Marín, with whom she had two more children: Jacqueline (born 1989) and Michael (born 1991). Rivera revealed that Marín was physically abusive during their relationship. She ended the marriage in 1992 when she discovered that Marín had molested their daughters Chiquis, Jacqi and Rivera's younger sister Rosie. The case was opened in 1997 and Marín was a fugitive for nine years. He was apprehended in April 2006, convicted of sexual assault and rape and sentenced to more than 30 years in prison.
Rivera married her second husband, Juan López, in 1997. They had a daughter Jenicka (born 1997) and a son Johnny (born 2001). They divorced in 2003. In 2007, Juan López was convicted of selling drugs. He died from complications of pneumonia while in prison in 2009.
Rivera married baseball player Esteban Loaiza in 2010. They filed for divorce in 2012 just months before her death.
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 involvement in the community. 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 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.
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) 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 has 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 her burial was delayed due to legal issues. A new album of hers came out this year in December all the songs in the album are live performance of her last concert in Monterrey.