Birthday: July 2, 1969
Died At Age: 43
Sun Sign: Cancer
Also Known As: Dolores Janney Rivera Saavedra
Born Country: United States
Born in: Long Beach, California
Famous as: Singer
Height: 5'1" (155 cm), 5'1" Females
Spouse/Ex-: Esteban Loaiza (m. 2010), José Trinidad Marín (m. 1984; div. 1992), Juan López (m. 1997; div. 2003)
father: Pedro Rivera
mother: Rosa Saavedra
siblings: Juan Rivera, Lupillo Rivera, Rosie Rivera
children: Chiquis Rivera, Jacquie Marin, Jenicka Lopez, Johnny Lopez, Michael Marin
Died on: December 9, 2012
place of death: Iturbide
U.S. State: California
Cause of Death: Plane Crash
education: California State University, Long Beach
Dolores Janney Rivera Saavedra, commonly known as Jenni Rivera, was an American singer, songwriter, producer, philanthropist, spokesperson and an actress. The legendary singer was well known for her signature style of Banda and Ranchera music and is regarded by several media organizations as one of the most influential musicians to establish Mexican music in the world. A much decorated singer, she had been named as the ‘Best selling Latin artist of 2013’ as well as the ‘Top Latin artist of 2013’ by the prestigious Billboard magazine and was acknowledged for her tremendous contribution to the generally male-dominated genre of Banda music. During her two-decade-long music career, Rivera had released eleven studio albums including ‘Parrandera, Rebelde y Atrevida’ and ‘Jenni’ which took her name to the top of the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart. She was nominated four times at the Latin Grammy Awards and was awarded a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars for being one of the best-selling regional Mexican musicians. Besides her music career, she was also known for her work on television. She produced the Mexican-American reality television series ‘I Love Jenni’, ‘Chiquis & Raq-C’, and ‘Chiquis 'n Control’. She is remembered for her humanitarian work as well and was appointed as the spokesperson by The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. ‘Jenni Rivera Day’ is celebrated on August 6 by the Los Angeles City Council every year in her honor.
Childhood & Early Life
Dolores Janney Rivera Saavedra was born in Long Beach, California, on July 2, 1969. Her mother Rosa Saavedra and father Pedro Rivera raised her and her five siblings in a musical environment. Rivera was introduced to the Banda musical genre and Mexican music by her family.
She became pregnant at the age of fifteen but was persuaded by her teachers to continue her studies as they deemed it a complete waste of talent if she were to drop out. She later attended California State University to earn a degree in business administration before working in the real estate industry.
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Jenni Rivera had started singing from a very tender age; however, it was on 1992 Father’s Day when she made her first recording which was a tribute to her father.
Rivera found it tough to break into the typically male-dominated Mexican music industry. She once confessed that one radio programmer from Los Angeles threw her music CD into the trash bin in her presence.
She independently released an album ‘Farewell to Selena,’ which was a tribute to the ‘Queen of Tejano music’ Selena Quintanilla-Pérez who was murdered in 1995.
She signed with Sony Music and released her major label debut studio album ‘Si Quieres Verme Llorar’ followed by her second studio album ‘Reyna de Reynas’, both in 1999. The albums failed to become commercially successful, much to the frustration of Rivera.
Her third studio album, ‘Que Me Entierren Con la Banda’, was released in March 2000 under Fonovisa Records. It had songs like ‘Las Malandrinas’ which was a tribute to her hardworking female fans. The album was a big success, and finally, Rivera earned her place in the industry.
Her fourth studio album, ‘Dejate Amar’ and the fifth studio album, ‘Se las Voy a Dar a Otro’ were released in the same year (2001); both the albums were successful.
Her studio album, ‘Parrandera, Rebelde y Atrevida,’ which was released in 2005, reached the top 10 on Billboard Top Latin Albums chart. The album was certified double-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It contained the popular single ‘De Contrabando’ which peaked at number one on Billboard’s US Regional Mexican Songs.
Rivera released her ninth studio album titled ‘Mi Vida Loca’ in 2007. It peaked at number one on the Regional Mexican Albums chart and earned her a Latin Billboard Music Award for Regional Mexican Album of the Year in 2008.
Her greatest success came a year later in 2008 when she released her tenth studio album ‘Jenni’. The album earned her a handful of awards and became one of her biggest commercial successes too. It earned her a second Lo Nuestro Award for Banda Artist of the Year.
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Her studio album ‘La Gran Señora’ was released in 2009 and it peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart in the United States. It was nominated for the Best Ranchero Album at the Latin Grammy awards.
Rivera has appeared in several television award shows as well and has hosted TV shows like ‘Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis & Raq-C’, ‘El Show de Jenni Rivera’ and ‘I Love Jenni’.
She made her film debut in the drama film ‘Filly Brown’ which was directed by Youssef Delara and Michael D. Olmos. Rivera portrayed the character of ‘Maria Tenorio’ in the film which won the Best Feature Film award at the 2013 Noor Iranian Film Festival.
The film ‘Filly Brown’ also earned a nomination at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for the Grand Jury Prize. It was released after the death of Rivera and during the 2013 American Latino Media Arts Awards, a moment of silence was observed in her memory.
Rivera not only advocated for hard working females in the society through her music but also campaigned for women’s rights. She was named spokeswoman for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence in 2010 and the Los Angeles City Council officially declared August 6 as ‘Jenni Rivera Day’.
‘Mi Vida Loca’, Jenni Rivera’s ninth studio album was released in 2007, under Fonovisa Records. It was her first studio album to take her to newer heights. Allmusic gave it a four-star rating. Rivera won the 2008 Latin Billboard Music Award for Regional Mexican Album of the Year. The album peaked at number two on the Top Latin Albums chart in the United States and also made its debut at the top of the Regional Mexican Albums chart.
Her album ’Jenni’ was the most significant work in her career. It earned her fame, commercial success, as well as critical acclaim. The album reached the number one spot on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart in the United States and reached number 27 on the Top 100 chart in Mexico.
The album earned Rivera another Banda Artist of the Year award at the Lo Nuestro Awards, making her the first female singer to win the award twice; the record still remains to be broken.
While still in school, Jenni Rivera became pregnant with José Trinidad Marin’s child and gave birth to their daughter, Janney Marín Rivera, at the age of fifteen. The couple later married in 1984 and had two more children, Jacqueline and Michael.
Rivera was sexually and physically assaulted by Marin a number of times, and later through a medical examination, it was revealed that their daughter Janney had also suffered abuse at the hands of her father.
The couple ended their marriage in 1992. Rivera eventually filed a case against him and her ex-husband spent nine years as a fugitive before he was apprehended. Upon his apprehension, he was given a 31-year long prison sentence without parole.
She married Juan López in 1997 and had two children, a son Juan Angel, and a daughter, Jenicka. The marriage ended in 2003.
Her third and last marriage was with Esteban Loaiza, a former Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player, in 2010. After two years of married life, they filed for divorce which was never finalized due to Rivera’s death.
Jenni Rivera was arrested in June 2008 after a fan accused her of physical and verbal abuse during a concert. Rivera was hit by a beer can which was thrown by the fan and she called him on to the stage where she began verbally and physically assaulting him. The fan called the cops and Rivera was arrested only to be released on bail after paying $3,000.
She again got involved in a legal issue when she could not give any valid explanation when questioned about the amount of $52,467 she was carrying in her purse at the time of her detention at the international airport in Mexico City. She had to pay a fine of $8,400 for her release.
Rivera appeared at a concert at Monterrey Arena, Mexico on December 8, 2012, and after finishing her performance, she left the venue for Monterrey International Airport. Along with four other passengers and two crew members, she left in a 43-year-old Learjet 25. The private jet lost all communications with the air traffic controllers and later was found crashed. She was presumed dead by the authorities and later in a press conference it was confirmed by her father.
Two years later, the investigation of the incident was closed by the Mexican Director of Civil Aviation, citing inconclusive evidence.