Jenni Rivera - Mexican-American Singer (1969 - 2012)

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Jenni Rivera is best known for her hit albums in Spanish and for producing several reality TV shows starring her family.

 

Who Was Jenni Rivera?

Jenni Rivera, a Mexican-American singer, rose to prominence with albums such as La Diva En Vivo. Rivera had 15 gold records, 15 platinum records, and 5 double platinum records. This singer-songwriter went on to become a reality-TV star, businesswoman, and activist. On December 9, 2012, she died in a plane crash at the age of 43.

 

Early Life

Rosa Saavedra and Pedro Rivera, Rivera's parents, discovered they were expecting while illegally crossing from Mexico into the United States. Jenni Rivera Saavedra, their daughter, was born on July 2, 1969, in Los Angeles and was christened Dolores Janney Rivera Saavedra.

 

Teen Mom

Rivera's childhood was not easy. She became pregnant at the age of 15 by Trino Marin, and her parents kicked her out. In 1984, she married Marin and had two more children. Rivera described their eight-year relationship as physically and mentally abusive. Despite this, she completed high school and college while studying business. Her volatile marriage, however, caused depression and two suicide attempts. Rivera eventually divorced her husband, reconciled with her parents, and began working for her father's record label, Cintas Acuario. She discovered a new dream there: singing.

 

Making Music

The aspiring musician met Juan López while performing in bars. López was sentenced to six months in prison for smuggling immigrants shortly after marrying him in 1997. The couple had two children after his incarceration. However, López's infidelity led to the couple's demise in 2003. While Rivera's marriage floundered, her music took off. She signed with the label Fonovisa, and her debut single, "Que Me Entierren con la Banda," was a hit. Rivera, who sings in Spanish, quickly became known as "La Diva de la Banda" to her growing fan base.

 

Family Scandals

Rivera's time in the spotlight was cut short when she discovered that her first husband had molested her daughters and sister. He eluded capture for nine years before receiving a 30-year prison sentence in 2006. Her second husband was sentenced to ten years in prison for drug dealing and died in prison in 2009. Despite these tragic events, Rivera continued to release hit albums and receive Latin Grammy and Billboard nominations.

 

Three More Careers

Rivera's painful past influenced her transition from singing to charity work. She was appointed spokeswoman for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence in 2010. She also established the Jenni Rivera Love Foundation to assist victims of violence, children with cancer, and immigrants.

During this time, she rose to prominence after marrying former baseball player Esteban Loaiza and starring in several reality-TV shows with her family, including Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis & Raq-C (2010), I Love Jenni (2011), and Chiquis 'n Control (2012). (2012). In addition to her roles in these popular shows, she became a businesswoman, launching Jenni Jeans, Divine Music, Divina Realty, Jenni Rivera Fragrance, and Divina Cosmetics.

Despite his numerous professional accomplishments, Rivera filed for divorce again, while the press speculated about unconfirmed rumors of an affair between Loaiza and the singer's daughter, Chiquis. Rivera stated in a press conference about the split, "I am a woman like any other, and bad things happen to all women. The number of times I've fallen is equal to the number of times I've gotten back up."

 

Death

In a tragic turn of events, the 43-year-old star died in a plane crash shortly after that event on December 9, 2012. Her music, however, is her legacy; her 12 major-label albums sold more than 15 million copies. On the day of her memorial, her family requested that Latin radio stations play her song "La Gran Senora" (The Great Lady).

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