The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Entertainment

December 11, 2012

Jenni Rivera was a soulful and troubled Mexican music star

LOS ANGELES — Jenni Rivera launched her career hawking cassette recordings of her songs at flea markets, but a powerful voice, soulful singing style and frank discussion of personal troubles powered her to the heights of a male-dominated industry, transforming her into the one of the biggest stars of the genre known as grupero.

Her life was cut short at its peak on Sunday by an airplane crash in northern Mexico that also killed six friends and co-workers.

The 43-year-old mother of five and grandmother of two became a symbol of resilience for millions of fans on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. Her fame grew as she branched out into acting, appearing in independent film, reality TV and the televised singing competition "La Voz Mexico."

She had recently filed for divorce from her third husband, was once detained at a Mexico City airport with tens of thousands of dollars in cash, and publicly apologized after her brother assaulted a drunken fan who verbally attacked her in 2011.

"I am the same as the public, as my fans," she told The Associated Press in an interview last March.

Rivera sold more than 15 million copies of her 12 major-label albums and won a string of Latin music awards. Her shows filled both the Staples Center in Los Angeles and Mexico's National Auditorium, a feat few male singers in her industry achieved.

Many of her songs dealt with themes of dignity in the face of heartbreak, and her shows were known for their festive atmosphere and her intimate interactions with her fans. She would fill song requests from fans who had suffered heartbreak and setbacks, and would often pull women and girls onto stage to personally tell them to keep moving forward.

The plane, being flown by two pilots, was taking her and her publicist, Arturo Rivera, her makeup artist, Jacob Yebale, and two friends, one named Mario Macias and another who was only identified as Gerardo, to the central Mexican city of Toluca after a Saturday night concert before thousands in the northern city of Monterrey. All were killed.

After the concert she gave a press conference during which she spoke of her emotional state following her recent move to divorce former Major League Baseball pitcher Esteban Loaiza, who played for teams including the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Rivera announced in October that she was divorcing Loaiza after two years of marriage.

"I can't get caught up in the negative because that destroys you. Perhaps trying to move away from my problems and focus on the positive is the best I can do. I am a woman like any other and ugly things happen to me like any other woman," she said Saturday night. "The number of times I have fallen down is the number of times I have gotten up."

Rivera's parents migrated from Mexico to California and founded the label that also propelled two of her five brothers, Lupillo and Juan Rivera, to careers as well-known singers of grupero music.

Born on July 2, 1969 in Los Angeles, California, Dolores Janney Rivera Savedra studied business administration and often said with pride that she started her singing career in flea markets in the Los Angeles area, selling cassette tapes to fans.

She formally debuted on the music scene in 1995 with the release of her album "Chacalosa".

That successful album was followed with two other independent albums, one a tribute to slain Mexican-American singer Selena that helped Rivera expand her following. By the end of the 90s, she won a major-label contract, and built a loyal following that knew her as the "Diva de la Banda."

At the end of the 1990s, Rivera was signed by Sony Music and released two more albums, "If You Want to See Me Crying," and "Queen of Queens."

In 2002, she received her first Latin Grammy nomination, for best album in the band music category.

Even more widespread success came when she joined Fonovisa and released her 2005 album titled "Partier, Rebellious and Daring," which positioned her as one of the most renowned grupero singers and songwriters.

She was also nominated for Latin Grammys in 2008 and 2011.

She was also an actress, appearing in the indie film "Filly Brown," which was shown at the Sundance Film Festival, as the incarcerated mother of character Filly Brown.

"Though she'll be remembered as an iconic singer, she was also a powerful actress whose full range of talents the world was just beginning to discover," the directors, producers, cast and crew of "Filly Brown" said in a statement.

Her most recent album, "Joyas Prestadas," or "Borrowed Jewels," won widespread praise and awards and helped cement her status as one of the brightest stars of Mexican-American music.

She was also filming the third season of "I Love Jenni," which followed her as she interacted with her family and toured through Mexico and the United States. She also played a key role in the reality shows: "Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis and Raq-C" and her daughter's "Chiquis 'n Control."

In 2009, she was detained at the Mexico City airport when she declared $20,000 in cash but was really carrying $52,167. She was taken into custody. She said it was an innocent mistake and authorities gave her the benefit of the doubt and released her.

In 2011, her brother Juan assaulted a drunken fan at a popular fair in Guanajuato. In the face of heavy criticism among her fans and on social networks, Rivera publicly apologized for the incident during a concert in Mexico City, telling her fans: "Thank you for accepting me as I am, with my virtues and defects."

 

1
Text Only
Entertainment
  • Birdsover.jpg This music is for the birds

    Some birds tweet, others chirp and a few birds from Arkansas can belt out a soulful song reminiscent of a cool Frank Zappa tune.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • And the winners are:

    LEWISBURG — Central Columbia High School senior Madeline Padner picked up this year’s Best in Show award at Packwood House Museum’s 36th annual Scholastic Arts Exhibit.

    April 18, 2014

  • marktomeokarennogle.JPG 6 great reasons to get out tonight!

    Today's top local music picks:

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • moranjason1.jpg 2 great reasons to get out tonight!

    Today's top local music picks:

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Entry deadline this weekend for Celebration of the Arts exhibits

    LEWISBURG — Local artists and photographers have the opportunity to have their work on exhibit during The Lewisburg Celebration of the Arts.

    April 15, 2014

  • moranjason1.jpg Innovative jazz pianist coming to area April 17

    LEWISBURG — Jason Moran and the Bandwagon will perform on April 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1 great reason to get out tonight!

    Today's top local music picks:

    April 14, 2014

  • Alumnus returns to SU for reading

    SELINSGROVE — Susquehanna graduate Sal Pane, ’07, will give a reading from his novel “Last Call in the City of Bridges” at the launch of Susquehanna’s RiverCraft magazine on Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Isaacs Auditorium in Seibert Hall.

    April 13, 2014

  • Entanglements.jpg Jody Fallon — 10 years later

    LEWISBURG — The Packwood House Museum will present an exhibition of the recent work of local artist Jody Fallon to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of his first solo exhibition

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • The best place to hunt eggs

    April 12th

    Beavertown -- An Easter egg hunt held at 11 a.m. at the United Methodist Church, 128 N. Orange St. Children invited to attend and lunch served following the egg hunt.

    Bloomsburg -- Mostly Mutts doggie biscuit hunt will be held from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Sunlight Feed and Pet Supply Store, 229 Montour Blvd, Route 11. Owners must have their dogs on leashes and up to date on shots. Goodie bags for every dog and prizes. Suggested $5 donation. Rain date is April 26.

    Laurelton -- The Millmont West Union Area Lions Club will sponsor an Easter Egg Hunt at 1 p.m. on the grounds of The Union County West End Fairgrounds, Route 235. There will be divisions for all ages of children, and all the area children are welcome to participate. Also, during the egg hunt, the clubs annual ham raffle will be held. Tickets will be available at the egg hunt and from any Lions Club member. Tickets are $1 each, or 6 tickets for $5.

    Lewisburg -- A community Easter egg hunt will be held 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in Hufnagle Park. The hunt will have a staggered start by age: 11:15 a.m., 0 to 3 years of age; 11:30 a.m., 4 to 6 years of age; 11:45 a.m., 7 to 10 years of age; noon, 11 years and older. Free and open to the public, and includes face painting, relay races and more. Participants are requested to check in at the registration table located at the gazebo upon arrival. Hosted by Alpha Xi Delta sorority and Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at Bucknell University.

    Lewisburg -- American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 182 is holding an Easter Egg Hunt at 11 a.m. at the municipal field on Fairground Road. Super prizes in each age category and everyone goes home with a treat.

    McEwensville -- An Easter egg hunt begins at 11 a.m. on the back lawn (weather permitting) at the Montgomery House Warrior Run Area Public Library, 20 Church St. For children in kindergarten through fourth grade. Before the hunt, a story time will take place in the library’s children room. Registration is required. Call (570) 538-1381.

    Middleburg -- More than an egg hunt held at Port Ann Wesleyan Church, 2856 Troxelville Road. Children through age 12 and their families are invited to hear the real message of Easter, sing praises to the Risen Savior, hunt for “empty tombs” (eggs) and have lunch from 11 a.m.--12:30 p.m. More information contact Robin at (570) 837-3096.

    Mifflinburg -- A flashlight Easter egg hunt begins at 8 p.m. at Mifflinburg Assembly of God for fifth grade students and younger. Younger children search inside while older kids search outside (if it rains all inside) Bring a flashlight and bag to hold your eggs. Prize drawings.

    Selinsgrove -- An Easter egg scavenger hunt held at 10 a.m. at Christ United Methodist Church, 429 N. Eighth St. Family activities, prizes, and candy.

    Selinsgrove -- An Easter celebration and egg hunt held from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at Christ Community United Methodist Church, 3939 Park Road. Features games, crafts, puppet show and egg hunt. All children are welcome.

    Sunbury -- Children’s breakfast with the Easter Bunny served 8-10 a.m. at St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 501 Catawissa Ave. Serving pancakes and more — $3 per person.

    Sunbury -- An Easter egg hunt for infants to grade 5 held at noon at St. Luke’s Cemetery. Take Route 890 to Plum Creek Road, go straight onto St. Luke’s Road, cemetery on left. Weather permitting. Everyone gets a prize from the Easter Bunny.

    Watsontown -- An Easter egg hunt begins at 11 a.m. at Holy Spirit Evangelical Lutheran Church, Route 44, between McEwensville and Turbotville. Children age 3 and up to sixth grade are welcome to come and hear the story of Jesus, hunt for eggs, and maybe even win a prize. Free event.

    April 11, 2014

The Daily Marquee
Entertainment Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.