Born on July 2, 1969 in Long Beach, California, Jenni Rivera was labeled as the best selling Latin artist in 2013 by Billboard. Not only was she an incredible performer, but she represented her Mexican heritage through her artistry.
In Memoriam: Jenni Rivera's Career Highlights
Rivera had her initial start in music when she became pregnant her sophomore year of high school at age 15. In order to support her and her daughter, she sold CD's at various flea markets, while simultaneously obtaining her GED at a continuation school. She would graduate at the top of her class, and graduate at California State University, Long Beach with a degree in business administration.
As her father was the founder of the independent record label Cintas Acuario, she had also helped him out with his business.
By the early '90s, she was signed to her first label, and released her first album Chacalosa in 1995. She then released the albums We are Rivera and Farewell to Selena - a tribute album to Mexican singer Selena. Her 2001 album Se las Voy a Dar a Otro garnered her first Latin Grammy nomination for Best Banda Album.
From 2003 until 2011, Jenni found commercial success in both Mexico and the US through many of her albums:
- Homenaje a Las Grandes (2003)
- Parrandera, Rebelde y Atrevida (2005)
- Mi Vida Loca (2007)
- Jenni (2008)
- La Gran Señora (2009)
- Joyas Prestadas: Pop (2011)
- Joyas Prestadas: Banda (2011)
She was the highest earning banda singer of all time, having sold more than 20 million albums worldwide. Overall, she earned three Latin Grammy nominations and was posthumously awarded 7 Latin Billboard awards.
During a Billboard interview in April 2012, she discussed her successes as a female Latin artist:
"I'm happy for the success that I've had, but I've worked so hard at it. [...] It's not that I feel that I deserve it. You work hard and you have expectations. So I'm living my expectations right now."
Jenni Rivera died in a sudden plane crash on December 9, 2012. She is survived by her five children. Her contributions to her Mexican-American heritage are still remembered by many today.