Photo: Jenni Rivera
The executive director of Latin content and programming for Billboard, Leila Cobo, has written a biography of the late Jenni Rivera, an intimate portrait of the difficult, successful life of the star of Mexican regional music.
When she died last Dec. 9 in an air crash in Mexico, Rivera was at the height of her fame - she was the top selling songstress in her musical category and the only Latino artist with her own radio and TV programs, as well as her own lines of makeup and fashion, and even a beneficent foundation.
In the biography “Jenni Rivera: The Incredible Story of a Warrior Butterfly,” Cobo notes that she had an indominitable determination.
Jenni was born in Culver City on the west side of Los Angeles, the first girl among four brothers. She grew up like a princess - but also like a warrior, because she soon learned to stand up for herself among men.
At age 15 she got pregnant, but thanks to teachers at her school, she never gave up her studies. But Rivera’s life as a young mom wasn’t easy, above all because her man abused her.
Years after the couple separated, the book says, Rivera learned that her daughter and her sister had been abused by the same man. She was determined that justice be done and eventually got even.
She recorded her first disc in 1993 as a gift for her dad, an album of traditional songs that didn’t attract much attention. Every year afterwards she recorded another for her father - because she wanted to do it and because it made her happy.
By the start of the last decade she had climbed the heights of stardom, traveling, recording, and forging very close ties with her many fans.