Jenni Rivera

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About Jenni Rivera

Brash and unapologetic, Jenni Rivera––or the “Diva of Banda,” as she was often referred to––gave a voice to the experiences of working-class Latina women in a genre that has been historically dominated by men. Jenni Rivera (née Dolores Janney Rivera Saavedra) was born in Long Beach in 1969 to a highly musical family that also includes brother and superstar singer Lupillo Rivera. Sharing her family’s musical gifts, she launched her own career as a singer in the mid-’90s. Though a master of many popular Mexican styles like ranchera and mariachi, Rivera felt most at home as a banda singer. This affinity was, in many ways, emblematic of her upbringing in Southern California, where banda and norteño sounds reign supreme. Over the span of almost two decades, the crowned queen of banda cultivated a voice that was at once empowering and effortless. She best exemplified these qualities in songs like 2001’s “Querida Socia,” where she flipped the narrative of “the other woman” on its head, as she embraced the role while ridding it of all stigma. In 2007’s “Inolvidable,” she welcomed a breakup by loudly and unabashedly acknowledging her own worth to a former lover. Her tragic death in a plane crash in 2012 only added to her iconic status, placing her in a pantheon of gone-too-soon artists—like Valentín Elizalde and Ariel Camacho—whose posthumous legacy has grown in influence and continues to inform newer generations of singers.

Long Beach, CA, United States of America
July 2, 1969

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