There were many facets to Jenni Rivera: she was a best-selling Mexican banda star, loving mother of five, entrepreneur, sister, daughter, advocate and friend. And now – nearly four months after her death in a tragic plane crash over mountains near Monterrey, Mexico – there a number of books out on store shelves about the deceased 43-year-old, each with a different version of the Long Beach, California native’s life. With so many accounts offered about the artist known as La Diva de la Banda, here’s a look at the books about her that have been published – and the scoop about the highly-anticipated memoir that’s on the way.
Jenni Rivera: The Incredible Story of a Warrior Butterfly
(CA Press, Spanish language version available now; English version to be released April 23, 3013)
Jenni Rivera entered the male-dominated world corrido and banda music with cheeky, feminist lyrics and as Rivera rose in fame, she made sure to publicize issues that made her a tireless champion for Latinas. This story – how Rivera made a name for herself as outspoken advocate, political activist and business woman – is the “girl power” narrative for an unauthorized book by Leila Cobo, a novelist and the Executive Director of Latin Content and Programming for Billboard magazine.
“Jenni Rivera: The Incredible Story of a Warrior Butterfly” tells Rivera’s story as a woman who persevered against all odds to become a successful musician, entrepreneur and legend. Through interviews Rivera gave, Cobo paints a vivid account of a Latina whose hit “Mariposa Guerrera” revealed someone who had been “a warrior in her childhood and adolescence” and would be known as one in her womanhood.
We Love Jenni: An Unauthorized Biography of Jenni Rivera
(Riverdale Avenue Books)
In “We Love Jenni” – one of the first English language unauthorized biographies of the singer to be released after her death on Dec. 9 – co-authors Marc Shapiro and Charles Vázquez share with readers an in-depth look at the legacy the mother of five left behind. It’s a book meant to shed light on a star who was still unknown to so many, says Vázquez.
“She enjoyed helping the people around her and was very generous – and I think that might have been something that was lost in the sensationalism surrounding her death …which for many people, was their first introduction to the woman that was Jenni Rivera,” says Vázquez, a poet and journalist based in New York City. Like some of the other biographies of the singer – like “Jenni Rivera: La Diva De La Banda” and the “Jenni Rivera: The Incredible Story of a Warrior Butterfly” – the book relies heavily on the use of print, television and radio interviews the singer gave during her lifetime.
Unbreakable: My Story, My Way
(Atria Books, English and Spanish editions to be released July 2, 2013)
Jenni Rivera was notoriously open about her personal life, whether it be her relationships, her music or her family. In fact, that’s how biographers were able to write their accounts of her life so quickly after her passing: the singer gave hundreds of candid interviews during her lifetime, creating a compelling, up- to-the-minute storyline about herself that kept her in the public’s eye. And although the plans for an autobiography were kept secret from her fans, Rivera – ever the savvy businesswoman – had actually worked on a memoir and completed it before her death.
Rivera had been in talks with Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, since 2011 and the company will publish her memoir simultaneously in English and Spanish this summer. The book – about Rivera’s rise as a “self-made woman” – is the only one to have been authorized by Rivera’s family and sister Rosie said that the family decided to share her story so her fans could “enjoy her as we have.”
“I miss my sister every moment, but on days that I want to feel her close, I open her book written in her own words, and feel her right next to me,” Rosie Rivera said in a statement issued by Atria.