Jenni Rivera's legacy lives on in a major way with the late singer's album sales skyrocketing, her five award wins at the 25th Anniversary of Premio Lo Nuestro (making Univision the number 2 network of the night), and a third season of her hit reality show I Love Jenni returning April 14.
Now, fans can dig deeper into their idol in a new book called We Love Jenni, which released on e-book format and in stores Feb. 26. It is one of the first English-language unauthorized biographies of the singer since her death on Dec. 9. NY Times best-selling author (and Justin Bieber and J.K. Rowling biographer) Marc Shapiro and journalist Charlie Vasquez were approached by Riverdale Avenue Books to write the bio just three days after headlines broke that Rivera’s plane crashed.
But Vázquez and Shapiro didn't reach out to Rivera’s family, manager or personal contacts. Instead, they chose to write an account of the singer’s career with a sprinkling of scandal. Little known facts like Rivera making her film debut in Addicted to Salsa, a 2009 straight-to-TV movie directed by Robert Rodriguez, and that she knowingly filmed a sex tape with a former lover are revealed, along with major themes of growing up with immigrant parents.
“There’s no denying that Jenni was an overworked, overtaxed, overly ambitious woman,” Vázquez, who transcribed interviews from Spanish to English, told NBC Latino. “I was haunted that despite this celebrity machine being built around her, she really just wanted to be a good mom – and I wanted to prove that.”
Although the Rivera family hasn’t released a statement acknowledging the book, Vázquez says he expects the world will hear their side of the story with the release of the singer’s authorized biography on Atria Books this summer.