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Thursday, February 6, 2014
JERRY RIVERA BACK AT THE CONGA ROOM
Jerry Rivera (born July 31, 1973) is a Grammy Award and Latin Grammy Award-nominated Puerto Rican salsa singer.
Rivera (birth name: Geraldo Rivera Rodríguez[note 1]) was born in Humacao, Puerto Rico,a town located on the eastern coast of Puerto Rico, moved with his family as a baby to Levittown, near the town of Toa Baja, where he received hisprimary and secondary education. His entire family consists of musicians, including tropical recording artists Edwin Riveraand younger sister Saned. Two other brothers, Ito and Jose, are professional instrumental musicians. His parents, also musicians, inspired him to become a musician and as a child he would often accompany his mother Dominga, a singer, and father Edwin, a guitarist and director of Los Barones Trio, during their shows.
In 1986, when he was 13 years old, he accompanied his father who was performing at a hotel in Isla Verde, San Juan.Frankie Ruiz, who was a guest at the hotel, appeared and sang a couple of songs with them and had his picture taken alongside Rivera. In 2003, this picture was used by Rivera to make the album cover for his tribute Canto a mi Idolo… Frankie Ruiz (‘I sing to my Idol… Frankie Ruiz’), who had died in 1998.
In 1988, Tommy Olivencia heard Rivera sing alongside his father and recommended that he sing solo. When Rivera was 14, his father made a demo and presented it to the CBS music department. They signed Rivera.
Rivera began to be known as “El Bebé de la Salsa” (the baby of salsa) after recording his first album, Empezando A Vivir, . This project generated the hit, De La Cabeza A Los Pies (“Head Over Heels”). His second album, Abriendo Puertas (‘Opening Doors’), produced the hit songs Esa Niña (‘That Girl’), Dime (‘Tell Me’), Nada Sin Ti(‘Nothing Without You’), and Como un Milagro (‘Like a Miracle’) became number one hits first in Puerto Rico, then among the Hispanic populations in the United States and finally across Latin America.
The introduction of Amores Como El Nuestro was sampled by Haitian-rapper Wyclef Jean in his 2004 song “Dance Like This” from the soundtrack of Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights which would later become the worldwide number-one 2006 hit “Hips Don’t Lie” by Wyclef and Colombian-singer Shakira. However, in the case of Shakira, she was accused of plagiarism since she adapted Wyclef’s sample without Rivera’s consent. The introduction of “Amores Como El Nuestro” can be heard on MTV’s animated series Daria episode “Fair Enough’ of its second season.
In 1993, he released Cara de Niño (‘Baby Face’) with ¿Qué Hay De Malo? (‘What’s Wrong About This?’), Cara de Niño, No Hieras Mi Vida as being major hits of the year. In 1994, as his popularity was rising, he released his first compilation album, Lo Nuevo y lo Mejor (The New and the Best), and contained the single hit Me Estoy Enloqueciendo Por Ti (‘I’m Going Crazy For You’). The following year, “Magia” was released with the self-titled album and Ahora Estoy Solo (Now That I’m Alone) In 1996, Rivera released “Fresco” and Una y Mil Veces (One Thousand and One Times) and Lloraré (I Will Cry) were the album hits. Ya No Soy El Niño Aquel was released in 1997. In 1999, Rivera recorded De Otra Manera (‘Another Way’), his first attempt at ballad music, which featured the bolero Ese (Him). Jerry sang the song with his father at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan