When you think of regional Mexican music, you think of Jenni Rivera. It’s just that simple. She was, and in many ways, still is, arguably the most prominent female artist in her genre. In fact, she’s one of the biggest artists full stop.
But what are the Best Jenni Rivera Songs of All Time? Let’s find out, but before that, let’s look at her…
Jenni was born and raised in a musical family in Long Beach, California. Despite being a teenage mother, she never faltered in her drive to be successful and make a good life for herself and her family. She even graduated as the valedictorian while supporting her child.
After obtaining a degree in business administration from Long Beach City College, she worked in real estate for a while before going to work for her father’s record label.
After making a recording for a father’s day gift, Jenni started making more recordings and eventually signed to Capitol/EMI’s Latin Division. She would go on to become a massive figure in a traditionally male-dominated world.
During her career…
Rivera earned two OYE! Awards, two Billboard Music Awards, 22 Billboard Latin Music Awards, eleven Billboard Mexican Music Awards, and eighteen Lo Nuestro Awards. Anyone counting?
On top of that, she received four Latin Grammy nominations and earned a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars.
Jenni Rivera has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, making her one of the best-selling Mexican artists of all time. She is also the highest-earning banda singer of all time.
So, how that you know a bit of background info, here are my picks for the best songs by Jenni Rivera ever, starting with…
Top 54 Best Jenni Rivera Songs of All Time
Basta Ya (Banda)
Album: Joyas Prestadas
I’ll start my list with a track from the last album that Jenni Rivera ever released. This track was easily one of the most popular on the entire album. And it became one of the most successful Jenni Rivera songs ever.
The song was originally penned by Marco Antonio Solís and performed by Olga Tañón. But, the great “El Buki” ended up recording a duet version, and he chose the perfect singing partner in Jenni. You know you’re good when the artist picks you to record one of his numbers with him.
The entire album was a journey into pop music that Jenni had not undertaken before. It did pay off in the end. “Basta Ya” became one of Jenni Rivera’s biggest hits. This fantastic anthem about having to let go despite the pain of bringing things to an end is a great addition to Rivera’s legacy.
Cuando Muere Una Dama
Album: Parrandera, Rebelde Y Atrevida
A song about what you want at your funeral is probably not what comes to mind when you think of Mexican music. Then again, you have to remember that Mexico has a whole holiday that celebrates death as a natural part of life.
“Cuando Muere Una Dama” is not a list of demands to be carried out at a ceremony. It is a message to those whom she might leave behind. Messages of love and hope are intertwined in this outwardly sad seeming song.
For me, it’s one of Jenni Rivera’s most emotional songs. And, if it invokes anything, it is deep thoughts and strong emotions towards the ones you hold dear. Thinking about the last things you’d like to say to them can make you go to very introspective places.
Culpable o Inocente
Jenni Rivera stood for many things. One of the most prominent among them was the dignity and power of women, not only in her music but as a person. She was a strong advocate for equal treatment of women, not only socially but professionally. Also, she proved the power of her gender when she became successful in a musical world completely dominated by men.
Because she was such a strong and independent personality, many would have you believe she had no affection for the opposite sex. “Calpabe o Inocente” stands as a perfect anthem to prove all such ideas a falsehood.
In this heartfelt track, Rivera explores the theme of a woman staying loyal to the man she loves. Being happy in the knowledge that they have one another and never have to feel alone. This song makes one appreciate the love you have that much more. As a result, it’s one of Jenni Rivera’s greatest love songs.
Album: La Chacalosa
This boastful number from 1994 was intended as a response to “Narcocorridos,” which was recorded by her father, a bartender who started his own label. Her father also went on to discover Mexican singing sensation Chalino Sánchez.
Once more, we see Jenni coming into a male-dominated world as a woman and owning it. She once famously said, “Nobody thought women should sing such songs, so I figured I would write one to show that we can.”
Making a name…
Despite being written five years earlier, it wasn’t until 1999 that Rivera’s father released the song, and it was a big hit. Just like she’d done countless times before, Jenni climbed into the role required for the song as if she’d done it hundreds of times before.
She made herself as sharp as a Razor and delivered a performance that added just enough seriousness to this seemingly harmless “parody.” Plenty of tough to go around when it came to Jenni Rivera, that’s for sure.
Album: Que Me Entierren Con La Banda
No list of the best Jenni Rivera songs of all time would be complete without her first big number. Just as notable for her fantastic voice and performance, as it was for the enormous controversy it caused among the Mexican community.
That is what some might have labeled it. But, by the time the music video rolled around, you could see that Jenni was already someone who looked further than everyone else around her. She rode the attention and squeezed the maximum amount of publicity out of the opportunity.
Here she was, paying homage to “atrevidas.” She was proud to be a woman who sang about these kinds of things and felt no shame in doing so, even from the start.
The gusto and power she must’ve exuded would have been inspirational to behold, no matter your gender. But, young ladies especially felt empowered to let their hair down and party just as hard, if not harder, than the men of their country. Best of all, they weren’t being sleazy, just proud.
Detras De Mi Ventana
Album: Joyas Prestadas
It should be clear by now that one of the most important things in Jenni’s life was the empowerment and equal treatment of women. And this song was one of the strongest manifestations of her passion for women that she ever laid bare in her art.
The song has an aggressive power to it, yet it doesn’t come across as negative in the energy that it exudes. As a man listening to it, I don’t feel she is antagonizing the opposite sex, as many may have claimed.
That is of little consequence. The long-term effect of the song was to leave a lasting impression on the hearts of young girls and women in Mexico and around the world. A strong, empowering song for the ladies, if ever there was one.
Ya Lo Se
Album: La Gran Señora
Few things hurt as much as loving someone who doesn’t love you back. It hurts even more if they once did, but now no longer do.
Even if you have no idea what she’s saying when you listen to Jenni Rivera sing “Ya Lo Se,” you know what unrequited love feels like. You will immediately be taken by this song and be right there with her because that’s what she did with her lyrics. She didn’t sing them; she performed them.
When someone you still love very dearly makes it clear that they no longer feel the same, this song, while not helping you with your pain, will at least make you feel less alone. Easily one of Jenni Rivera’s saddest songs and a notorious tearjerker.
Parrandera, Rebedele y Atrevida
Album: Parrandera, Rebelde y Atrevida
“Party-goer, Rebel, and a Nasty Girl,” the title should say it all for this one. We all know that Jenni had a proper wild side, and here she let it fly in full color without any restraint.
Many have interpreted this as a desperate attempt to garner new attention. But, in reality, it was good healthy experimentation with her sound. That being said, she kept it real with lyrics like, “Bitter champagne is for stuck-up hags/Gimme Tecate with salt and lime.”
Hardcore as this might seem, it’s just a good bit of fun. And is one of the most popular Jenni Rivera songs. Especially among ladies looking for a feel-good tune to jam out on while taking shots at the bar.
Mariposa de Barrio
Album: Ma Vida Loca
Perhaps one of Jenni Rivera’s most underrated albums. On this track, we once again see her healthy appetite for exploration and experimentation.
The album is full of messages. Some subtle and hidden, others as clear as day. Yet, you could listen to a song ten times and only grasp something after the eleventh time. This track, in particular, was a massive departure from her usual “in your face” persona.
The Butterfly at her best…
For me, it’s one of the best illustrations of her songwriting skill. The metaphor for herself and her life’s trajectory is that of a caterpillar and butterfly. “The caterpillar has transformed – her pain into color.”
The Telemundo novella about the life of Jenni Rivera was named “Mariposa de Barrio”. They could not have picked a better name as this song is the perfect introduction to her as an artist and person for someone who’s never heard of her before.
No Llega El Olvido
Album: La Gran Señora
This song can be interpreted in a million different ways. And that’s what makes it one of the best Jenni Rivera songs of all time.
It often helps a song’s popularity to have lyrics that are, for lack of a better word, vague. That’s because it can cross more boundaries and mean something to more people than a more focused song would.
Having to leave someone…
Perhaps because there is nothing left to gain or lose from the relationship, somehow, you get a feeling of hopelessness coming from the storyteller.
Jenni’s performance imbued it with so much emotion that you could get lost in the possible meanings of this track. The vocal performance alone can’t help but tug at a heartstring or two.
Even some religious references are made. Perhaps, turning to your faith is the only option in times of such hopelessness. Maybe it is faith that gets abandoned, and the person realizes they are hopeless without it. Give it a listen and see what you find.
La Gran Señora
Album: La Gran Señora
This one has so many angles to it that you can’t help but be interested in it. Also, it is refreshing to see such a strong feminine figure find the time to berate other women who don’t stay loyal to men who are good to them.
Crossing over into the hearts of male fans like no female Latin artist has done before or since. But, there is something sad thing about this song as well.
It reminds us how great Jenni was when she had a mariachi band backing her. Unfortunately, she did not get the chance to write and record more songs with mariachi backing. That’s because it often suited her tone and style perfectly.
Ni Me Viene Ni Me Va
Hell indeed hath no fury as a woman scorned. And, in this one, Jenni personified the cold woman who has been hurt and let down too many times.
More than anything, though, it is about maintaining your dignity in times when others would pull you down. If Jeni Rivera was anything, she was always true to herself.
La Mentada Contestada
No Vas a Creer
Que Me Vas a Dar
Como Tu Mujer
Por Que No Le Calas
Dos Botellas de Mezcal
Culpables del Amor
Se Las Voy a Dar a Otro
El Camino del Diablo
Que Ganas de No Verte Nunca Mas
Mi Vida Loca
Detrás de Mi Puerta
Despreciado Me Voy
La Gran Señora (Pop Version)
La Primera Piedra
Basta Ya (Pop Version)
Ovarios (Bachata Version)
Parrandera, Rebelde y Atrevida (Banda Version)
Lo Siento Mi Amor
Soy Una Mujer
Quisieran Tener Mi Lugar
Resulta (Bachata Version)
Sufriendo a Solas
Amiga Si Lo Ves
Basta Ya (Balada Version)
Que Me Vas a Hacer
No Soy Monedita de Oro
Ni Me Lloras Ni Me Quieres
Sufriendo a Solas (Versión Banda)
Cuando Cerraron Sus Ojos
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Best Jenni Rivera Songs of All Time – Conclusion
Whether she was doing it through her art or many other aspirations, Jenni Rivera not only sang and wrote about great things, but she lived them. She was a great example to female Latinos all over the world and continues to be today, even from beyond the grave.
Wherever one of her bangers comes on the radio, young and old ladies alike unite in celebration. When her melancholic numbers come on, the tissue boxes come out. She will forever be in our hearts.
Until next time, happy listening.