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As a young girl, Jennifer Peña began singing country music from the 60s and 70s during family reunions and at get-togethers with friends; in school, she was always chosen to sing during important festivities and events. Inspired by the hit film Beaches, featuring songstress Bette Midler, Jennifer decided she would dedicate herself completely to her calling: music. She was eleven at the time.
After two years of constant touring in the U.S. and Mexico, she returned with her first effort for Univision Records - a full-length album titled Libre. "I am honored to be a part of the Univision Records family and to work with two of the most important producers in Latin music," said Peña.
In January 2002, shortly after celebrating her 18th birthday, Jennifer signed with Univision Records to continue the journey of her artistic development. For her new production, Jennifer worked with masters Rudy Pérez and Kike Santander - both renowned producers and composers. "Working with two of the most important producers in Latin music was simply amazing," said Peña. As a result of this collaboration, the first single "El Dolor de Tu Presencia (The Pain of Your Presence)," penned by Pérez, shot straight to the top of the Billboard charts and remained at number one for eight weeks!
The music industry nominations Jennifer Pena has obtained thus far for her album "Libre" are undisputable evidence of her musical talent and potential. Following the smashing success garnered by the first promotional cut, "El dolor de tu presencia" - evidenced by two awards she received for "Best Female Performer of the Year" and "Female Artist of the Year" at the first edition of the South Texas Music Awards, as well as her nomination for "Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album" for the 2003 Grammy Award Ceremony that took place in New York City. Furthermore, in the recent 2003 Lo Nuestro Music Awards, she received two nods in the "Female Artist of the Year" and the "People’s Internet Choice Award" categories.
Undoubtedly, Jennifer Peña has stepped up to the plate and has become one of the most complete and established artists in Latin music. She has taken advantage of her talent in both the Pop and Regional Mexican genres. The #1 hit "El Dolor De Tu Presencia," was nominated for "Hot Latin Track of the Year" and also received a double nomination for "Airplay Track of the Year, Female" in both the Pop and Regional Mexican genres. Furthermore, her album "Libre" was nominated for "Best Album of the Year, Female" in the Regional Mexican category, one of the most contested and prestigious awards in that music genre.
This talented young lady, born in San Antonio, Texas, made her leap into the public consciousness in 1995 as one of the starring acts at a Tribute to Selena. Performing for thousands in the Houston Astrodome during that show, Jennifer Pena earned immediate affection from her audience with a voice that was both tender and soaring.
The following year, in 1996, Jennifer released her album titled "Dulzura." Since then, she has released 1997’s "Jennifer and Mariposa" in 1998. By the time her fourth record, "Abrázame y Bésame," was issued in 2000, Jennifer was already a popular performer in both the U.S. and Mexico, where she developed a substantial fan base after only a short time. The last album also garnered her a Grammy nomination in the category for "Best Regional Mexican Performance."
After the successful launch of "Vamos al Mundial," a powerful dance-pop single selected as the official theme song for Univision’s coverage of the World Cup 2002, Jennifer followed up with her second single, a soulful pop ballad titled "El Dolor de Tu Presencia (The Pain of Your Presence)," which was also released in two additional versions: a Cumbia version for regional Mexican radio and a Salsa version for East Coast and Caribbean radio listeners.
The album, "Libre," includes 10 songs and 7 bonus tracks; among them pop ballads and rhythmic cumbia versions. Jennifer demonstrates an incredible command and range with a voice that has only gotten better with time. Under the careful guidance of hit-makers Perez and Santander, Jennifer's vocals in the various styles featured are a delight to the senses. It debuted at number four on the SoundScan album sales chart and climbed to the number two slot.
With her next release, music fans noticed that Jennifer Peña had undergone some notable changes to her image. As a young woman in pursuit of the dream she nurtured for almost ten years, she said "I wanted a change in my life because I don’t like always seeing the same thing, I wanted to cut my hair and I did," she added. "But my make-up style is still pretty much the same."
With that album, Jennifer said, it was the first time she had "a major say in selecting the songs, the clothes, the make-up." After celebrating her eighteenth birthday, the young star was excited about making her own decisions as an adult.
Jennifer summed it up when she said, "I feel really free for the first time in my life. I feel like I’ve made some of the best friends of my life in the process.
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