Jerry Rivera: "stop the pain".Salsa's "golden boy" is paying tribute to his fans and the women in his life by joining with the Pan American Health Organization The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is an international public health agency with 100 years of experience in working to improve health and living standards of the countries of the Americas. It serves as the specialized organization for health of the Inter-American System. in a new campaign to end domestic violence.
Throughout Jerry Rivera's 18-year singing career, music has been his voice. Today, after recording 14 albums and selling 6 million copies, the former "Salsa Baby" is ready to send a grown-up grown-up
1. Of, characteristic of, or intended for adults: grown-up movies; a grown-up discussion.
2. message that goes beyond love songs.
Rivera is adding his voice to the growing chorus of celebrities and other advocates who want to see an end to domestic violence. In late 2006, he was named a Champion of Health by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO PAHO Pan American Health Organization (WHO) ) and agreed to be the spokesman for a new campaign to stop violence against women and children, especially in Latin America Latin America, the Spanish-speaking, Portuguese-speaking, and French-speaking countries (except Canada) of North America, South America, Central America, and the West Indies. and among Hispanics in the United States Hispanics in the United States, or Hispanic Americans, are American citizens or residents of Hispanic ethnicity who identify themselves as having Hispanic Cultural heritage. According to the 2000 Census, Hispanic Americans constitute roughly 12. .
Don't bother calling me
I'm not the same person as before
You can't control me
Or hurt me anymore
They're the first lines of Rivers of Pain, recorded by Rivera and his sister Saned in 2005. The song and music video have become a musical manifesto for Spanish-speaking women struggling to overcome domestic abuse.
"This is just the beginning of a new stage in my personal life that I've now made part of my professional career," Rivera says. "This message goes wherever I go." Indeed, the anti-violence campaign that started at PAHO and is featured prominently on the singer's website has by now reached millions of Rivera's fans in the Americas and throughout the world.
Music in his veins
Far too many women need to hear Jerry Rivera's inspiring words. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. PAHO data, one in three women in Latin America and the Caribbean has suffered violence at the hands of a domestic partner, and much of the violence includes sexual abuse. The problem cuts across social, racial, religious, and geographical lines. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics Noun 1. Bureau of Justice Statistics - the agency in the Department of Justice that is the primary source of criminal justice statistics for federal and local policy makers
BJS , more than three women are killed by their domestic partners every day in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. .
"I've had female relatives very close to me who were abused since they were children," River says. "I'm going to do everything possible to make this message reach throughout the world." That's quite a goal for someone who never imagined his voice would be heard outside his native Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (pwār`tō rē`kō), island (2005 est. pop. 3,917,000), 3,508 sq mi (9,086 sq km), West Indies, c.1,000 mi (1,610 km) SE of Miami, Fla. .
Jerry was born Geraldo Rivera Rodriguez in the town of Humacao on July 31, 1973. In his case, it's no cliche to say he came into the world with music running through his veins. The Rivera family is rich in musical talent, from Jerry's tropical musician father, Edwin, to his older brother of the same name, to his younger sister Saned and two other brothers, Ito and Jose, who both play instruments professionally.
Testimonies of pain
A 2005 PAHO study describes the impact of physical and sexual abuse on women's health Women's Health Definition
Women's health is the effect of gender on disease and health that encompasses a broad range of biological and psychosocial issues. and well-being and shows how the secrecy surrounding the issue itself helps perpetuate domestic violence.
Almost as soon as he could walk, Jerry started accompanying his father and his mother, Dominga, to performances and eventually sang with them in their band, Los Barones Trio.
These early experiences shaped Jerry's own approach to family life. "It's one thing to be a father who shows up to enforce the rules and another to take your child to do things. My dad wasn't the kind who scolded me all the time, but the kind who shared things with me."
It was during one of his parents' shows that the famous Puerto Rican Puer·to Ri·co
Abbr. PR or P.R.
A self-governing island commonwealth of the United States in the Caribbean Sea east of Hispaniola. salsa band leader Tommy Olivencia heard Jerry sing. He offered to take him abroad and launch him on a solo career. But Jerry's father declined, proposing instead to record a demo for Jerry, which he personally financed.
Jerry vividly recalls arriving for that first recording session trembling trembling
visible muscle tremor caused by fever, fear, weakness, electrolyte imbalance, especially hypocalcemia and hypomagnesemia, and neuromuscular disease.
trembling disease with fear. "I would stop singing and cry for fear of making a mistake." To calm him down, the adults would take him outside for some fresh air and warm Caribbean sun Caribbean Sun Airlines, known for short as Caribbean Sun, was headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA and operated regional services in the Caribbean. Its main base was Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, San Juan, Puerto Rico. .
In 1990, CBS Records
"All my records are like that, if you listen to them. Beginning to live my big moment, beginning to struggle with my conscience, making decisions, trying new things, learning from my mistakes," he says. "You try out certain things, and you pick and choose what to keep in your life, the good things and the bad things you've done."
After Beginning to Live, Rivera's 1991 album Opening Doors did precisely that in Latin America and in Puerto Rico, where it climbed to the top of the charts and established the unique salsa style that has become Rivera's trademark. Breaking with the current trend, which focused heavily on street experiences, Rivera's music relied on romantic eroticism Eroticism
novel of Alexandrian manners by Pierre Louys. [Fr. Lit.: Benét, 783]
Ovid’s treatise on lovemaking. [Rom. Lit. , and the feelings of a man who discovers the beauty of a woman for the first time.
There were those who thought salsa's new "golden boy" would be a passing fad. But the man who first launched Jerry on his career made a different prediction.
"Papi told everyone that I was the greatest. 'This is my son. He's bravo, just watch how far he goes.' I would tell him, 'Don't say that, there are so many people ahead of me.' But he'd say, 'You'll be next. You're the new generation.'"
It didn't take Jerry long to fulfill his father's dreams. In 1992, his album Count on Me sold more than a million copies, winning him two Lo Nuestro Lo Nuestro is an awards show honoring the best of Latin music, presented by television network Univision. The awards began in 1989. Notable recipients include Gloria Estefan, Shakira, Selena, Celia Cruz and Juanes. awards and 10 platinum records, and making music history as one of the best-selling best·sell·er also best seller
A product, such as a book, that is among those sold in the largest numbers.
best salsa recordings ever. The young virtuoso who once threw "little paper love planes" in school was winning over legions of fans with his new salsa arias.
But despite his professional success--or perhaps in part because of it--there came a moment when Rivera wanted to do something more than sing love songs. It was a period when he felt surrounded by violence in his own country. "Every day I would wake up depressed ... seeing death all around me," he recalls.
When PAHO called to ask if he would become a spokesman against violence, Rivera was more than ready. Since appearing at the November 2005 celebration of International Day for the Elimination of Violence, he has recorded a public service announcement for PAHO's anti-violence campaign, has visited battered women's shelters in cities throughout the Americas, has participated in seminars and given radio interviews exhorting his fans to help bring an end to violence against women. He is also helping the Pan American Health American Health Inc. is a company that manufactures health supplements. It is located in Holbrook, New York. One of its products is labeled the "Chewable Original Papaya Enzyme" with the attached registered trademark, "The 'After Meal Supplement'". and Education Foundation raise funds for programs to reduce violence and help battered women.
Today, Rivera says he feels deeply committed to the cause, to such an extent that he follows a number of cases personally, staying in touch with women who have decided to escape violent homes and try to build a better future.
Breaking the mold
Perhaps Rivera feels he has something to say about overcoming obstacles by drawing on one's inner strength. There was a period, in the late 1990s, when he wanted to experiment musically, to move beyond his own brand of salsa into new genres. But the recording industry was reluctant to let him to break out of the musical category that had brought him such success.
"The really famous singers, the big salsa stars, they told me I would fail--without me even asking their opinion, they had the nerve to tell me that," Rivera recalls with mild indignation. He decided to record Another Way, a 1998 breakaway record that included the bolero bolero (bəlâr`ō), national dance of Spain, introduced c.1780 by Sebastian Zerezo, or Cerezo. Of Moroccan origin, it resembles the fandango. That One. The album spent several weeks as number one on Billboard's Latin charts and earned Rivera a Grammy nomination.
The singer enjoyed another moment of personal vindication VINDICATION, civil law. The claim made to property by the owner of it. 1 Bell's Com. 281, 5th ed. See Revendication. when, in 2003, he performed his song Springtime with musical icon Carlos Santana. Rivera recalls something the famous guitarist told him at the time: "It doesn't matter if it's a bolero, or salsa; what matters is that it is you in whatever genre. Because all music come from Africa. It's not the style that makes the genre; it's you." The same year, Rivera recorded a sentimental tribute to a much-admired salsa predecessor. The album, I Sing to My Idol, Frankie Ruiz Frankie Ruiz (March 10 1958 - August 9 1998 born in Paterson, New Jersey) was a well known Puerto Rican salsa singer. Early years
Born Jose Antonio Torresola Ruiz, he was born and raised in New Jersey. , won him a Latin Grammy nomination.
Today Rivera says he is grateful for his career success but also takes satisfaction from believing he's chosen the right path both professionally and personally. He credits the women in his life at least in part for this.
"I am privileged to have been born to a mother who took really good care of me. I have the best wife in the world, wonderful aunts, two daughters, so I am surrounded by women. I cannot get my head around the idea of abusing a woman."
Link of Interest:
PAHO web portal See portal. on Violence against Women
His ideals have helped shape a marriage that has withstood the pressures of the music world. In his daily life, Rivera carries on his father's tradition of being more than a disciplinarian dis·ci·pli·nar·i·an
One that enforces or believes in strict discipline.
a person who practises strict discipline
Noun 1. , of sharing his children's lives, whether it's waiting for them outside their school in the afternoon or going with them to sporting events. Vis-a-vis their mother, "I tell them, 'I treat your mother the way I would want you to be treated'. That's the message I send my kids."
But Rivera's family life is, in a way, like his homeland, an island-but in a sea of violence. In Puerto Rico in just one year (2001) there were 8,000 officially registered incidents of domestic violence, ranging from minor injuries to murders.
It is for the women who suffer such pain and humiliation that Jerry and his sister composed Rivers of Pain, with lyrics urging an end to domestic abuse. Their hope is that one of the lines in the song will become a new reality for thousands of women:
Now, you'll never touch me again.
Ingrid Cotto is a writer and television producer living in Orlando, Florida The city of Orlando is a major city in central Florida and is the county seat of Orange County, Florida. According to the 2000 census, the city population was 185,951. A 2006 U.S. , USA.