April of 1996 would time stamp an irrevocable period in the Tejano Music industry. With the release of "Dulzura", Jennifer Pena established for herself a place in Tejano music history as the first Tejano female recording artist to achieve gold status with the release of a debut single.
Jennifer's debut album "Dulzura" surpassed another milestone by achieving platinum status. This milestone secured another first for the 11 yr. old singer, as she became the youngest Tejano artist ever to record a platinum album. Yet not even this was able to prepare a little girl with a dream to sing, for her stellar career that lay ahead.
Born September 17, 1983 in San Antonio Texas, Jennifer is the youngest of three daughters. Jennifer's parents Dr. Jamie & Mary Pena moved to Corpus Christi, Texas while Jennifer was still in her infancy. As young as the age of six, Jennifer exuded an affinity for music, while performing for pageants and numerous local events.
In May of 1995, the world took notice as the Latin music industry came together to mourn the loss, and honor the memory of their fallen queen, Selena Quintanilla Perez at the Astrodome in Houston Texas. At the request of Selena's family and with over 35,000 people in attendance, Jennifer Pena sang a tribute rendition of Selena's international hit "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" that captured the hearts of the audience and indeed the international media.
At the time, the media frenzy, and the unquenchable public desire for "more" that would arise from Jennifer's performance was unimaginable. In the weeks that followed Q-Productions headed up by Abraham Quintanilla (Selena's father) received numerous performance and media requests for Jennifer from all over.
During the months that followed Jennifer's magical story was brought into the lives, and home's of millions of people as she was prominently featured in several media forums such as: People Magazine, People En Espanol, Texas Monthly Magazine, Latina Magazine, Furia Musical Magazine, Time Magazine, Planet Tejano Magazine, Christina Show, Premio Lo Nuestro Awards Show, Johnny Canales Show, Control, Tejano Country, Caliente, Despierta America and Tejano Music Awards amongst others….
It was three short months later that a new era in Tejano music was born. Jennifer was signed to a management agreement with Q-Productions in coordination with a recording contract with EMI/Latin. Thus, Jennifer Y Los Jetz was to stake their claim in the music industry. The pressure to reproduce the charisma and energy from her Houston Astrodome performance was on. Bravely, at the tender age of 11, Jennifer stood up to the challenge.
The industry response to "Dulzura" was incredible. In 1997 the Tejano Music Awards recognized Jennifer's hard work and determination and bestowed on her, one their highest accolades, "Female Entertainer of the Year". Jennifer also received countless other nominations in the field of video and vocals.
After the release of "Dulzura", Jennifer Pena's 1997 follow-up album "Jennifer Y Los Jetz", surpassed gold status and thus quelled any notion of Jennifer being a one hit wonder.
Jennifer took another evolutionary step in her career when at the age of 14 yrs. she signed an endorsement contract with Hygeia Dairy Corporation. The ensuing award winning media campaign was so successful it resulted in renewal of her promotional agreement with Hygeia.
In November of 1998, "Mariposa" Jennifer's third album was released. "Mariposa" was recorded during a crucial period in Jennifer's life. Historically in Latin culture, a transformation occurs when a girl reaches her 15th birthday. The album name " Mariposa" which is translated in English as butterfly has a special meaning. The image of a butterfly emerging from it's cocoon is comparable to Jennifer's journey into another dimension of her life, no longer as a child but as a woman.
Over her last three albums, Jennifer's musical versatility has been showcased in various styles and forms. From pop in English and Spanish and traditional ranchera and cumbias, to heart touching mariachi and ballads, Jennifer has proven to be a marketable figure with a high potential as a "cross-over" artist. Even the lucrative, high stakes, performance venues of Mexico have welcomed Jennifer with open arms. Jennifer Pena is professionally represented in Mexico by Promociones Artisticas Serca, which is headed up by Servando Cano.
Now moving into her 5th year as a recording artist, Jennifer Pena's commendations give witness to the hard work and trial by fire experiences this seasoned performer has endured. Jennifer's music industry awards include:
Jennifer has no plans to slow down anytime soon, she is currently back in the studio with Grammy Award winning producer/songwriter AB Quintanilla III producing her next effort. An extensive media and performance campaign throughout the US and Mexico is being planned around the release of Jennifer's new album which is due in January 2000.
Jennifer's gift to the world is her complete package as an artist. With a proven track record of musical and corporate success, Jennifer Pena is full of promise and has a bright future ahead, the extent of which is only limited to her ability to dream.
On behalf of Jennifer, we thank you for your support and look forward to enjoying many more years ahead of your friendship.
Last updated on Feb 2002