The Grammy-nominated Tejano/Latin pop singer and actress earns her place at center stage.
Jennifer Peña was named the MTV tr3s Artist of the Month for February. This honor brought with it special programming featuring Ms. Peña on various MTV tr3s outlets.Her first video from the much anticipated new release, “Dicen Que El Tiempo,” had its world premiere on MiTRL (tr3s’ version of “Total Request Live”) on Monday, February 5 at 5:30 PM ET. Also on February 5, Ms. Peña hosted “Los Hits,” a weekly look at the chart toppers and viewer favorites. The weekend of February 24-25 was “Jennifer Peña Weekend,” where she guided MTV tr3s viewers through programming including the Mexican music block, MixMex, and talks about fun facts and her most recent projects.
Viewers were able to log on to mtvtr3s.com and access the Artist of the Month page throughout the month, which included Ms. Peña’s videos, biography, photo gallery, news, tour information, and more. On urge.com, she was featured as Artist of the Month in the Latin music section, which included interviews, a celebrity playlist, and promo spots. Additional programming featuring Ms. Peña’s music was available on MTV tr3s wireless carrier partners. Finally, “Dicen Que El Tiempo” was given distinct Artist of the Month positioning in the MTV tr3s music section at select Wal-Mart stores.
Ms. Peña was born in San Antonio and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, where she started her career at age 11. She gained national attention in 1995 as one of the singers at a tribute to the late music legend Selena, where her performance in the Houston Astrodome was both tender and soaring. The following year, in 1996, Ms. Peña gave a riveting performance as the young Selena in the same
Later in 1996, she released her first album, titled “Dulzura” (Sweetness). This album, as well as her subsequent releases “Jennifer” and “Mariposa” (Butterfly), sold over 200,000 copies. In 2000, Ms. Peña released her fourth album, “Abrazame y Besame” (Hug me and Kiss me), which earned her a Grammy nomination in the Best Regional Mexican Performance category.
Two years later in 2002, she signed with Univision Music and released her album Libre (Free), which she worked on with Latin music’s top producers Kike Santander and Rudy Perez. The first single off the album was “Vamos al Mundial” (Let’s Go to the World Cup), Univision Network’s official theme song for the 2002 World Cup. This pop song opened up a whole new world of fans who were anxious to hear her second single, “El Dolor de tu Presencia” (The Pain of Your Presence), which they rewarded by keeping the song in the number one slot on Billboard for eight consecutive weeks and buying more than 300,000 copies of the album. The album was recognized with a Grammy nomination for Best Mexican/Mexican American album.
Her second release with Univision Music came in 2004, titled “Seduccion” (Seduction). An intimate collection of power ballads and Latin rhythms, it signaled a “coming of age” for Ms. Peña, as she exerted more creative control over the music. The first single, “Vivo y Muero en tu Piel” (I Live and Die in Your Skin) stayed at number one for five consecutive weeks, and fans snapped up more than 300,000 copies of the album.
In 2005, ten years after her first appearance at the Houston Astrodome, Ms. Peña returned to record “Houston Rodeo Live,” a CD/DVD that also went platinum.
Last year, in 2006, Ms. Peña won a supporting role in the movie “All You’ve Got,” in which she plays Lettie, a high school student. She also recorded “Where Will I Be” for the movie’s soundtrack, a song she wrote with Grammy award- winning singer/songwriter Obie Bermudez.
This year she is slated to release a new Spanish-language album, and has landed the role of Gabriela, a Mexican immigrant, in an upcoming independent film.
Ms. Peña’s performances have been enjoyed by former president Bill Clinton and president George W. Bush, at the inaugural ball for the governor of Texas, and at sporting events.
She gives back to her Mexican-American community through her work with City of Hope, where she appears in awareness campaigns for hepatitis, AIDS, and teen depression. MTV tr3s (pronounced like the Spanish word for “three”) began operating in September 2006, and is aimed at young U.S. Latinos. It’s a multi-platform entertainment destination, offering a fusion of American and Latin music, cultures, and languages. It features a mix of original programming and proven performers from MTVs extensive library, all customized for the U.S. Latino audience. Lifestyle series, news documentaries, and other long-form programs are in the works that will celebrate U.S. Latinos, their culture, music, and artists. Check it out at www.mtvtr3s.com.