Regional Mexican singer Jenni Rivera says that one of the most important parts of being in show business is staying close to her fans.
"It makes me happy," said Rivera during a press conference on Monday, Nov. 21, to talk about her new album at the Hard Rock Café at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles. "That's why I enjoy performing in venues where the audience is up close."
Rivera, who has more than 445,000 Twitter followers @jennirivera, has every reason to be happy these days especially with the kind of year she's having: she recently signed a lucrative long-term, cross platform production deal with bilingual cable network mun2, hosts her own radio show and during the summer renewed her contract with Universal Music Latin Entertainment/Fonovisa.
The release this week of her album, "Joyas Prestados"/"Borrowed Jewelry," marks the first time the entertainer releases a project in two different styles, banda and pop.
Besides music, a beauty skincare line and a strong touring schedule, the singer is adding actress to her résumé. She stars in the upcoming Edward James Olmos-produced film, "Philly Brown," that's scheduled to be showcased at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The singer plays a mother in prison who has a daughter (actress Gina Rodriguez), an aspiring hip-hop artist.
"I had to dig deep for the role," Rivera says of her first try at acting. "I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. If I can make Edward James Olmos cry, to me that means it was a success."
During the press conference, a crew from mun2 was following the singer as she moved within the room. Those who were there to support the singer included Hanna Bolte, mun2's VP of media and talent relations and Flavio Morales, senior VP of programming and production.
For fan Amber Garcia, 21, of Montebello, Calif., standing in line to see Rivera was worth the the 5-hour wait.
"Jenni Rivera and Gwen Stefani are my idols," Garcia said. "I've been to about six meet-and-greets for Jenni and she always remembers me. I love her music and I like the fact that she has this album in two versions."
Rivera, who was born in Long Beach, Calif., was relaxed as she met with each of her fans.
"Every experience allows me to grow," said Rivera as she reflected on her life. "I am blessed."