In her new single, “Me Rio de Ti” (I Laugh at You), Mexican diva Gloria Trevi happily belts: “And I spend my time dancing, singing, doing so much with you . . . creating my eternal life with you. And when I remember your name, I laugh at you.”
Through her lyrics, Trevi has candidly chronicled her rise to stardom in the early ’90s as the rebellious “Mexican Madonna.” She became an international icon. She fell from grace. And now she rises again.
“Throughout my career I’ve always been like an open book, and very coherent in my [musical] evolution,” says Trevi, who will sit for an exclusive Q&A at the Billboard Latin Music Conference on April 27. “You can dress the monkey in silk, but I’m still that monkey. And I like being how I am.”
Now, at 43, Trevi’s new album, titled “Gloria!,” features the artist in her prime. She has new management: Mexico City-based Westwood Entertainment, which also handles pop group Camila. She’s more than a year into her new marriage to businessman Armando Gomez, with whom she’s raising her two children. And her album-her first studio set for Universal Music Latino-is a priority for the label. This marks the first time a Trevi album will be released simultaneously throughout Latin America, and in digital format in Spain.
“New generations are discovering her as a new act, because she was out of sight during much of the 2000s,” says Jesus Lopez, chairman of Universal Music Latin America/Iberian Peninsula. “Gloria was my first new-artist release when I arrived in Mexico [as head of BMG]. And my first to sell over 1 million copies of her debut.”
It’s hard to overstate just how ubiquitous Trevi was in her ’90s heyday. She was her own creation, an iconoclast. She fabricated her own look-torn stockings, wild hair, extravagant outfits-her own choreography, wrote her own songs and articulated what millions of sequestered Mexican girls wanted to say. In her song “Dr. Psiquiatra,” Trevi screamed from a fifth-floor window: “I’m not crazy. I’m just desperate!”
Trevi released hit albums in quick succession, sold millions of pin-up calendars, starred in two hit Mexican films and, buoyed by approving editorials from a cadre of Mexican intellectuals, even announced her intention to run for president.
But the avalanche of success came to a grinding halt in 1999 when a former backup singer, Aline Hernandez, wrote a book saying that she and others had been sexually abused and tortured by Trevi and her then-manager, Sergio Andrade. Criminal complaints were filed. Trevi fled to Brazil. She was captured and jailed there in 2000.
Trevi spent four years and eight months in prison, charged with the corruption of minors, rape and kidnapping. In 2002, while in imprisoned in Brazil, she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, Angel Gabriel. After much speculation, paternity tests confirmed his father was Andrade. Shortly after her son’s birth, Trevi returned to Mexico to face charges. She set up a makeshift recording studio in prison, but on Sept. 21, 2004, she was acquitted on all charges, and freed. She walked out of jail polished, and elegant, clad in a white halter top.
“I have my memories, but they’re good memories,” Trevi says now. “I’m the most positive person on the planet and I don’t want to forget the moment I held that little boy in my arms and he gave me back my will to fight. Those are life lessons.”
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