José Ariel Jimenez Rivera more commonly known as Ariel Rivera was in May 21, 1970 in Manila, Philippines to Ben and Fannie Rivera of Chinese and Spanish ancestry. His family moved to and settled in Canada. He was an architect pursuing a career in Canada until before he was discovered. It was during a holiday stay in the Philippines that he was discovered to have a good singing voice. Since then he has become one of Philippines best singers, songwriters and actor.
He was titled Kilabot ng mga Kolehiyalawhich was formerly linked to Hajji Alejandro in the 1970s. He married Anna Gianelli De Belen, sister to Janice De Belen, an actress and a presenter, on December 22, 1997 at Santuario de San Jose. They made a film together right after marriage, Ikaw Pala Ang Mahal Ko. They were blessed with 2 sons, Joaquin and Alessandro.
Ariel Rivera was able to release a self titled album through Musiko Entertainment which he was signed earlier in 1989 to their label. His first single Sana Kahit Minsan has become an instant hit after it was released in 1991. The album was able to receive 3X Platinum. His second album, Simple Lang was released immediately and also received 3X Platinum. Photograph was released in 1995 which has gained Gold records.
Ariel Rivera was the quiet kind of person. He always wants to keep his privacy even if showbiz has already become part of his lifestyle. He earned various awards in the field of acting and singing; Best New Male Artist in 1991, Best Performance by a New Male Recording Artist in 1992, Best Supporting Actor for Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal in Metro Manila Film Festival in 1992, Music Video of the Year in Tunay Na Ligaya in 1997, Best Vocal Performance of the Year by a Duet in I Don’t Love You Anymore with Leah Salonga in 1999, Outstanding Lead Actor for Forever In My Heart at 2nd Golden Screen Awards in 2005 and Best Actor at Parola, Bahaghari Awards.
Ariel Rivera also appeared in a number of television shows. Among them are Sa Linggo nAPO Sila, Manilyn! Live, Mula Sa Puso, Saan Ka Man Naroroon, Narito Ang Puso Ko, Magpakailanman: The Willy Garte Story, Forever In my Heart, Sugo, Mahiwagang Baul, Duyan, Atlantika, Fantastic Man, Kamandag, Rosalinda, Sine Novela: Ina, Kasusuklaman ba kita?, Inday Wanda, Mula Sa Puso, Luna Mystika, Ina, Kapatid, Anak and Maalaala mo Kaya: Flash Cards being the most recent in 2012.
Through the years, there have been numerous male singers who have bursted out in the local entertainment scene and were immediately dubbed as phenomenal stars. However, as expected, many of these so called phonemes have since faded into obscurity. Such is not the case with singer-actor Ariel Rivera who, despite being in the scene for almost 30 years now, is still an in demand performer.
Rivera was born Jose Ariel Jimenez Rivera on September 1 1966. His family would later migrate to Canada during his childhood, where he would stay until his early adult years. It was during his initial stint as an architect in Canada when he was discovered as a potential singer while vacationing in the Philippines. He would then be signed up by the now defunct Musiko Entertainment in 1989. In 1991, his self titled debut album Ariel Rivera was released to a resounding success. Its carrier single, Sana Kahit Minsan, would go on to top the charts and become a classic, the album would also go on to receive three platinum awards.
His popularity with college girls, as well as his boyish good looks, would earn him the monicker Kilabot ng mga Kolehiyala, a title he inherited from popular 70’s balladeer Hajji Alejandro. That popularity would help cement his presence in the local music scene. To date, he has gathered numerous awards in recognition of his musical work, including the Best New Male Artist in the 1991 Awit Awards.
Just like many singers, Rivera would also try to dabble in acting. However, unlike many of his contemporaries, he also became successful in this new endeavor. His first film role was in Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal, to which he bagged the Best Supporting Actor Award from the 1992 Metro Manila Film Festival. He would later get his first lead role in the film Ikaw opposite Sharon Cuneta, and would later be cast in acclaimed films such as Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa?
Rivera is also a mainstay of the local television scene. Aside from hosting several variety shows, he has also been cast in numerous soap operas. His first TV role was in ABS CBN’s Mula Sa Puso in 1997, playing supporting character Rafael Buencamino. 14 years later, he would be recast in the series’ remake in 2011, now playing a major character Don Fernando Pereira. He is currently seen in the 2013 ABS CBN series Ina Kapatid Anak.
Rivera is currently married to actress Gelli de Belen, with whom he has two kids. However, he prefers to be low profile with regards to his personal life.