Rivera (birth name: Geraldo Rivera Rodríguez) was born in Humacao, Puerto Rico,a town located on the eastern coast of Puerto Rico, moved with his family to Levittown, near the town of Toa Baja, where he received his primary and secondary education. His entire family consists of musicians, including tropical recording artists Edwin Rivera and younger sister Saned. Two other brothers, Ito and Jose, are professional instrumental musicians. His parents, also musicians, inspired him to become a musician and as a child he would often accompany his mother Dominga, a singer, and father Edwin, a guitarist and director of Los Barones Trio, during their shows.
In 1986, when he was 13 years old, he accompanied his father who was performing at a hotel in Isla Verde, San Juan. Frankie Ruiz, who was a guest at the hotel, appeared and sang a couple of songs with them and had his picture taken alongside Rivera. In 2003, this picture was used by Rivera to make the album cover for his tribute Canto a mi Idolo… Frankie Ruiz (‘I sing to my Idol… Frankie Ruiz’), who had died in 1998.