La Diva de La Banda’s family, friends and fans have bid her el último adios at an emotional memorial in Los Angeles…
Thousands on Wednesday morning attended Jenni Rivera’s memorial service, which her family dubbed a celestial graduation, at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, which hosted a memorial for an artist for the first time ever, to celebrate the Mexican-American singer’s life.
The memorial, a mixture of laughter, tears and celebration, featured Rivera’s fans often singing loudly along to her videos and the live performances by her friends and family.
During the service, Rivera’s five children, her parents and brothers each took the stage to eulogize the singer, including Rivera’s daughter Jacquie Melina Campos, who said, “My mother was perfectly imperfect.” Rivera’s youngest son, 11-year-old Johnny Lopez, spoke in what he called “the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
Pedro Rivera, the family patriarch and the man who helped Rivera launch her career as an artist and a businesswoman, fought hard to keep tears at bay during the two-hour service, but still managed to perform a corrido in his daughter’s honor, accompanied by a full banda.
The event was hosted by the Rivera’s family, including brother and fellow banda Lupillo Rivera; and brother Juan Rivera, a pastor and singer who often opened Jenni’s shows and who welcomed those in attendance.
“She has many plans,” said Juan Rivera, speaking of his sister in the present tense and hinting at possibilities for the Jenni Rivera brand and name. “So we have a lot of work to do. So many times I introduced her in her shows: The queen of queens, the Diva of Banda, La Gran Señora and, because you made it this way, I will proudly say, No. 1: Jenni!”
Although the theater was packed mostly by fans who paid $1 on Ticketmaster to purchase refundable tickets (arranged that way to avoid scalping), there was also a number of executives and celebrities, including Marco Antonio Solís; Joan Sebastian, who performed “Más Allá del Sol;” Ana Gabriel, who performed the ranchera hit “Paloma Negra;” Olga Tañón, who performed “Mirame” and Gloria Trevi.
The ceremony included an impassioned sermon by Juan Rivera, who quoted from Ecclesiastes: “There is a time to be born and a time to die… Jenni passed through many tough situations in her life, and she was able to stand up after each one of them, because she had the power of God and the power in herself. She lived a victorious life. She never gave up.”
The service culminated with the band gathered around the coffin and fans filing past, leaving white roses.
Rivera, who will be laid to rest later in a private ceremony, was traveling on a private Learjet the morning of December 9 when her plane crashed in the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico.