I first was introduced to Jenni Rivera by my mom, Alejandra. That was her favorite Latina artist. So I grew up listening to her albums. I felt I had a special relationship with her because she was also Mexican American. She was a bit more relatable because it wasn't someone who lived all the way in Mexico, she grew up in L.A., the same way I did, and she kind of had the same hardships that I did growing up. I think the same reasons why I loved her, were what drew my mom to her, but also the struggles with men that she would sing about. Being in a marriage can't be easy, so instead of arguing with my dad Francisco she would probably just play a Jenni Rivera song.
Now that I'm old enough to understand what she was singing about and what she wrote about, I look up to her even more. One of the first songs that I ever heard of hers was "La Gran Señora" – that's definitely one of my favorites. In all of her songs, you can hear the hurt in her voice, or the sarcasm, or the happiness.
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Recently I discovered a newer song, "Cuando Muere Una Dama," which they played on the radio a lot after she passed. In that one, she talks about the way she would want it to be when she dies. Instead of being sad, she would want everybody singing and laughing and remembering all the good times and her smile. That song reminds me of my dad because he's always been the kind to say, 'When I pass, this is how I want to go.'
In my family, we've all been following the news about Jenni Rivera's passing closely.
Both of my parents were actually fans of Jenni's, and even my younger siblings – they caught on to her later on, by watching her TV show, I Love Jenni. We all became fans of her as a person by watching that show and it's funny because our family dynamic is similar to the one she had with her family on the show. The way she gets along with her brothers, that's kind of how my mom gets along with her siblings, the way she raises her kids – there were so many similarities. I think that's why we were so connected even though we had never met.
I love that she was more than a singer, too. When I got the news that she had passed away, I was actually at the mall, and I saw her curling irons and her make-up line. She had her hands in all of her projects and handled her business. I look up to powerful women and she was definitely one of the Latinas that I look up to.
I remember one time my mom joked, I think it was after I signed my recording contract, she said, 'Can you imagine if one day we have Jenni over for a barbeque?'
Even though we'll never get the chance to do that, it's still a nice thought.
Rest in peace, Jenni.
-As told to Angie Romero
Read Becky G's inaugural post where she introduces herself as our celebrity contributor, and her latest post about the lessons Justin Bieber taught her. Whether it's opening for the Biebs on tour or hanging out with her Mexican-American family, this is an inside look at the making of a pop star.