Fans, Family, and Friends Celebrate Jenni Rivera at her Memorial Service


Most of Rivera's family members dressed in white and red, Rivera's favorite color. A video was played of Rivera at one of her concerts, singing "Mariposa de Barrio." The video showed Rivera speaking candidly to the audience: "I've always used the metaphor of the butterfly for my life," she said. "My life has not been easy, it has been very hard. I can compare my life to that of a caterpillar... God is so great, he changed my suffering into happiness, he gave me my family, my brothers, my parents, my children, my grandchildren, lots of great friends, and every day I thank him for all the love from my fans. You have lifted me up in every difficult moment of my life, you've accepted me just the way I am."

Radio programmer Pepe Garza of Que Buena 105.5, who broke Jenni Rivera and her brother Lupillo on Southern California radio in the mid-90s, said, "It was her mistakes that made us know she was one of us, and we rooted for her every day. Her fans put her on a pedestal, because they knew that wherever she went, she'd carry the voice of all of them with her. Que viva la diva!"

The banda superstar's life was cut tragically short at the age of 43 in a plane crash on December 9. She, along with six other passengers, including Rivera's publicist, her make-up artist, and her lawyer, died. Her remains were identified in Monterrey, Mexico last week by her brothers Lupillo, Juan, and Gustavo, and brought home to Long Beach, Calif., or as she used to joke in Spanish, "Playa Larga." 

The family has informed the media that Rivera's funeral will be a private event. She will be laid to rest at All Souls Cemetery in her home city of Long Beach.

-With additional reporting by Albert Sabaté

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