Jenni Rivera: Memorial service honors late singer

Thursday December 20, 2012

LOS ANGELES -- Fans and family members of Jenni Rivera celebrated the life of the Banda singer Wednesday at a memorial service billed as a "celestial graduation."

One of her five brothers, Pedro Rivera Jr., led the 10 a.m. service at the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles.

"We celebrate the graduation into heaven, with honors, of our beloved mother, daughter and sister," the family said in a statement.

Rivera and six others died Dec. 9 in a northern Mexico plane crash that remains under investigation.

The mother of five and grandmother of two was 43 years old.

Rivera sold more than 15 million copies of her 12 major-label albums. Her soulful singing style and her honesty about her tumultuous personal life won her fans on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. She was also an actress and reality-TV star.

Born in Los Angeles, Rivera launched her career by selling cassette tapes at local flea markets. By the end of the 90s, she won a major-label contract and built a loyal following that knew her as the "Diva de la Banda."

She had recently filed for divorce from her third husband.


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