Fans packed the 6,100-seat Gibson amphitheater to pay their respects to Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera this morning, and hundreds more manifested their love for the "Diva de la Banda" outside the theater with roses, handmade posters, and music. Inside, a sea of white roses surrounded a red casket and images of Rivera, who sold more than 15 million albums worldwide, flashed across the big screen; Rivera’s children and brother performed.
Rivera’s life ended on Sunday, December 9th when the Learjet she and six other people were on crashed in northern Mexico. No one on board survived. U.S. records indicate that the 43-year-old plane had endured substantial damages in 2005, although the investigation into the plane company and the crash is still underway.
Rivera had led a tumultuous life. She became a mom at 15 and her marriage to retired Dodgers pitcher Esteban Loaiza, the singer’s third, ended in a high profile divorce this year. But Rivera’s fans loved her for who she was—an extraordinarily talented woman with real life imperfections. The singer will be remembered as a Gammy-nominated entertainer who started out with humble beginnings and left the music world with soulful hits.