More than 6,000 people packed the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles on Wednesday, December 19, for a public memorial of Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera.
The 43-year-old native of Long Beach, dubbed by fans as the "Diva de la Banda," died in a plane crash in Mexico on December 9. She had sold more than 15 million records in the Banda and Nortena music genres and her Mun 2 television series, "I Love Jenni," which debuted in 2011.
Some fans camped outside the venue overnight to try to score tickets to the memorial service, which was sold out. Rivera's brother, the Rev. Pedro Rivera Jr., officiated the ceremony and the pallbearers, who wheeled in her red casket and set it on stage, where her fans and loved ones later covered it with white roses. Singers such as Joan Sebastian performed during the event.
Rivera is survived by five children and two grandchildren.
Her youngest son, Johnny Lopez Rivera, 11, was among the speakers at her memorial service.
"It's a real honor to say that Jenni Rivera the person everybody is talking about, is my mom and that she still lives in me," he told the crowd tearfully. "This is the hardest thing I've ever had to go through in my life, but I am happy to say my mother has moved on and she's finally happy."
"You made me proud and if you ever doubted you were a good mom, you were the best -- the best that anyone could have," River's daughter Jacqueline said.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Jenni Rivera Love Foundation, in addition to a single white rose. Rivera's loved ones say the singer will be laid to rest in a private ceremony.