The world was watching to bid farewell to Jenni Rivera, known as affectionately as "La Diva de La Banda," at her "Graduacion Al Cielo" at Hollywood's Gibson Amphitheatre. More than 6,000 fans came as far as Mexicali to witness the closed-casket celebration that commenced without a hitch. Tickets were made available to fans two days ago for one dollar and sold-out in a record 15 minutes.
"Her casket was beautiful," said Ingrid Fuentes, a fan who attended the memorial. "It was big. It was red. It was shiny. It was just – basically her."
Jenni Rivera's song "Cuando Muere Una Dama" came to life today during the memorial thanks to her supportive family. "Drink tequila and beer, let the bands play with might," she sang. "Release butterflies, applaud me with your hands, because that's how you celebrate when a lady dies."
Every fan who attended left with hope and solidarity not to mention the amount of outpouring of dedicated love for La Reyna. At noon, the family requested Latino radio stations to play Jenni Rivera's "La Gran Señora."
During the memorial Pete Salgado, Jenni's longtime manager, said "Jenni made it ok to be nothing with the hopes of being something."
The common thread the fans shared for La Reyna during our interviews – even with the 15 million-plus records sold, mansions, businesses, and awards – was that Jenni was just like one of them.
Undoubtedly, Jenni was one of the most powerful Latinas on the scene. At the memorial local Chicana rapper, Miss Lady Pinks reflects on the entertainer's life, "She was La Reyna de La Banda." The rapper continued to tell us, " And in a male-dominated world – it's really hard for females to do that, which I can relate to because I'm in the same thing – but in the rap game. She was just someone that I looked up to because she was so special in that way."
Watch the video below to hear more of what fans had to say at Jenni Rivera's L.A. memorial.