Well, it looks like Jenni Rivera’s “Celestial Graduation” is complete and La Diva de la Banda made sure to leave this world in style. At a service attended by over 6,000 mourners, Jenni made her last public appearance in a fiery red coffin engraved with inspirational butterflies.
Signfying her ascent into heaven, Jenni’s “graduación celestial” started promptly at 10am and lasted for two full hours. TV networks broadcast the funeral from L.A.’s Gibson Amphitheatre, while Spanish news sites offered minute-by-minute Twitter coverage.
Fans who couldn’t make it into the theater packed the surrounding City Walk area of Universal Studios, waving white roses and chanting La Diva’s name. Tons of Latin celebs paid their respects too, including Edward James Olmos, Kate del Castillo and Marco Antonio Solis.
But it was Rivera’s children who made the most impact. Each of them had their moment to eulogize Jenni and their words brought weeping tears to the crowd.
“My mom would fight any battle for us and for her honor, even if there was no one to fight,” son Trinidad “Michael” Angel Rivera recalled. “Sometimes it seemed like she was just waking up to fight the day, to prove that in those 24 hours, she could make 35 hours worth of work.”
Daughter Chiquis followed up by saying, “There will never be enough words to describe my mother. But if there had to be one, I would call her ‘unbreakable’.”
Sadly, it was Jenni’s 11-year-old son Johnny who stirred up the most emotions. The youngest Rivera of them all, he put on a brave face and extended plenty of love for his dearly departed madre.
“Mom, I’ve been crying so much these last few days,” he explained. “I miss you so much and I hope you are a lot happier where you are.”
Other notable speakers included Rivera’s manager, who praised her musical talents. Jenni’s dad Pedro spoke about the joy she brought to the family and brother Juan Manuel assured the crowd that she was now “singing in heaven.”
In between the eulogies, fans were treated to lively video clips of La Diva in her prime, belting out hits from the concert stage. There was also confetti showered to keep things celebratory and a rousing rendition of “I Will Survive” to close out the ceremony.
It all made for a very fitting tribute and drew a massive response on both Twitter and Facebook. So while she may be gone, it’s clear that La Diva de la Banda will NEVER be forgotten.