Thousands of mourners have paid tribute to the late Banda singer Jenni Rivera, who was killed in a plane crash on December 9, 2012. According to BBC News, Rivera’s children were amongst the 6,000 people in attendance at the service which took place at the Gibson Amphitheatre, Los Angeles.
Jenni’s son Michael, aged 21, told those gathered to pay their respects, “We're not here to mourn the death. We're here to celebrate the life and graduation of a singer, an entertainer, a diva, a fighter, an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, and more than anything, a mother - the best mother.” Her manager, Pete Saldago, also paid tribute to Rivera “Jenni made it OK for women to be who they are… Jenni also made it OK to be from nothing, with the hopes of being something.” Rivera’s youngest child, Johnny, whose father is also deceased, said “Mam, I’ve been crying so much these last few days. I miss you so much. I hope you’re taking care of my dad and I hope he’s taking care of you, too.”
The several thousand of Rivera’s fans reportedly lined up to lay white roses on her bright red coffin, at the end of the service. “I just came to say goodbye to a Latina woman, La Gran Senora,” said one of her fans, Veronika Flores, who has driven for eight hours from California to attend the service.