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Funeral held in LA for singer Jenni Rivera

Dec. 19, 2012 at 7:20 PM   |   Comments

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LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Thousands of fans attended a public memorial for Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles Wednesday.

The 43-year-old TV personality and mother of five children died along with six other people in a Dec. 9 plane crash near Iturbide, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The cause of the crash has not been determined.

Her red casket sat onstage at the memorial, as her kids and siblings spoke about her life and how much they miss her, E! News said.

"I only had 11 short years with my mom. But it's a real honor to say that Jenni Rivera is my mom. That she still lives in me," her youngest child, Johnny, told mourners. "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."

More than 6,000 tickets for the service, which Rivera's family called a "celestial graduation," were sold online for $1 apiece in an effort to avoid having them re-sold by scalpers at inflated prices.

"We will celebrate the graduation into heaven, with honors, of our beloved mother, daughter and sister Jenni Rivera," her family said in a statement issued to the Los Angeles Times before the service.

A private burial for Rivera will be held separately, the Times said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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