News Column

Fans Mourn Jenni Rivera at Her California Home

Dec 12, 2012

By Andrea Mandell

Jenni Rivera

In front of Jenni Rivera's gated house in an upscale neighborhood here, fans Monday left a small memorial of flickering votive candles, bouquets of flowers, scattered rose petals and notes.

The American-born Rivera, 43, who died Sunday in the crash of a small private jet in Mexico, was a superstar in the world of Mexico's grupero music, selling more than 15 million records worldwide.

Vanessa Casas, 28, arrived at the house with the words "R.I.P. Jenny Rivera" written into the dust on her SUV's back window. She said she was shocked when she heard the news. "I got a phone call from my sister asking if I had heard anything about Jenni," she said. "I Googled it up, I turned on the TV, the news, and it was there. We were just shocked."

Rivera's independent, fighting spirit was noted by several women at the house. "Her music, the type of person she was -- she was a very giving and loving person to all of us women," said Casas. "I think a lot of women relate to her, going through what every woman goes through."

Several young nurses on break from a nearby hospital arrived in scrubs to pay their respects. "She meant a lot to us," said Sandra Garcia, 30. "As women, she made us a little strong. ... She was a very independent woman. And she showed a lot to our Hispanic community, to never give up."

"The songs that she would play, they would somehow make you (feel) like it was your same story," said Maria Ayala, 22.

Eddie Rodriguez, 31, drove his mother, Andrea, 68, to say goodbye on his day off. "We figured we'd come by and say a prayer," said Rodriguez, who translated her condolences. "My mother is not just a fan of hers but kind of looked up to her as somebody that helped the community. (She) was a great person. A tough loss."

Source: Copyright USA TODAY 2012

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