Jenni Rivera is Gone

Daring, bold, audacious: She was taken far too early

By Angela M. Ort?¡z, Se Fija!
Published on LatinoLA: December 10, 2012

Jenni Rivera is Gone

Republished with permission of Se Fija!

Sunday, December 9, Mexican officials confirmed reports that had been swirling all over the internet for hours: they had located the Learjet carrying Jenni Rivera and others. The announcement confirmed what everyone in the community had feared: there were no survivors. La Diva de la Banda, La Gran Se??ora was dead, along with her publicist Arturo Rivera, her lawyer Mario Macias, make-up artist Jacob Llenares, a person identified as "Gerardo N.," and pilots Miguel Perez and Alejandro Torres.

Jenni was born in Culver City and raised in Long Beach. Her accomplishments, both personal and professional, were nothing short of amazing, and she was just getting started in North America; among the many tributes that have already appeared, "Variety" may have summarized it best: "As a platinum recording artist and the star of No. 1 Hispanic celebrity reality series "I Love Jenni" on NBCU's Mun2, Rivera has channeled her celebrity status to call attention to the plight of disadvantaged women and children. Aside from hosting a national radio program, executive producing Mun2 reality skein "Chiquis 'n Control" and overseeing a clothing line, cosmetics company and a chain of boutiques under her name."

They mentioned her appearance in "Filly Brown," but didn't mention that she joined the project after a personal call from Edward James Olmos. She was that known and respected among the community. But all the trades and media have mentioned the same story that we covered here at "Se Fija!" Just a few days ago: that she was now in development for an ABC series about a strong Latina single mom and her challenges: more positive images, more great entertainment.

Jenni was always the first to tell her fans what was up. Her life was an open book on the good and bad in her life, including everything from domestic violence to breast cancer. And no matter what, she always found a way to see the positive and to move on.

On a purely personal note, I have to say I've been a fan of Jenni Rivera for a few years now. This news is tragic, and obviously devastating to her family.

The last time I saw Jenni perform was at Lilith 2010 tour and she won over the audience who had no idea who she was. She did what she did best: a damn good show. She even shared her tequila with some of the audience (Jenni always had tequila on stage with her.)

Jenni had big plans. She wanted to be the Latina Oprah Winfrey; she wanted to own her own network. She was a mother, a grandmother, a broadcaster, a philanthropist. And even at 43, she was just getting started.

The times I've been around her, I noticed how approachable she was. No matter how much fame she achieved, she was Jenni Rivera from "la larga playa" (Long Beach).

Sam Rubin of "KTLA Morning News" in Los Angeles interviewed Jennie many times, and he had some truly wonderful things to say on Sunday. "Many of us are going to be thinking about Jenni Rivera for a long, long time," he said. "I think one of the reasons Jenni 'worked' so well, is there was absolutely no distinction between Jenni on and off camera. She was absolutely real. I asked her about being a mother and grandmother at a very young age; and she had obvious pride about her five children and how they led their lives with or without her particular approval. So Jenni was deeply involved in her family, and, oh, by the way, one of the most successful singers and recording artists in all of Latin America. She touched people on both sides of the border, and why this really has me and so many others shaken-up. It goes without saying that she will be very much missed."

She'll always live on, in her music, her children and grandchildren.

May she rest in peace.

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