Sales of Jenni Rivera records soar

Death in plane crash gives star legendary status

Fans of Jenni Rivera mourn the singer in Mexico last December. / EFE

The death in a plane crash on December 9 of Jenni Rivera robbed Mexicans on both sides of the border of one of the biggest singing stars of recent years. It has also sent sales of her music soaring, and given her legendary status.

California-born Rivera, 43, overcame personal adversity to become a superstar, one who was adored by millions in a male-dominated genre of Mexican-American music.

She never made any bones of her businesslike approach to making music - and money - living her life in the public eye. Her openness about her personal troubles endeared her to millions in the US and Mexico. "I am the same as the public, as my fans," she said in an interview last March.

She studied business administration and formally debuted on the music scene in 1995 with the release of her album Chacalosa. Given its success, she recorded two more independent albums, We Are Rivera and Farewell to Selena. She sold 15 million albums over her career and won three Latin Grammys.

A mother of five children and grandmother of two, the woman dubbed the "Diva de la Banda" was known for frank talk about her struggles to give a good life to her children despite a series of setbacks.

She was recently divorced from her third husband, and was once detained at a Mexico City airport carrying tens of thousands of dollars in cash. She made a public apology after her brother assaulted a drunken fan who verbally attacked her in 2011.

At the end of the 1990s, Rivera was signed by Sony Music and released two more albums. Widespread success came when she joined Fonovisa and released her 2005 album, entitled Partier, Rebellious and Daring.

"Celestial graduation"

She was also an actress, appearing in the indie film Filly Brown, which was shown at the Sundance Film Festival, as the incarcerated mother of the eponymous lead character.

Her body lay in state at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles in an event organized by her family and described as "Jenni's celestial graduation." Following her funeral, her father, Pedro Rivera, signed posters of his daughter. He told reporters that he had unreleased material of Jenni singing in English. "I'm going to see what I can do with it," he said. A film of her life is already planned, and several greatest hits albums are available online.


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