Los Angeles.- In an emotional public memorial service on Wednesday, friends and family bade farewell to Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera at the Gibson Amphitheatre here.
A red casket with white butterflies was placed in the middle of the stage on a bed of white roses, while images from the popular singer's life - photographs and video clips from concerts and interviews - were shown on gigantic screens.
Numerous members of the singer's family were present, all dressed in white, except for her mother, Rosa Rivera, who wore a red dress, and the ceremony was accompanied by mariachi music because, although Jenni Rivera was born in Long Beach, California, she said she was "proudly Mexican."
Among those attending the service were figures such as Marco Antonio Solis, Ana Gabriel, Joan Sebastian, Olga Tañon and Kate del Castillo, along with the singer's parents, siblings and five children.
The 43-year-old singer and six other people were killed on Dec. 9 in the crash of a Learjet in northern Mexico. The cause of the accident is under investigation. Rivera was at the peak of her career and had millions of fans. Rivera's remains had been at a funeral home in Long Beach since last Friday.
The family referred to the service broadcast live by Telemundo network - although the funeral itself was slated to be private - as a "Celestial Graduation" and it was led by Rev. Pedro Rivera Jr., the singer's brother.