Thousands expected at Jenni Rivera memorial

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UNIVERSAL CITY (KTLA) — Thousands are expected to bid farewell to Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera at a public memorial service Wednesday morning.

The memorial is called “A Celestial Graduation,” and it will be held at the Gibson Amphitheater at Universal City Walk from 10 a.m. to noon.

Jenni RiveraRivera died along with six others when their private jet crashed in a remote, mountainous area in norther Mexico on Dec. 9. Rivera, a native of Long Beach, was 43.

Nicknamed “La Diva de la Banda,” Rivera rose from humble beginnings to become a musical superstar with her performances of regional Mexican corridos, or ballads.

She was reportedly on the verge of a crossover with a sitcom inspired by the success of “I Love Jenni,” a Spanish-language reality TV show on Telemundo’s mun2 network.

Rivera sold 15 million records, according to Billboard, and recently won two Billboard Music Awards, including favorite Mexican music female artist.

Meantime, the cause of the plane crash remains under investigation. The small Learjet plane was 43 years old, the state-run Notimex news agency reported.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is investigating the company that owned the plane.

Court records revealed that the aviation company, Starwood Management, had two planes seized this year.

The DEA declined to give further details, citing an ongoing investigation, but it confirmed that the company was in a dispute with insurance firms over accusations of falsehoods.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said it is helping with the investigation.

U.S. records show the airplane was substantially damaged in 2005 when it struck a runway marker near Amarillo, Texas. At the time, the plane’s pilot reported losing the ability to steer.

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