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Public memorial set for Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera

Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

At a candlelight vigil for singer Jenni Rivera on Dec. 10 in Long Beach, Calif.

The family of Jenni Rivera announced that a public memorial service will be held for the singer, who died Dec. 9 in a plane crash, Wednesday at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

The memorial - called a "Celestial Graduation" by her family - will be held from 10 a.m. to noon PT and be led by the Rev. Pedro Rivera Jr., the singer's older brother.

"We will celebrate the graduation into heaven, with honors, of our beloved mother, daughter and sister Jenni Rivera," the statement read. "We appreciate the privacy and discretion given to the family on the day she is laid to rest. The burial services will be privately held."


Rivera died when the private plane she was traveling in crashed in a mountainous region of Mexico.

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Born in Long Beach, Calif., to Mexican immigrant parents, Rivera sold more than 15 million albums worldwide throughout her career and was a household name in Mexico and to Spanish-speaking communities throughout the United States.

The 43-year-old mother of five was one of the biggest stars of banda, a brass-based, percussive form of Spanish-language pop music invented in northern Mexico but played heavily throughout the American Southwest. Banda traditionally was the domain of men, and Rivera's emergence and eventual dominance in the genre was groundbreaking.

Rivera's fame was expanding prior to the crash, thanks to a stint on television as the star of her own reality series, "I Love Jenni," on Telemundo's mun2 cable channel, and the recent announcement that she had signed to take the lead role in a sitcom for ABC.

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The company that owns the luxury jet on which she was traveling is under investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the agency seized two of its planes earlier this year as part of the probe.

The Rivera family requested that in lieu of flowers at the memorial, donations be made to the Jenni Rivera Love Foundation - the charity founded by the singer, which offers support services to single mothers and victims of both domestic and sexual abuse.