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Jenni Rivera Honored at 'Jenni Vive' Tribute Concert By Chiquis, Becky G & More

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JC Olivera/LatinContent/Getty Images

Jenni Rivera performs at the Nokia Theater inside the L.A. LIVE complex on July 31, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

Fans of all generations came together on Thursday in Long Beach, Calif., to honor the life and legacy of the late Jenni Rivera on what would have been her 46th birthday.

The tribute concert, titled "Jenni Vive" [Jenni Lives], featured performances by regional Mexican stars Los Tucanes de Tijuana, Banda Los Recoditos, Los Horoscopos de Durango, Regulo Caro, Chuy Lizarraga and more, kicking off at around 6 p.m. at the city’s Marina Green Park and wrapping up after midnight, with a grand fireworks show.

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The night had a familial feel with two leather couches propped in front of the stage, from which Rivera’s mother, father, siblings, and children, (all of whom had a hand in organizing the show) watched the show. And unlimited tacos al pastor were served, free of charge, courtesy of the Rivera family.

La Diva de la Banda herself had a special designated seat in the house, atop the butterfly-adorned stage -- a big chair with a small table and a bottle of reposado tequila (her favorite). That the tequila was her own, personal brand is a testament to all that she achieved in her 43 years. And yet, despite the level of fame and success Rivera reached in her lifetime, she always considered herself a chica from Long Beach, a "mariposa de barrio” [a neighborhood butterfly], as her famous song goes. 

The night's most memorable moments came later on, as Rivera’s 14-year-old son Johnny shared a home video soundtracked by Coldplay’s "Fix You." Fighting back tears, he spoke about his mother as a guiding force in his life.

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Rivera’s 25-year-old daughter, Jacqie, sang a few original, pop-oriented songs as a tribute to her mom, one with a Christian theme.

"C'mon Chiquis, show 'em what your momma taught you!" yelled one fan in the front row, as Rivera’s eldest, 30-year-old budding banda singer Chiquis, took the stage, opening her set with "Paloma Blanca" [White Dove].

Chiquis sang a couple of her mother's hits, including "La Chacalosa," as well as a few tunes from Chiquis' own chart-topping debut album, Ahora. "La Gran Señora, my mother," said Chiquis after her first number. "I thank God for giving me the blessing of being her daughter."

For Jenni’s classic "Inolvidable" [Unforgettable], Chiquis invited fellow Mexican American Becky G onstage.

Becky, 18, also performed solo, treating the crowd to a mariachi-backed version of Rivera's beloved song "Por Amor/Cucurrucucu Paloma," as well as a few tracks of her own, including "Shower," "Lovin' So Hard," and "We Are Mexico," dedicated to the widely despised Donald Trump.

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Before hitting the stage, Becky spoke to Billboard about what Jenni Rivera means to her, why doing this tribute represents "a big moment," and why she was moved to release "We Are Mexico" in response to Trump's comments about Latinos.

 

Earlier that day, there was a different celebration, the official opening of the Jenni Rivera Memorial Park on Walnut Avenue, just a few blocks away from the Marina Green Park. The event, emceed by journalist Myrka Dellanos, also revealed a 125-foot mural in honor of Rivera, commissioned by Rivera's eldest son, Michael, 24, in collaboration with the mural company Wall Dogs.

During the park opening, the city's mayor, Robert Garcia, spoke about Rivera as a "true Long Beach legend."

He said, "Her music and her many philanthropic contributions touched so many people in our city and around the world. Naming this park after Jenni honors the legacy of one of our city’s most inspiring native daughters."

Becky G singing "Por Un Amor/Cucurrucucu Paloma" in honor of La Gran Señora Jenni Rivera last night at #JenniVive

Posted by Billboard Latin on Friday, July 3, 2015

At the #JenniVive concert tonight in Long Beach, California, we caught up with Becky G before she performed and asked her what Jenni Rivera means to her and why the "We Are Mexico" song she just released is so significant

Posted by Billboard Latin on Friday, July 3, 2015

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