It was a night to remember at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The famous musically gifted family the Riveras appeared together on the same stage to honor Jenni Rivera and celebrate what would have been her 50th birthday celebration. The rain didn’t stop any of Jenni Rivera’s fans from attending The Dolby Theatre as they all would get a rare glimpse of the entire Rivera family on stage singing a lot of Jenni Rivera’s famous songs
Tragically, Jenni Rivera lost her life in a plane crash in Monterrey, Mexico Dec. 9, 2012. She was in the city to perform at Monterrey Arena the previous evening. Obviously her death made a huge impact in the Latin world. So it was only right for her musically gifted dad, brothers and sister to come together and remember what would have been Jenni’s 50th birthday.
Walking into the theater you could actually feel the energy from the restless audience screaming in excitement for Jenni's siblings to grace the stage. Jenni’s brother Lupillo Rivera was actually the first one in the family to make it big in the music industry back in 1992. He walked to the stage with a swagger and a grin on his face as women were extending their hands to shake his.
At first, it was a little odd to see Lupillo come out walking and singing as if he was drunk. But that was just part of his act. The song he was singing was called ‘El Barzon’. It’s about a drunk guy who likes to rap so he’s about to show what a Mexican rap song is. I personally think it was smart for Lupillo to start off with a little humor to make the audience comfortable. Soon after Lupillo interacted with the crowd, he then sang a song on which he collaborated with Jenni. It was called ‘Que me entierren cantando’ which basically means when you lay them to rest, do it while singing. It was a very heartwarming song in which Lupillo shed a tear.
As the concert continued on, each family member would leave the stage and then another family member would come out. Up next was Jenni’s father Pedro Rivera, the original leader of the pack. A ‘man's man’ he walked on to the stage with his head up high wearing a traditional Mexican Charro. He is the CEO of Cintas Acuario Inc, a record store and recording studio in Long Beach where Jenni first got her start. To add to that, it’s also where the late singer Chalino Sanchez got his start. He was signed to Pedro’s record label. Pedro is a song composer, but the songs he sang that night weren’t original or Jenni’s. He mostly sang a lot of old classic songs. As Pedro began to sing, they began to run slideshows with photos of Pedro and his daughter Jenni. It was a very emotional night as Pedro talked a little about the good times he had with his daughter.
Jenni’s second oldest brother Gustavo stepped on stage, gracefully strutting with a white cowboy hat and looking sharp with his plain white suit. I personally think he was the more serious of the siblings and the most emotional. He sang many of Jenni’s hits like ‘Chuper Amigos’ which means “drink up friends” and ‘Mirame’ which translates into “look at me.” Gustavo continued to pace back and forth talking about all the fond memories he had with his sister. At one point we all stood up on our feet, pulled out our cellphones and lit up the entire room. Gustavo couldn’t believe it and wept for a moment before looking up at the ceiling and saying “I love you, Jenni.”
Jenni’s daughter Jacqie, who mind you is the spitting image of her mother, slowly walked towards the audience and had a smile that lit up the room. Jacqie, who is also pregnant and has sort of a shy demeanor, began to sing her heart out. If you closed your eyes and listened closely, you could almost hear Jenni’s voice echoing out of her. Jacqie was definitely the highlight of the night. This once shy girl who was never interested in singing definitely had jaws dropping.
Jacqie also talked about her mother and how she misses her a lot and that she will never get to see her grandbaby be born. But Jenni will always be there in spirit to watch and protect her and the baby.
Juan Rivera, Jenni’s brother came out right after Jacqie left. Juan, the youngest of the siblings, talked about how he had a great relationship with Jenni and how he missed her. He also talked about being the rebel of the family and always getting into trouble. He also mentioned that he was glad to be back on stage after a four-year hiatus. Juan sang ‘Paloma Negra’ which means “Black Bird” and ‘Basta Ya’ which translates into “Go over there”. Before he got off stage, he thanked everyone who supported Jenni throughout her career. He was grateful to have such loyal fans.
Then it was Rosie Rivera's turn to appear on stage. Rosie, by the way, is Jenni’s youngest sister. Rosie sang ‘Mariposa de barrio,’ which is a song that describes everything that Jenni went through. It’s an original from Jenni Rivera. The song basically talks about a woman from the “hood” who has gone through so much in life in which she started with nothing and went through a lot of pain. Jenni says in one of her shows when she performed, that she resembles a caterpillar who started as a cocoon and blossomed into a beautiful butterfly. And through all the struggle and pain, she slowly got her wings and grew into a beautiful strong person.
Lastly, as the night began to end, there was a 15-minute intermission for people to get up and do what they needed to do. Shortly people began to take their seats, and the curtains opened up. Five stage dresses Jenni Rivera wore when she performed onstage appeared before the audience. People were “wowed” as they all began to take photos of the gorgeous dresses. Finally one of Jenni’s concert clips appeared on the screen. It was a clip from her final performance. All of her siblings came out to thank the audience for attending the show. This tribute was one for the books. Jenni definitely made her mark in this world. Her legacy will always be kept alive.