CORONA and LAKEWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Fans of Jenni Rivera held vigils for the Mexican-American singer Monday night outside her Lakewood home and at the realty office in Corona where she once worked as a licensed real estate agent.
The singer is feared dead after a small plane carrying her from Monterey, Mexico, crashed soon after take-off early Sunday. Rivera’s makeup artist, lawyer and publicist, as well as the flight crew, were on board and are also believed dead, CBS News reports.
Approximately 100 people huddled outside Divina Realty in Corona, holding candles and discussing how the 43-year-old single mother of five touched them with her music and with her personal struggles.
Fans like Cecy Urena welled up as she talked about the loss of the star.
“She was just very real. She connected to her fans. A lot of us felt what she had gone through and stuff. She always gave back,” Urena said.
Faby Llerandi, owner of Divina Realty, first became friends with Rivera nearly 20 years ago when they worked together at a mortgage firm. After Llerandi opened her business, Rivera made commercials for the company.
“Jenni has been promoting for us for a lot of years, so they relate the company with Jenni. They just showed up yesterday. I guess they feel a little bit closer to her that way. I welcome that,” Llerandi said.
Since Sunday night, fans have been dropping off posters, flowers and candles at the realty business and outside the Lakewood residence where Rivera lived with her family.
Parents brought their children, telling CBS2/KCAL9’s Juan Fernandez that they are celebrating Rivera, the child of immigrants, who achieved the American Dream as a licensed real estate agent and a renowned musician.
“I heard it a lot of times when my mom listens to her around the house,” Naylea Medrigal said.
Another young fan talked about Rivera’s talent.
“She has a really good voice and she has a lot of songs,” Milly Madeigal said.
At times, Rivera’s family would come outside the home and greet fans, many of whom said they planned on paying their respects late into the night.