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Jenni Rivera - Singer/Businesswoman - Long Beach City College

Long Beach City College alumna Jenni Rivera was a successful singer, businesswoman and budding actress when she died in a late 2012 plane crash after a concert in Mexico. She was 43.

A good student, Jenni got pregnant as a sophomore at Long Beach Polytechnic High School but graduated as the valedictorian of the nearby continuation school. She attended Long Beach City College and California State University, Long Beach as a business administration major. After college, Jenni started selling real estate in the Long Beach area and helped out at her father's recording studio and record label. Her brother, Lupillo, also is a successful recording artist.

As a recording artist, Rivera had 15 gold records, 15 platinum, and five double platinum records, with more than 15 million records sold in all. She was an in-demand artist, not only in Mexico but also in the United States, selling out performances at the Staples Center, Kodak Theatre,Nokia Theater and the Gibson Amphitheater. She had signed with the American Broadcasting Company to star in her own sitcom set to debut in 2013. Jenni was also one of the decade’s most award-winning artists. In 2009, she earned 11 Billboard Award nominations.

In addition to her entertainment career, Jenni was an entrepreneur and philanthropist. She started many companies, including Divina Realty, Divina Cosmetics, Jenni Rivera Fragrance, Jenni Jeans, Divine Music and The Jenni Rivera Love Foundation. Jenni Rivera became the first female banda artist to sell out a concert at the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, Calif., and became the first artist to sell out two back-to-back nights at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles on August 6 and 7, 2010.

Rivera was a producer on the Mun2 reality TV show "Chiquis & Raq-C," featuring her oldest daughter Janney Marin. She then appeared in the spin-off show "I Love Jenni." Rivera worked as coach in the second season of the Mexican talent show "La Voz... México," based upon "The Voice" franchise. For years, Rivera was writing an auto-biography. She never completely finished it, but the Rivera family put it together and turned it into a full book. The book, "Unbreakable: My Story, My Way," was released July 2, 2013, what would have been the singer's 44th birthday.

"As a strong Latina, she represented her family, community and state at the national and international levels," State Senator Ricardo Lara (D- Long Beach) said just days after her death. "Her passionate songs of perseverance inspired millions and brought a renewed interest and respect for her interpretations of Mexican regional music to the United States."

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