Viva Mexico

Jenni Rivera: L.A. Spots to Remember Her

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Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 6:51 AM
click to enlarge Rivera in 2003 - JEANNE RICE
  • Jeanne Rice
  • Rivera in 2003

Before her death last year, Dolores Janney "Jenni" Rivera, was one of the best-selling regional Mexican artists of her generation.

The scrappy tomboy daughter of Mexican immigrants came from dirt poor Long Beach to sell out arenas in the motherland.

Yet she went largely unnoticed by non-Hispanics until the small Learjet she was riding after a concert crashed into a hillside in Nuevo León on December 9, 2012.

She was 43.

Though her explosive, uncensored personality and often-public feuds made her a polarizing figure for many Mexicans, she built an empire, with her own reality show, a cosmetics line, a denim line, and a real estate firm, among other ventures.

She was anticipating the announcement of her first crossover move -- an English-language sitcom for NBC -- which made her passing even more tragic.

But there are many ways to remember La Mariposa del Barrio, as she once called herself: Here are five places across Los Angeles County where you can still feel Jenni's presence.

click to enlarge Jenni's star on the Poly Walk of Fame - SARAH BENNETT
  • Sarah Bennett
  • Jenni's star on the Poly Walk of Fame

Polytechnic High School

1600 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach

Before she was La Diva de la Banda, little Janney Rivera was a dorky band geek at Long Beach's Poly High. Well known to football fans as the school that has bred the most NFL players in history (60-plus!), it's also where Snoop Dogg, Cameron Diaz and Jenni walked the same halls together in the mid '80s.

Despite her honor roll status and future college goals, Jenni got pregnant when she was 15 and dropped out because she wanted to be--in her words--"a gangsta wife." She eventually got her GED and went back to college, but always repped the Jackrabbits, especially when they honored her in 2011 with a star on the school's newly minted walk of fame. Find it along the athletic field fence on Martin Luther king Jr. blvd., a block or so from VIP Records.

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