EL CENTRO - The news of Jenni Rivera's death really hit home here in The Imperial Valley. I met her in the early 90's, and like many here, I too, felt a connection through her music and her personality.
Her voice, her music, and that personality were on display every Wednesday on the local radio station, La Tricolor, and that is where hundreds of her fans have called in to express their sadness for the passing of the singer they called, "La Diva de la Banda".
"For all the fans that supported Jenni Rivera… Rest In Peace, ‘La Diva de la Banda'."
That was one of the many phone calls that La Tricolor received throughout Sunday and again on Monday morning.
Tricolor traffic manager, Brenda Melendrez, has heard most of the phone calls. She too is a fan, but most importantly, she is a mother and can only imagine what her family is feeling right now.
"She was a great mother to her children. Jenni once said that the only reason that she feared death was because she would be leaving her children. That I can relate to because I feel like that too. She went to work and will never see her children again".
While thousands have called in and shared their stories and sent condolences, other residents are having a hard time accepting the news.
"I can't believe it. And I won't believe it until I see a body. When I heard the news, I said it can't be. That's Jenni, that's The Queen of Mexico, La Diva De La Banda".
"It was quite the impact. We were not expecting that. She was such a hard worker, a great woman and a great mother. Very surprised".
Melendrez says that Jenni left behind more than just a legacy of her music. She was a role who empowered woman to be independent.
"She was a strong woman and in most aspects we should follow her example. She helped us and taught us that we are not alone. For example in her case, she showed us that we don't need a man to move forward. She was a mother and father to her children"
Melendrez tells me that the station will be airing a special tribute to Jenni Rivera on Wednesday morning. That will run all day and will feature interviews with other Mexican singers and well-known friends of her.
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