Taking Names: Thousands of fans gather to say goodbye to Jenni Rivera

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The life of Jenni Rivera was celebrated Wednesday in song, as passionate fans chanted “Jenni! Jenni!” at the singer’s memorial service, which was billed as a “celestial graduation” by her family.

Olga Tanon and Rivera’s children were among those performing at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, Calif., where thousands of fans gathered to salute the “Diva de la Banda.”

Among the guests were famed Mexican singers Marco Antonio Solis, Ana Gabriel and Joan Sebastian.

A red casket sat onstage amid a sea of white roses, as images of Rivera played on a big screen.

Many fans had bought advance tickets to the service for $1. Hundreds of others converged outside the venue, hoping to gain access.

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The service was closed to most media, although a broadcast of the proceedings was made available.

The burial will be private.

Rivera and six other people died Dec. 9 in a northern Mexico plane crash that remains under investigation. Rivera, the mother of five children and grandmother of two, was 43.

Rivera sold more than 15 million copies of her 12 major-label albums. Her soulful singing style and honesty about her tumultuous personal life won her fans on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. She was also an actress and reality TV star.

Williams‘ Navajo blankets set to be auctioned

The late American crooner Andy Williams, famous for easy-listening hits such as “Moon River” and “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” from his beloved Christmas TV specials, had a passion for Navajo blankets. He assembled a museum-quality collection that’s slated to be auctioned for more than $1 million next year.

The bold, colorful wool blankets decorated his home and office and also the Moon River Theater in Branson, Mo., where they hung “alongside large photographs of Mr. Williams with other musical legends of the 20th century like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand,” said David Roche, Sotheby’s consultant on American Indian art.

The sale is scheduled for late May.

Williams began acquiring the blankets in the 1950s, when only a handful of people were collecting them.

The top lot is a rare Navajo Man’s Wearing Blanket, woven in a “chief’s first phase design” characterized by the addition of fine red stripes. Only about 50 are known to exist.

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