Rivera’s commanding presence on stage was just as powerful as her message to fans.
In a former interview she said she would think about them and how she could relate to them with her songs and lyrics.
Her songs spoke to many in Salt Lake’s Hispanic community.
“She stood up for single moms because she was a single mom,” aspiring singer Veronica Perez said. “She stood up for abused women also.”
Rivera made her mark on Regional Mexican music, a genre dominated by men.
Martha Chavez, a vocal coach from Murray, said she opened many doors for women.
“She was able to make a dent and motivate other women to sing the genre,” Chavez said.
Chavez identifies with Rivera’s life story. She teaches struggling artists and like Rivera comes from humble beginnings. Rivera’s parents were immigrants from Mexico.
“It’s one of those stories of rags to riches,” Chavez said. “It gives people hope that they can be successful.”
Rivera was a smart businesswoman and a self made millionaire. She starred in reality shows which featured her five children and two grandchildren.
Her records sales in the U.S. alone surpassed Beyonce. Rivera was also set to star in a comedy series on ABC.
“I think people are going to be sad for a really long time,” Perez added. “They’re going to miss hearing her on stage.”
In Rivera’s last interview she was asked her Christmas plans. She said, “I want to be with my family, but God only knows what’s going to happen.”
Rivera’s private plan crashed in Mexico Sunday. Six other people died in the crash, including Rivera’s publicist, lawyer and make up artists.