TODAY

TODAY   |  July 01, 2013

Jenni Rivera’s sister: She was ‘unbreakable’

Last year, the plane crash that killed Mexican-American superstar Jenni Rivera shocked the world. Rivera’s sister, Rosie Rivera, talks to Telemundo’s Maria Celeste Arraras about Jenni, who always found “a way to get ahead” despite tough times, and about Jenni’s memoir, “Unbreakable,” to be released this week.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back at 8:42. the southern death of mexican-american super star jen jenny rifier rangers last year shocked her fans.

>> good morning, jenny was very open with all of her fans who follow her life like the episodes. now they can read her story in unbreakable, a tell all book as complex and authentic as the diva herself. i had a chance to sit down with her sister in california.

>> reporter: mexican-american singer jenni rivera sold out massive stadiums. the first in her family born on u.s. soil she achieved huge success in both countries selling more than 50 million albums worldwide.

>> unforgettable baby.

>> i love jenni.

>> reporter: the multiple latin grammy nominated artist had her own reality show and was a judge on mexico's version of the voice. but just last year, a plane crash in northern mexico suddenly took her life.

>> jenni rivera was killed yesterday.

>> morning the tragic death.

>> death over the weekend in a plane crash in mexico.

>> reporter: she was 43 years old and on the verge of cross over fame. she left behind five children, two grand children, her parents and five siblings including her sister rosi.

>> i think of all the people in her life you were probably the closest to her.

>> i like to think so. i am blessed to be her little sister but a long life we became really good friends. we always say god made us sisters but our hearts made us friends.

>> friends and fans alike close to jenni who was open about her personal struggles detailed in her new auto biography.

>> why unbreakable?

>> if there's one word to describe this woman, she is unbreakable. she went through everything you could in life and through every one she would smile. she would find a way to get ahead and nothing ever broke her.

>> reporter: a straight a student who became pregnant at 15, jenni went on to raise five kids on her own.

>> she had a rough life.

>> it was tough. she went through a lot of things. her name is delors. it means pain but she never aloud herself to stay in pain.

>> jenni took that pain and made music that resinated with her fans and in her book writes about very personal family patterns.

>> she was raped. she talked about her divorce. about domestic violence at the hands of her ex-husband. she talks about the sexual abuse that you were subject to by her ex-husband who ended up incarcerated. were you okay that she wrote about these things that included your own personal things?

>> definitely. with time after i had begin to heal she let me know if you're going to go through something we have to help others. this can't just be our story. this is another little girl or little boy 's story but no one speaks of it. let's be brave. let's talk about it.

>> jenni was. [ speaking foreign language ] the butterfly of the neighborhood.

>> she was the single mother that was going to take it no matter what it took.

>> unbreakable's official release is tomorrow. the day that jenni would have celebrated her 44th birthday. this is a dream of a lifetime for her come true. a book she hoped would help others and she couldn't have asd for a better birthday present.

>> you'll have a lot more interviews with her mother as well. you got to spend time with the sister and the mothers as we saw. how are they doing? it was such an unexpected loss.

>> interestingly enough, right after her death, they seemed to be handling it very well. they're people of faith and had to deal with if fans also mourning but in time, the pain has become deeper, she knows jenni isn't going to come out the door anymore. she cannot ever speak to her again and it's finally starting to hit them.

>> and jenni was about to become a break out star.

>> huge.

>> a cross over artist. she was recording a pilot television show for primetime when she passed away.

>> what did she mean for the hispanic-american community.

>> above and beyond her incredible talent what she was great at is that she taught women it was okay to be a size 14. it was okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. she is a hero when it comes to being able to overcome adversity in the worst of times and come out stronger and better.

>> this book is going to resinate so well with her fans still missing her.

>> it's going to cross language and everything.