Jenni Rivera: singer and reality TV star dies in plane crash

Highlights of history

NEW: Singer Jenni Rivera was a “true American success story”, says Senator Marco Rubio

Singer, 43, who has sold millions of records, died in plane crash on Sunday

Crews search wreckage site in northern Mexico, looking for evidence



CNN

Millions of fans on both sides of the US-Mexico border mourn the death of Jenni Rivera, whose soulful ballad performances have sold out concert halls and made the singer a household name for many.

Crews searched for the remains of Rivera and six others on Monday amid the wreckage of a plane that crashed on Sunday in a remote mountainous region in northern Mexico.

“The plane was totally destroyed. … It’s a great tragedy, ”his brother, Gustavo Rivera, told CNN in Spanish.

There were no survivors, and the singer’s publicist, lawyer and makeup artists were among those killed, he said. Family members were planning to travel to Mexico on Monday as investigators scrambled to determine the cause of the crash.

Jenni Rivera is cried, but still inspires

Another brother, Juan Rivera, appeared to be hopeful at a Monday night press conference, saying, “In our eyes, we will have faith that our sister will be okay. We have no confirmation that his body was found, dead or alive.

The small Learjet plane in which Rivera was flying was 43 years old, the official Notimex news agency reported, citing the director of civil aviation at the Mexican Ministry of Transport.

Collecting evidence at the scene could take up to 10 days, Alejandro Argudin said, according to Notimex. The wreckage, which includes personal items that once belonged to the singer, spread over an area stretching up to 300 meters (over 320 meters), officials said.

The United States National Transportation Safety Board said Monday it was sending a team to help with the investigation.

According to US agency records, the plane was significantly damaged in an accident in 2005 when it struck a beacon near Amarillo, Texas. At the time, the pilot of the aircraft said he lost the ability to steer the twin-engine turbojet.

As the survey in the sunday crash continued, fans, family members and performers said they were devastated to learn of Rivera’s death.

“The world rarely sees someone who has had such a profound impact on so many people,” Universal Music Group said in a statement. “From her incredibly versatile talent to the way she embraced her fans across the world, Jenni was simply second to none. ”

Known to fans as “La Diva de la Banda” or La Diva de la Banda’s music, Rivera was well established as a musical powerhouse with his Spanish performances of regional Mexican corridos or ballads. For fans, the moniker captured her powerful voice and personal strength that many admired.

Flashback: Rivera looks back on his success

In recent years, she had worked to break into the American English-language market and was reportedly on the verge of crossing paths with a sitcom inspired by the success of “I Love Jenni”, a Spanish-language reality TV show on the mun2 network. by Telemundo. .

Speaking to the US Senate on Monday afternoon, Senator Marco Rubio described Rivera as “a real American achievement.”

“She was a singer in a genre of music largely dominated by men, and she brought a powerful voice to this genre where she sang candidly about her struggles to give her children a better life in this country,” the Senator said. Republican of Florida.

Rivera has sold 15 million records, according to Billboard, and recently won two Billboard Music Awards, including favorite Mexican artist in Mexican music.

But she started out small.

In an interview with CNN en Español in 2010, Rivera explained how she once sold cans for scrap metal and sold music records at her family’s booth in a Los Angeles flea market.

“It’s very flattering when they tell me I’m a great artist, a great artist, that when I’m on stage I can walk into the recording studio and put on a great production,” she said. . “But before all that, I was a business woman. I am mainly business oriented.

Rivera eventually became the owner of several companies, including Jenni Rivera Enterprises, which produced and marketed her music, a perfume brand, a jeans factory, and a television production company.

Rivera was nominated for the Latin Grammy Awards in 2002, 2008 and 2011. In October, People en Español named her to their list of the 25 Most Powerful Women.

She was loved by fans as much for her music as for her exaggerated lifestyle which was chronicled in “I Love Jenni” on Telemundo.

Born in Long Beach, Calif. To Mexican immigrant parents, Rivera released her first album in 1999, according to her website.

She followed that up with two other albums, including the 2003 album “Farewell to Selena” – a tribute to the slain Tejano star Selena Quintanilla – which increased her popularity.

His father, Pedro, and two of his brothers are also well-known artists in Mexico and parts of the southwestern United States.

Famous for her music, she is also known for her tumultuous personal life. The singer was a single mother at the age of 15 and a mother of five, her website said.

In 2009, she made headlines when she was detained at the Mexico City airport with tens of thousands of dollars in cash.

A year later, she made headlines again with her marriage to former baseball pitcher Esteban Loaiza, who played for the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. In October, she announced that she was filing for divorce after less than two years of marriage. It was her third marriage.

Owner of plane carrying Rivera tied to troubled businessman

She told CNN in 2010 that she would not let scandals or personal tragedies stop her.

“Staying defeated, crying and suffering was not an option,” she said. “I had to get up, dust myself off and continue. This is what I want to teach my daughters.

“I Love Jenni,” which started airing on mun2 last year, showcased her life on the road, balancing the duties of motherhood and fame as she toured Mexico and the United States.

Rivera’s openness to the issues she faces has earned her a dedicated fan base, said Raul Molinar, a Dallas-based radio DJ who has interviewed the star on several occasions.

“She was a real woman,” he said, “and she was expressing her feelings – on stage, off stage, anywhere,”

Rivera also served as a judge on the popular TV show “The Voice, Mexico”, which was scheduled to air Sunday night. In his place, Televisa broadcast a special report on the singer.

A fellow judge on the show took to Twitter after the news of Rivera’s disappearance.

“My heart is devastated,” wrote Beto Cuevas. “All my prayers are with you, Jenni, and your family.”

Fans and celebrities have taken to social media to mourn the singer and TV star.

“I spent time with Jenni Rivera recently. What an incredible woman… Cool, smart, funny and talented. Such a parody… God bless his family,” actor Mario Lopez tweeted.

Rivera performed at a concert in Monterrey on Saturday night before boarding the Learjet, which took off early Sunday and lost contact with air traffic controllers about 60 miles from the trip.

A few hours before his death, Rivera opened up to journalists of her divorce and of the inner strength she found thanks to her family.

“I’m so happy. So many strong things have happened in my life. I can’t stand up in the negative which is destroying you,” she said.

” I have brothers. I have children. I have nephews. And they keep me from focusing on the negative.

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Journalist Victor Badillo, CNNMexico.com, Jim Barnett, Guillermo Arduino, Leslie Tripp, and Chelsea J. Carter contributed to this report.


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