Rest in peace to international signing sensation Jenni Rivera who lost her life in a plane crash early Sunday morning.
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Authorities in Mexico say the wreckage of a small plane believed to be carrying international singing superstar Jenni Rivera was found Sunday, Dec. 9, and there were no survivors.
Rivera, who was popular for her style of Banda music, formerly lived in Norco and routinely performed sold out concerts around the Inland region.
The plane lost contact with air traffic controllers about 60 miles outside of the city of Monterrey in the northeast part of Mexico around 3 a.m. No cause was immediately given for the crash, but its wreckage was found near the town of Iturbide in Mexico’s Sierra Madre Oriental, where the mountain terrain is very rough.
“There is nothing recognizable, neither material nor human” in the wreckage, Transportation and communication minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza told the Mexican Televisa network. The impact was so powerful that the remains of the plane “are scattered over an area of 250 to 300 meters. It is almost unrecognizable.”
The singer, 43, became the most successful female performer in the Banda genre, a musical style that emphasizes percussion and brass that evolved in Northern Mexico.
Rivera has sold more than 4 million records in the United States and her most recent album, 2009’s “La Gran Señora,” sold more than a million copies. Worldwide, she has sold upwards of 15 million albums.
The so-called Diva of the Banda recently won two Billboard Mexican Music Awards: Female Artist of the Year and Banda Album of the Year for “Joyas prestadas: Banda.” Her famous songs include “La Gran Senora” and “De Contrabando.”
Rivera also owned a real estate agency in Corona and a cosmetics line called Divina. On Sunday evening, about 50 Inland area fans held a vigil for the singer at Divina Realty in Corona, chanting “Jenni! Jenni!” They also prayed for the singer.
Some brought flowers and candles that they placed in front of the office. Homemade signs were posted on the windows. One written in black marker read “R.I.P. Jenny [sic] I’ll bump you forever.”
Griselda Sanchez, of Corona, listened to Rivera’s radio show every week. She had seen the singer perform five times.
“I can relate to so many of her songs,” Sanchez said.
Another vigil is scheduled at the same location Monday, Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m.
All Sunday, Southern California Spanish-language radio stations, including KLVE-FM, a popular Latino station in Los Angeles that reaches Inland Southern California, played Rivera’s music, only broken up with chatter from DJs about their memories of the singer.
A resident of Encino in the San Fernando Valley and mother of five, Rivera once lived in Norco and owned a home there that appeared in her television reality show “I Love Jenni.”
Rivera grew up in Long Beach, the sister of corridos singers Lupillo, Gustavo and Juan Rivera. Corridos is a ballad style of music.
“When I was a child my father wanted me to sing and be an artist, but I wanted an academic career,” she told The Press-Enterprise in 2003.
She earned a degree in business management and had a career in real estate while her father, Don Pedro Rivera, worked in the music industry with artists including Graciela Beltran.
She helped out in the office, but never sang on stage until a group of friends dared her to perform at a club in 1993.
In 1999, Los Angeles Spanish-language radio stations began playing her song, “Reina de las Reinas.” She went on to receive a Latin Grammy nomination 2002 for “Se Las Voy A Dar A Otro.”
The singer, businesswoman and actress appeared in the movie Filly Brown, as the incarcerated mother of Filly Brown, and has her own reality shows including “Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis and Raq-C” and her daughter’s “Chiquis ‘n Control” in addition to “I Love Jenni.”
The latter focused on Rivera and her interactions with her children and granddaughter. The premiere episode featured Rivera struggling with whether or not to home-school her youngest children.
“It’s those kinds of things that keep me grounded and keep me normal,” Rivera told The Press-Enterprise in a March 2011 interview. “I need those type of situations and type of experiences in life in order to feel that I’m sane and I am a normal person.”
The show, on bilingual station Mun2, followed Rivera and her family as she balanced her work and home lives.
“It’s really hard … you want to slow down but people keep on wanting you to come to their town and perform and it’s really hard to say no to a fan because they love you so much,” Rivera told the The Press-Enterprise in March 2011. “The adrenaline that you get when you jump on stage and when you do your job, it’s hard to say no. But eventually, eventually it’s going to happen.”
Rivera had given a concert before thousands of fans in Monterrey on Saturday night. After the concert she gave a press conference during which she spoke of her emotional state following her recent divorce from former Major League Baseball pitcher Esteban Loaiza after two years of marriage. It was her third marriage.
“I can’t get caught up in the negative because that destroys you. Perhaps trying to move away from my problems and focus on the positive is the best I can do. I am a woman like any other and ugly things happen to me like any other women,” she said Saturday night. “The number of times I have fallen down is the number of times I have gotten up.”
Jorge Domene, spokesman for the Nuevo Leon state government, told Milenio television on Sunday that the plane left Monterrey about 3:30 a.m. local time after a concert there and aviation authorities lost contact with the craft about 10 minutes after takeoff. It had been scheduled to arrive in Toluca, outside of Mexico City, about an hour later.
Domene said a search for the plane was launched early Sunday, with helicopters from the local civilian protection agency flying over the state. He said seven people including the crew were believed to be aboard the U.S.-registered Learjet 25.
The Learjet 25, number N345MC, took off from Monterrey at 3:30 a.m. local time and was reported missing about 10 minutes later. It was registered to Starwood Management of Las Vegas, Nevada, according to FAA records. It was built in 1969, the same year Rivera was born, and had a registration through 2015.
Media and celebrities in Mexico sent condolences to Rivera’s family, but authorities still had not confirmed that she was aboard the plane and said there will be an investigation to identify the remains found.