Jenni Rivera, Mexican-American Singer, Dies in Plane Crash
UPDATE: Jenni Rivera, a popular Mexican-American singer, reality TV star and coach on The Voice Mexico, died Saturday night in a plane crash in northern Mexico. She was 43.
Rivera's father and brother confirmed her death to Telemundo, NBC News reported late Sunday.
Mexico's secretary of Communications and Transportation, Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, said officials found the wreckage of an airplane that was carrying the singer and others from Monterrey to Toluca, Mexico. He said there was no evidence of survivors.
Rivera was traveling on the private plane following a concert Saturday at Arena Monterrey. She was flying with publicist Arturo Rivera, stylist Jorge Sanchez, makeup artist Jacobo Llenares and attorney Mario Macias. There have been conflicting reports about the total number of people aboard the aircraft.
Authorities had been searching for the plane since 4:40 a.m. local time, when it lost contact with the airport a few minutes after departing. The plane was found at a ranch in Iturbide in the state of Nuevo Leon, close to Monterrey.
Sunday night's semifinal episode of The Voice Mexico was postponed; instead, network Televisa aired a special on the singer.
Mexico's Civil Aeronautics authority confirmed on its website Sunday that it had "initiated investigations about the alleged fall of a plane owned by Starwood Management with tags N345MC, which took place this morning in the state of Nueva Leon."
According to the report, the LearJet left Monterrey left at 3:15 a.m. and lost contact with the radar 61.8 miles outside the city. Search parties were sent out with the help of two helicopters and a plane.
Rivera, an avid user of Twitter, last sent out tweets at about 2 a.m. Pacific time.
The singer, one of the most successful female performers on today's Latin scene, is signed to Fonovisa/UMLE and is the star of her own reality show, I Love Jenni, on cable network mun2. She recently signed with ABC to star in her own comedy series, Jenni.
"Jenni was one of the most influential, authentic and captivating Latinas in entertainment. She was a loving mother, grandmother, sister, daughter and friend, who broke through the language barrier and connected with millions of fans in a unique, powerful and lasting way," said a joint statement from Spanish-language cable network mun2, which broadcasts I Love Jenni, and sibling channel Telemundo.
She has had 10 top 10 songs on Billboard's Regional Mexican Airplay chart (including a No. 1), eight top 10 entries on the Regional Mexican Albums chart (including four No. 1s), seven top 10 hits on the Top Latin Albums chart (including one No. 1) and one top 10 hit on the Hot Latin Songs chart. She has sold about 1.2 million albums in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"The entire Universal Music Group family is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our dear friend Jenni Rivera," the company said in a statement to THR. "The world rarely sees someone who has had such a profound impact on so many. From her incredibly versatile talent to the way she embraced her fans around the world, Jenni was simply incomparable. Her talent will be missed; but her gift of music will be with us always."
Born and raised in Long Beach, Calif., Rivera is known for her interpretations of Mexican regional music known as nortena and banda.
Watch Rivera's interview with Billboard from April below.