Singer Rivera dies in plane crash
Published 10/12/2012 | 17:09
Jenni Rivera, a US-born singer whose soulful voice and openness about her personal troubles made her a Mexican-American superstar, has been killed in a plane crash in northern Mexico, US authorities confirmed.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team to help investigate the crash, and the board said Mexican authorities had informed them that Rivera had died in the accident.
Rivera's relatives in the US already had few doubts that she was on the Learjet 25 that disintegrated on impact on Sunday in rugged territory in Nuevo Leon state in northern Mexico.
"My son Lupillo told me that effectively it was Jenni's plane that crashed and that everyone on board died," her father, Pedro Rivera, told dozens of reporters gathered in front of his Los Angeles-area home.
Born in Long Beach, California, Rivera was at the peak of her career as perhaps the most successful female singer in grupero, a male-dominated regional style. A 43-year-old mother of five children and grandmother of two, the woman known as the "Diva de la Banda" was known for frank talk about her struggles to give a good life to her children despite a series of setbacks.
She was recently divorced from her third husband, was once detained at a Mexico City airport with tens of thousands of dollars in cash, and she publicly apologised after her brother assaulted a drunken fan who verbally attacked her in 2011.
Her openness about her personal troubles endeared her to millions in the US and Mexico.
Rivera sold 15 million records, and recently won two Billboard Mexican Music Awards: Female Artist of the Year and Banda Album of the Year for Joyas prestadas: Banda. She was nominated for Latin Grammys in 2002, 2008 and 2011.
Transportation and communications minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said "everything points towards" the wreckage belonging to the plane carrying Rivera and six other people to Toluca, outside Mexico City, from Monterrey, where the singer had just given a concert.
The impact was so powerful that the remains of the plane "are scattered over an area of 250 to 300 metres. It is almost unrecognisable". A mangled California driver's licence with Rivera's name and picture was found in the crash site debris.