Family of Mexican singer Jenni Rivera refuse to believe she died in plane crash
THE family of Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera still believe she may be alive even though US officials claim she died on Sunday in a plane crash in Mexico.
"In our eyes, we still have faith that our sister will be OK," Rivera's brother Juan said outside the family house near Long Beach, California.
"We thank God for the life that he has given ... my sister," said Juan Rivera, also a singer. "For all the triumphs and successes she has had, and we expect that there will be more in the future."
Rivera, 43, died after the small jet she was travelling in crashed in northern Mexico on Sunday, officials said. Rivera's father, Pedro, said on Sunday that everyone on the plane had died. So far, authorities have not announced the recovery of any bodies.
The US National Transportation Safety Board said it was helping Mexican authorities with the investigation of the crash of the private Learjet LJ25.
The plane crashed at about 3:30am local time in the municipality of Iturbide 110km south of Monterrey, from which the singer and six others were en route to Mexico City.
Rivera was to perform in the city of Toluca, 65km southwest of Mexico city, in central Mexico after a concert in Monterrey on Saturday night.
It is not clear what caused the crash, and the Mexican transportation ministry said the wreckage was strewn so far about that it was difficult to recognize the crash site.
Rivera was born in Long Beach to Mexican immigrants and lived in suburban Los Angeles. She was a giant figure in the Mexican folk nortena and banda genres.
She had sold 15 million albums in her 17-year career and garnered a slew of Latin Grammy nominations.
"The entire Universal Music Group family is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our dear friend Jenni Rivera," the singer's record label said in a statement.
"From her incredibly versatile talent to the way she embraced her fans around the world, Jenni was simply incomparable," Universal added in the statement. "Her talent will be missed; but her gift of music will be with us always."
In recent years Rivera had branched out into television with a reality television show and as a judge on the Mexican version of the singing competition "The Voice."