The National Transportation and Safety and the U.S. Aviation Board have both confirmed the death of pop singer Jenni Rivera after her private plane crashed in Mexico early Sunday morning.
Multiple news outlets are reporting that Rivera was among the five passengers and two pilots killed after the Learjet 25 aircraft departed from the northern city of Monterrey at 3:15 a.m. local time and disappeared from radar screens just 10 minutes later.
The plane was scheduled to arrive at Toluca International Airport outside Mexico City at 4:40 a.m., but did not make it. Six others were killed, including the singer's publicist, lawyer and makeup artists.
A small plane wreckage believed to be the one carrying the Mexican-American music superstar was found in northern Mexico on Sunday.
Transportation and Communications Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza told the Associated Press that "everything points toward" the wreckage belonging to the plane carrying Rivera and six other people to Toluca, outside Mexico City.
Rivera, 43, sold more than 15 million records throughout her career and played a sold-out concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in September of last year, a testament to her popularity on both sides of the border. She was the mother of five children and grandmother of two. In October, she filed for divorce from baseball player Esteban Loaiza after a two-year marriage, citing “irreconcilable differences.”
She also starred in her own reality-TV show, “I Love Jenni,” and made her first film appearance in the independent drama “Filly Brown,” scheduled to hit theaters in January. Rivera has been a dominant musical force for two decades, frequently discussing social issues and relationships in her music.
Rivera was nominated for Latin Grammy Awards in 2002, 2008 and 2011. In October, People en Español named her to its list of the 25 most powerful women.