Mexican authorities announced Sunday night that pop singer Jenni Rivera died in a plane crash after the private jet she and six other people were on fell off radar screens earlier in the day. There were no survivors among the five passengers and two pilots.
ABC News reported that Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, Mexico’s secretary of communications and transport, confirmed the sad news. The Learjet 25 aircraft departed from the northern city of Monterey at 3:15 a.m. local time and disappeared from radar screens just 10 minutes later. It was scheduled to arrive at Toluca International Airport outside Mexico City at 4:40 a.m., but did not make it.
Authorities began a search at sunrise, and initial reports made people fear the worst. The plane was later found in Nuevo Leon state, and Esparza said “everything points toward it being the plane” carrying Rivera and her party, according to the Associated Press via USA Today.
Also believed to be aboard were Rivera’s lawyer, makeup artist, and publicist. She was reportedly en route to a taping of the Mexican television program “La Voz.”
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.
“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 woman,” AP quoted Rivera as saying during her final concert on Saturday night. “The number of times I have fallen down is the number of times I have gotten up.”