It is a very sad day for the Latin community. The death of 43-year-old Jenni Rivera, better known as “La Diva de la Banda” (The Diva of Banda Music), has been confirmed by her family.
On Sunday (Dec. 9) Jenni, her publicist and former entertainment reporter Arturo Rivera, stylist Jorge Sanchez, make-up artist Jacobo Llenares, attorney Mario Macias and two pilots boarded a private plane from Monterey to Mexico City. The fatal flight took off at 3:30 am.
Just 60 miles into the flight, the plane disappeared from the radar and lost touch with control towers. Fearing, but not yet declaring, the worst outcome, it was announced that the flight was missing and a search would take place later on in the day when then sun was up.
The Rivera family, celebrities and fans immediately began a chain of prayers for Jenni and the other passengers, wishing and hoping that they were all safe. The optimism endured as the day went on and evidence of a crash hadn’t been yet found.
However, the dreaded news broke in the afternoon that the crash site was found, leaving the Latin community in complete shock. The Diva de la Banda was said to be dead amongst the 7 passengers aboard the Learjet in an announcement to the press made by her father Don Pedro Rivera outside of her home in Encino, CA.
Search crews found scattered pieces of the plane as well as belongings of the singer. Her California driver’s license was found somewhat melted and even the pink dress and yellow scarf she had worn the night before at her last concert was seen lying on the ground.
Transportation Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza told the press that “there is nothing recognizable, neither material nor human. [The remains] are scattered over an area of 250 to 300 meters. It is almost unrecognizable.”
Jenni Rivera in Recent Years
The Mexican-American singer was frequently surrounded by controversy but showed strength through her struggles and always voiced exactly what was on her mind — traits which made her very popular amongst her fans, especially women.
Rivera was probably the most successful female in “banda grupera,” a mainly male-dominated genre. Her songs about heartbreak and rising-above-it-all were her signature sound.
Her recent divorce to two-year husband Esteban Loaiza had been highly publicized and was later rumored to being the fault of Jenni’s oldest daughter Chiquis Marin, who was accused of having an affair with the man and even helping him steal money from her mother.
Chiquis appeared on a television program denying the rumors and crying and pleading that her mother give her a chance to speak to her as they had became estranged since the scandal arose. Such chance would never take place.
Jenni was starring in her own reality TV show on Mun2 called “I Love Jenni” alongside her 5 kids and grandchildren. She recently made comments that she wanted to spend less time on stage and dedicate more of it to having quality time with her family.
Her last concert ever took place in Monterey on Saturday, December 8th where she also held a press conference and received a double gold and platinum disc for her latest record “Joyas Prestadas” (Borrowed Jewels).
She is remembered by her father as someone who “never gave up.”
Rest in peace, Jenni Rivera.