- (Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)
Mexican-American singer and actress Jenni Rivera has died in a plane crash on Sunday, reports confirm. The star was famous for her work in both music and television and will be sorely missed by fans.
"We lost an awesome woman, mother, sister, friend, and artist," business partner and manager Pete Salgado told CNN.
Rivera and her publicist, lawyer, two friends, and two pilots were all aboard the Learjet when it lost contact with the control tower. Authorities feared the worst as they began searching the mountains of Mexico; they found the remains of the plane just a short while later.
"The aircraft was destroyed, totally fragmented," Alejandroo Argudin, director general of civil aviation, told CNN affiliate Televisa. Her family was notified of the findings, and her brother later confirmed that there were no survivors and he was heading to Mexico to formally identify his sister's remains.
"This is the first tragedy of this kind that we suffer as a family," Rivera's father Lupillo told reporters. "I hope people remember her as she was – someone who was straight with the world."
Rivera is remembered as "La Diva de la Banda" or "The Diva of the Band" by her fans in both the United States and Mexico. She had several hits before moving on to TV when she filmed a reality show "I Love Jenni," for mun2; it quickly became one of the network's highest rated shows.
She most recently made another move into film with the drama "Filly Brown," which debuted at this year's Sundance Film Festival and will be released in January 2013. Yahoo reported that Rivera had also signed on to star in an American sitcom titled "Jenni," but there was no word when the show would air.
In addition to a successful career, Rivera leaves behind a legacy of a different sort. She was the mother to Janney "Chiquis," Jacqueline, Michael, Jenicka, and Johnny Rivera, who all survive her.