×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Latin star Jenni Rivera believed dead in crash

Singer-thesp was on cusp of English-lingo TV breakthrough

Profile of Jenni Rivera from Variety’s Women’s Impact Report in October

Jenni Rivera, the Latin music and TV superstar who was on the cusp of a crossover move into English-lingo TV, was presumed dead after her chartered plane crashed early Sunday following takeoff in Monterrey, Mexico. She was 43.

Mexican authorities confirmed Sunday afternoon that the wreckage had been found and there were no survivors among the seven people believed to be on board.

Rivera, a native of Long Beach, Calif., was known as the Diva of Banda, having logged numerous platinum-selling records in the regional Mexican music genre. Her profile in the U.S. was boosted by the success of the Mun2 reality series “I Love Jenni,” which documented the vivacious singer’s jet-set life as an entertainer, entrepreneur and mother of five children.

Her daughter, Chiquis Marin, is also the subject of a Mun2 reality skein, “Chiquis ‘n Control,” which bowed earlier this year. Rivera’s four brothers are also prominent figurers in the Mexican music biz.

Earlier this month, Rivera inked a deal with ABC to develop her own sitcom. At a time when major media companies are eagerly courting Latino viewers, Rivera was well-positioned for crossover stardom. She had a role in the 2012 indie drama “Filly Brown,” about the Mexican music biz.

Rivera’s death is sure to reverberate through Latino pop culture. Spanish-lingo nets Telemundo and Mun2 quickly scheduled two-hour primetime specials on Sunday devoted to her life and career.

Rivera had given a concert Saturday night in Monterrey. The U.S.-registered Learjet lost contact with aviation authorities shortly after takeoff at about 3:30 a.m. It had been scheduled to arrive at Toluca, outside Mexico City, an hour later, according to the Associated Press. Six other people were believed to be on the plane, including her publicist, lawyer and makeup artist, all of whom were known to viewers of “I Love Jenni.”

Rivera’s by-the-bootstraps rise to fame is well-known in Latin pop culture circles. Her parents were both Mexican immigrants; her father, Don Pedro Rivera, was active in the music biz and had his own label.

Rivera became pregnant at 15 but continued her education, studying business administration in college. She obtained a real estate license, but eventually shifted her focus to music. She signed with Capitol/EMI’s Latin division and released her first album, “Chacalosa,” in 1995. She later recorded for Sony’s Latin imprint and top Mexican label Fonovisa.

Among Rivera’s signature tunes were “La Gran Senora” and “De Contrabando.”

In 2010, Mun2 tapped Rivera and her daughter Chiquis for the reality skein “Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis & Raq-C.” That show led to the launch of “I Love Jenni” in 2011. “Jenni” ranks among Mun2’s most-watched shows.

Rivera was slated to play a middle-class single mother in the ABC comedy that was in the works through ABC Studios from sitcom vets Robert Boyett and Robert Horn.

Rivera recently launched a line of cosmetics and had been working on her autobiography. Recognizing that her showbiz clout was growing, Variety selected Rivera as one of notable femmes to watch in this year’s Women’s Impact Report (Daily Variety, Oct. 5).

Off screen, Rivera was known for her tumultuous love life, after suffering abuse at the hands of her first husband while her second husband cheated on her. After Saturday’s concert, she spoke at a post-concert press conference about the recent end of her third marriage, to baseball player Esteban Loaiza.

“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,” she said, according to the AP. ” I am a woman like any other and ugly things happen to me like any other women. The number of times I have fallen down is the number of times I have gotten up.”

More Music

  • Spice Girls Open Reunion Tour in

    Spice Girls Open European Reunion Tour With Inclusivity Proclamations, Sound Issues

    Posh Spice chose not to be included, but there was a lot of other inclusivity to go around as the four other Spice Girls opened their reunion tour in Dublin Friday night. “We welcome all ages, all races, all gender identifies, all countries of origin, all sexual orientations, all religions and beliefs, all abilities,” they [...]

  • Moby attends the LA premiere of

    Moby Apologizes to Natalie Portman Over Book Controversy

    Moby has issued an apology of sorts after writing in his recently published memoir “Then It Fell Apart” that he dated Natalie Portman when she was 20 — a claim the actress refuted. “As some time has passed I’ve realized that many of the criticisms leveled at me regarding my inclusion of Natalie in Then [...]

  • Billie Eilish

    Billie Eilish Fans to Receive Perks Due to Chicago Venue Change

    Billie Eilish and her music agents at Paradigm are experiencing what most would call a first class problem. The demand to see the 17-year-old singer live has prompted a change of venue for her June 9 show in Chicago — from the 5,000-capacity Aragon Ballroom to the 20,000-plus-seat United Center arena. The last-minute venue change [...]

  • Moby Natalie Portman

    Moby Accuses Natalie Portman of Lying as the Two Spar Over Dating Claims

    In what’s become a he said/she said spat in multiple mediums, Moby, the elder statesman of electronic music, is now accusing actress Natalie Portman of lying and pleading to those on social media for his safety as “physical threats from complete strangers” emerge. To recap: this month, Moby released a new book, “Then It All [...]

  • Ellen DeGeneres Buys Adam Levine’s Beverly

    Adam Levine Cashes in on Sale of Max Mutchnick’s Former Mansion to Ellen DeGeneres

    Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo have sold a baronial Beverly Hills mansion with an illustrious chain of ownership for a reported $45 million to Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. The mainstream radio rock star, who, it was announced Friday, will not to return as a coach on “The Voice,” and the Namibian-born Victoria’s Secret [...]

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content