Update: Mexican Banda Singer Jenni Rivera Feared Dead

A plane carrying the Long Beach native and sometime Encino resident, one of the biggest stars in Mexico TV, vanished from radar and wreckage of a plane has been found, authorities report.

UPDATED 10:30 p.m.: ABCNews.com reported that Jenni Rivera's father, who lives in Lakewood, confirmed her death, and a fan vigil unfolded in Lynwood. #Jenni and #IloveJenni were trending on Twitter.

UPDATED 5 p.m.: Adding Long Beach street of residence and a background story.

A Learjet carrying Mexican-American "banda'' singer and Long Beach native Jenni Rivera disappeared from radar near Monterey in northern Mexico Sunday, and wreckage has been found, a Monterey television affiliate reported

Rivera, 43, is one of Mexico's biggest television stars, whose records dominate the "banda'' style of regional Mexican music popular in California and northwestern Mexico. She was born in and lived in Long Beach, reportedly on Market Street. She attended but did not graduate Poly High School, and as an adult lived in Mexico and Encino.

"Earth lost an amazing person, but a legend was born!" a fan tweeted at #ilovejenni.

Searchers reportedly found wreckage but no survivors near Iturbide, Nuevo Leon, according to the city's mayor, quoted on the Televisa station in Monterey. Iturbide is 60 miles from Monterey. Rivera's California driver's license was among the evidence taken from the crash site, according to reports.

The plane was owned by a Las Vegas company, Starlight Management, and it had departed earlier from Houston, according to an internet flight tracking service. Initial reports indicated the plane had departed Monterey after a concert at 3:15 a.m. and was headed to an airport near Mexico City.

Six people were on board, the General Directorate of Civil Aviation said in a statement released in Mexico City. 

An NBCUniversal spokeswoman confirmed that Rivera was aboard the plane, according to the Los Angeles Times, which also reported seven people, including the pilots and crew, were thought to be on the plane.

Rivera's career has been soaring, the Times reported. The singer is best known for her interpretations of regional Mexican music, norteno and banda. She also is one of NBCUniversal's brightest bilingual television stars, the Times reported.

The O.C. Weekly columnist Gustavo Arellano (Ask a Mexican) filed this story, and a link inside the piece has background on the popular singer.

The Times noted that "I Love Jenni," Rivera's reality show on the Telemundo cable channel, mun2, "has been one of the channel's highest rated shows. The program is in its second year."

Rivera has not only been one of the biggest stars on Mexico TV, she has been popular on "regional Mexican'' stations in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California.

Arellano posted Sunday:

"Rivera grew up in Long Beach, attending Long Beach Poly, but having to finish her GED in continuation school because she became pregnant as a teenager. Nevertheless, she found massive success in Mexican regional music, and has spent the past five years creating a second career as a media and business mogul--the latter through wise investments in real estate, beauty salons, and makeup lines, the former with two reality shows based on the lives of her and her daughters.

"And she was just about to make her mark on the rest ofAmerica; last week, it was announced that Rivera had signed on with ABC to star in a comedy that, as Deadline.com put it, would have 'Rivera as a strong, middle-class, single Latina woman working to raise a family using unique parenting skills, while struggling to run a family business and navigate her extended, co-dependent relatives -- all while fighting the cultural perception that she needs a man to do it.'

According to the L.A. Times, Rivera's Encino home is a 9,527-square-foot residence south of Ventura Boulevard that she purchased for $3.3 million in 2009.

Watts December 11, 2012 at 07:39 AM
This may seem like an odd connection, but her make-up artist also has worked with Poison and Bret Michaels gave an acknowledgment to both Rivera and Jacob Yebale (the make-up artist) on his site: http://www.bretmichaels.com/site-news/news2/?p=450
Watts December 11, 2012 at 07:41 AM
Jacob Yebale is also the one who took that last photo of them all on the plane; the photo that somebody else already loaded up to this article.
Nancy Wride December 11, 2012 at 08:17 AM
Wow. What timing, thanks for that Watts.
Watts December 11, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Amazon just changed their street date to 12/18 and I also see that the price increased from 9.99 to $13.45, but the official date is still 12/11 and any physical stores that had this scheduled to come in would still have it. I can see the inventory levels at one of the distributors and they made the inventory available for on-line sales at midnight and by 12:30 AM, were sold out but I bet that was just their system allocating to existing on-line preorders. It is rare to see a release scheduled so close to an artists death, although famously Lynyrd Skynyrd had the plane crash three days after Street Survivors was released and the original "band in flames" cover was altered and rereleased. As is the case after the death of any artist; it will take a few weeks until the demand and availability of this and her previous albums balances out. As of right now, I can see that every currently in print release of hers is sold out at the distributors, which is also something that would be commonly expected.
David AD December 11, 2012 at 05:38 PM


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