Fans Mourn Popular Mexican-American Banda Singer Jenni Rivera's Death
Fans reacted with a mixture of sadness and disbelief to the news that Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera, "la Diva de la Banda," was apparently killed in a plane crash in Northern Mexico early Sunday. Rivera's brother Gustavo told CNN that his sister was traveling with at least five other people.
The Mexican authorities said as many as seven people could have been on the plane, which went down in the mountains on its way to Toluca, near Mexico City, and have not released any names of the passengers yet. (According to Houston Press sister paper OC Weekly, Rivera's death has now been confirmed.)
Monday morning, Houston Latin hits station Mega 101's (101.1 FM) Facebook page had drawn several comments about Rivera's presumed death.
"My heartfelt sentiments go out to all of the family members."
"What a horrible death. They did not deserve to go out that way."
"Yes, unfortunately, Mexican Network Televisa has confirmed via Twitter that there are no survivors."
"How horrible! May she rest in peace."
"What a difficult situation [for the families] to deal with. May God give them strength."
"May God keep her in his glory. I can't believe this happened to her."
"[Local Station] Univision 45 is reporting that they haven't confirmed anything! They haven't even found the airplane! Who should we believe?!"
"If she did die, how awful that would be for her daughter!"
"May she rest in peace. She was a great woman."
"How sad. I was reminded of her when I saw Ana Barbara sing the Mexican National Anthem at the Marquez-Pacquiao fight. I thought they should have asked Jenni to sing the anthem."
"She didn't deserve to die like that! It's just not right!"
Long Beach-area native Rivera, 43, became a superstar in banda, the style of traditional Mexican music that originated in the state of Sinaloa and is known for its similarities to Czech and German polkas, as well as its heavy use of brass instrumentation. Her 2008 album Jenni topped Billboard's Latin Albums chart, and she has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide, according to Billboard.
In another eerie similarity with the late Tejano superstar Selena, Rivera, who had already released the popular 2003 album Farewell to Selena, was scheduled to star in an upcoming ABC sitcom based on her life. She had previously starred in the popular reality series I Love Jenni on the Telemundo network.
Selena had finished recording her English-language debut album, Dreaming of You, shortly before she was shot and killed by her fan-club president in a Corpus Christi hotel room in April 1995.
Rivera had been on the verge of crossing over into the mainstream before. She was scheduled for some dates on the 2010 Lilth Fair tour, and gave an interview to the Houston Press' Phil Freeman before a show at northeast Houston nightclub Escapade in June of that year.
"There was a time when I put my hair in braids," she said. "And I figured I can't go out there and fake to be something I'm not. People like to see genuine, authentic people. And they're already hearing me as an authentic woman, so I might as well give them that image that I already have."
Rivera was believed to be traveling with her attorney, publicist, and makeup artists, CNN said. She is survived by her brothers and five children.
For more background, OC Weekly featured Rivera on its cover in 2003 in a racy photo "that she loved," says that story's author and now the paper's editor, Gustavo Arellano, in a blog post Sunday updated again this morning to confirm Rivera's death.