Mexican-American singer and reality TV star Jenni Rivera has died in a plane crash at the age of 43. Rivera was traveling from a show she'd performed in Monterrey to Mexico City to tape an episode of the Mexican version of The Voice, where she was a coach.
Known to her fans as “the Diva of Banda,” the Los Angeles-based Rivera sold more than 15 million records, was nominated for three Latin Grammys, and was one of the biggest stars in Banda music, a rollicking, brass-based form of pop. Rivera began recording in 1992, but didn’t hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart until 2008’s Jenni, her tenth studio album. She was revered for her brassy, uncompromising lyrics, first breaking through with “Las Malandrinas,” about women who like to party and won’t take any crap from men.
Rivera was also a reality TV star, producing several shows for Mun2 (Telemundo’s companion channel aimed at younger viewers) like Chiquis & Raq-C, which starred her daughter, Janney Marin. She also appeared in the spin-off show I Love Jenni, which had just began production on its third season last month.
Only weeks before her death, Rivera was developing and had signed to star in an English-language family comedy for ABC with the producers of Designing Women. She also had an English speaking part in the independent film Filly Brown and was recording songs in English in preparation for an album that was possibly aimed at the U.S. market.
She was also an entrepreneur, founding businesses that specialized in television production, cosmetics, fragrance, clothing, and real estate.