Jenni Rivera, the California-born singer who rose through personal adversity to become a superstar adored by millions in a male-dominated genre of Mexican-American music, was confirmed dead in a plane crash in northern Mexico, the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed Monday.
Rivera, 43, began her career working in the office of her father's small Mexican music label in Long Beach, California. Gifted with a powerful, soulful voice, she recorded her first album, "Chacalosa," in 1995. It was a hit, and she followed it with two other independent albums, one a tribute to slain Mexican-American singer Selena that helped expand her following.
Jenni Rivera was not only a singing sensation but a reality show TV star.
Rivera had finished wrapping up a concert in Monterrey, Mexico. She was heading to Toluca outside of Mexico city when the plane Rivera was traveling in fell off the radar just 10 minutes after it's take off.
Rivera has sold more than 15 million albums world wide, she started her career working in the studio with her father and brother Lupillo Rivera who are also well know Mexican singing artists.
"She was a very colorful personality," said George Reynosa owner of All That Music in El Paso. He tells ABC-7 she was an influence in many types of mexican music genres.
"She does a lot of Banda, a lot of Norteno, she's a balladeer, and she does you know very, very, salty kind of stuff with her lyrics," said Reynosa.
It was with those lyrics that she quickly rose to the top of the charts after her 2003 album "Homanaje a las Grande"s or hommage to the greats.
Rivera recently won two Billboard Mexican music awards: female artist of the year and Banda album of the year for "Joyas Prestadas".
Her skills eventually led her to be a talent coach on "La Voz" Mexico's version of the voice.
"She has a feminist kind of in your face, tell it like it is lyrics and she's very strong minded," said Reynosa.
Reynosa says that was the big attraction about Rivera.
Rivera's bold style got her in her own reality TV show 'I Love Jenni" and had recently signed a contract with ABC to headline her own comedy show.
Rivera had just finished a news conference after her concert in Monterrey, Mexico, before boarding her plane to Toluca outside of Mexico city when it went down.
Also aboard the plane were her publicist, lawyer, makeup artist and the flight crew.
The last time Rivera performed in El Paso was at the Don Haskins center on Sept. 28th, she sold out the show.
She leaves behind five children.