Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera -- one of the most successful female performers on contemporary Latin charts -- died in a plane crash earlier today, her father and brother confirmed to Telemundo. She was 43 and leaves behind five children and 2 grandchildren.
Rivera was traveling on a private plane to Toluca, Mexico, following a concert at Arena Monterrey on Dec. 8. With her were her publicist, Arturo Rivera, her stylist Jorge Sanchez, her makeup artist Jacobo Llenares, her attorney Mario Macias and the plane's pilots.
Authorities had been looking for the plane since 4:40 a.m. local time, since it lost contact with the airport a few minutes after departing. The plane was found on a ranch in Iturbide in the state of Nuevo León, close to Monterrey.
Rivera was a coach on "The Voice Mexico." Tonight's show, the semi-final, has been postponed and instead network Televisa is airing a special on Rivera.
The singer, one of the most successful female performers on Latin charts today, is signed to Fonovisa/UMLE and is also the star of her own reality television show, "I Love Jenni," on cable network mun2. She recently signed a deal with ABC to star in her own comedy series, titled "Jenni."
She has had 10 top 10 songs on Billboard's Regional Mexican Airplay chart (including a No. 1); 8 top 10 entries on the Regional Mexican Albums chart (including four No. 1s); seven top 10 hits on the Top Latin Albums chart (including one No. 1); and one top 10 hit on the Hot Latin Songs chart. She has sold approximately 1,158,000 albums in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
She took part in a Q&A at Billboard's Latin Music Conference in April of this year.
Billboard.biz will have more on the situation as it develops.