Sunday, May 19, 2013
By Latin Times Staff Writer, Dec 14, 2012 12:12 PM EST
(PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters) Fans follow a decorated photograph of singer Jenni Rivera during a procession for Rivera in Monterrey.
The remains of iconic Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera have been identified following the plane crash in northern Mexico that took her life and six others, according to CNN.
Rivera's fans are heartbroken. A small group of admirers gathered to show support for the fallen singer and her family, as a plane carrying the Latin superstar's remains arrived at Long Beach Airport Thursday, and more held an improvised vigil in front of Rivera's mother's home in Lakewood later that day. Her brother, Pedro Jr., said funeral plans had not been finalized but that a memorial would probably be held in Mexico, CNN reported.
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The remains of Rivera's publicist and the plane's co-pilot have also been identified, said Jorge Domene, a spokesman for Mexico's Nuevo Leon state.
Rivera and six others were killed Sunday when the small private Learjet flying them from the northern Mexican city of Monterrey to the central city of Toluca early Sunday morning plummeted from 28,000 feet, said Mexico's transportation secretary said, crashing into a mountainous area 9,000 feet above sea level.
According to CNN, the cause of the crash is under investigation. The accident report will not be ready for nine months to a year, the secretary of communications and transportation said.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has announced it is currently investigating Starwood Management, the company that owns the luxury jet that crashed and killed Rivera and her crew. The agency seized two of its planes earlier this year as part of the ongoing probe, reported The Huffington Post.
Planes owned by Las Vegas-based Starwood management were seized in Texas and Arizona, DEA spokeswoman Lisa Webb Johnson confirmed Thursday, but declined to discuss details of the case.
"The DEA has subpoenaed all the company's records, including any correspondence it has had with a former Tijuana mayor who U.S. law enforcement officials have long suspected has ties to organized crime," the Post noted.
According to CNN, two lawsuits against Starwood Management accuse the company of lying about its links to a businessman convicted of falsifying maintenance records.
Meanwhile, Rivera's family is struggling to come to grips with the horrific events. "The plane was totally destroyed. ... It is a great tragedy," her brother, Gustavo Rivera, told CNN en Español.
The plane crash left no survivors, and the singer's publicist, lawyer and makeup artists were among those killed, added Gustavo Rivera.
Rivera's fans the world over are still processing the travesty and grieving for their idol.
"The world rarely sees someone who has had such a profound impact on so many," Universal Music Group said in a statement. "From her incredibly versatile talent to the way she embraced her fans around the world, Jenni was simply incomparable. "
"Known to fans as 'La Diva de la Banda' or The Diva of Banda Music, Rivera was well-established as a musical powerhouse with her Spanish-language performances of regional Mexican corridos, or ballads. For fans, the nickname captured her powerful voice and the personal strength many admired," said USA Today.
After dominating Latin charts for years, many saw Rivera as poised to take on the English-language market. Rivera sold 15 million records, according to Billboard, and recently won two Billboard Music Awards, including favorite Mexican music female artist.
The Banda Music singer was nominated for various Latin Grammy Awards in 2002, 2008 and 2011. In October, People en Español named her to its list of the 25 most powerful women.