Tucson fans stunned by loss of singer Jenni Rivera - Tucson News Now

Tucson fans stunned by loss of singer Jenni Rivera

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The U.S. will help investigate the plane crash that killed Mexican-American music star Jenni Rivera.

The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a crew south of the border.

Rivera died yesterday when the Learjet she was on crashed in northern Mexico.

The 43-year-old California native had just wrapped up a concert in Monterrey and was headed to the Mexico City area.

Authorities say everyone on board died, including Rivera's publicist, lawyer and make-up artist.

Rivera was a huge star on the Mexican regional music circuit.

She had many fans here in Tucson.

She also was a leading opponent of Arizona's SB1070 immigration enforcement law.

Her fans in Tucson are coping with the loss.

It's the death of a superstar.

At Yoli's Music Shop on South Sixth Avenue, they are almost sold out of Jenni Rivera CDs.

Rivera was a born in Long Beach, California, and is the most famous of several Rivera family singers.

She didn't hold back when she sang or in her openness about her personal struggles.

Both endeared her to legions of fans.

"I was in shock. I couldn't believe it. I mean she's so young. She had a whole future ahead of her still," says fan Natalia Gallego.

In fact, Rivera was about to burst onto the American entertainment scene.

The singer, songwriter, actress and savvy businesswoman was on the verge of bringing her star power to American television in a comedy called "Jenni" for ABC.

She already was involved in three Spanish-language reality shows.

She sold some 20 million records, won numerous music awards.

Her shows were always sold out.

She has performed in Tucson, and was set to be here again in March.

La Caliente 102.1 radio in Tucson has been playing Jenni Rivera songs for two days now for her grief-stricken fans, mostly women who looked up to her and saw her as a powerful, strong woman.

"They just felt so identified with her because she struggled in the beginning. A single mom. She was a person who always said what she meant," says La Caliente 102.1 Program Director and On Air Host Enrique Mayans.

A tribute to a beloved star who often mingled with her fans.

"She was humble. She was nice with the people. She was with everybody. She says, 'Hi,' give her hand and everything. She was humble, you know," says Gerardo Vasquez, La Caliente 102.1 Morning Show Host. 

The mother of five and grandmother of two was known to her public as La Diva de la Banda.

She also was known for her generosity with her time and her money.

For her fans, the loss is very personal.

"I was very emotional. It was a very sad day for myself and my family because there's people that I look up to like ourselves who always give back to the community and represent us as Mexicans...Mexican-Americans, and it's an honor to see people that are successful that always give back," says fan Jesus Zavalza. 

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