Jenny Rivera’s early years
Jenni Rivera was born on July 2, 1969 in Long Beach, California. The singer, who has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide, eventually became known and named as Banda’s Diva. People En Español’s 25 most powerful women.
“She had a constant smile that would light up a room,” actor Lou Diamond Phillips told PEOPLE of his friend.
Jenny Rivera on La Voz
At the time of her death, Rivera was a judge La Voz (voice Mexico), with Miguel Bose, Paulina Rubio and Beto Cuevas. She also oversees fashion and cosmetics lines.
Jenny Rivera on TV
Rivera’s entire family became starstruck I love Jenny, a reality show that aired on Telemundo’s mun2, documenting the singer’s jet-set life as an entertainer and mother of five (children Jenny, Jacqueline and Michael Marin with first husband José Trinidad Marin and children Jenica and Johnny Lopez with second husband Juan Manuel Lopez). It also featured her publicist, lawyer and makeup artist. Accordingly People En EspañolRivera was billed as “a mama with a lot of drama.”
Days before her death, ABC tapped Rivera to star in her own show. Self-titled comedy, Jennywill feature her as a strong, middle-class, single Latina woman who uses unique parenting skills to raise a family, reports deadline.
Rivera’s life was also inspired Mariposa de BarrioOn Telemundo, a biographical telenovela about her life.
Molina told PEOPLE that the ups and downs in her life “helped fans get to know her better.”
Honoring Jenny Rivera
Among her many awards, in 2011, Rivera was honored on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars (here alongside ex-husband and fellow honoree, MLB star Esteban Loeza, to whom she was married from 2010 to 2012).
Jenni Rivera’s philanthropic work
Accordingly People en Español, Rivera was appointed spokesperson for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence in 2010. She previously spoke about dealing with abuse from ex Jose Trinidad Marin; Marin was also convicted of sexually abusing the couple’s oldest daughter.
Jenni Rivera on the big screen
In 2012, Rivera starred in the film Philly Brown, starring Gina Rodriguez as Mother Maria, starring Maria Jose “Majo” Tenorio. The play was nominated for an award at the Sundance Film Festival and won an ALMA Award in 2013.
Her costar, Edward James Olmos, told PEOPLE that year, “She was larger than life and yet she was always herself.”
The shocking death of Jenni Rivera
On December 9, 2012, it was reported that Rivera had been killed in a plane crash shortly after takeoff.
Mexican authorities confirmed that the wreckage of the small plane was found in the state of Nuevo Leon and that none of the seven people on board had survived.
The Learjet carrying the 43-year-old artist lost contact with air traffic controllers after taking off from Monterrey, Mexico, at 3:15 a.m. after Rivera’s concert.
“We feel devastated. It’s devastating for the family! News outside Rivers’ home in Lakewood, Calif.,” the singer’s brother Pedro Rivera Jr. told E.
“He also thanked the fans for all the love you have given Jenny and all the family. It’s so special to have a friend as a fan.”