U.S. investigators are sending a team to Mexico to help find the cause of a jet crash that killed Jenni Rivera, the California-born singer who became a superstar of Mexican-American music.
Rivera died over the weekend when the Lear jet she was traveling in crashed in a remote area in northern Mexico on its way to Mexico City.
She sold 15 million albums and won two Billboard Music awards in a career that spanned just over a decade.
They called her diva, and for anyone who ever saw Jenni Rivera on stage, it was easy to see why.
She sang heart-wrenching ballads that spoke to the common woman.
"Well, because she lived through a lot of things that most Latina womans do, like abuse and stuff. And, she actually, like, helped others who did that," said local fan Elizabeth Alaniz.
Rivera was born in Long Beach to Mexican immigrant parents of humble origins. In October, People en Espanol named Rivera on its list of the 25 most powerful Hispanic women.
She toured all around the world, including a stop three years ago in Delano, to spread her message.
"We're not involving our children, our music in arts," she said during her visit. "We need to support these programs."
Rivera was famous for her electrifying performances on stage, but her image was also battered by scandal. A mother of five, Rivera married three times. Although her relationships were rocky, some local fans say that didn't affect how they feel about her work.
"I'm okay with my husband right now, but I loved her music. My mom, my aunt, everybody loved her music," said one fan.
During her last interview Saturday night, Rivera told Mexican media she needed time to get emotionally well.
The bodies have not been physically identified, but Rivera's California driver's license was found near the wreckage.
Six other people died in the crash, including Rivera's publicist, lawyer, and makeup artists.
A Mexican news agency reports the Lear jet was 43 years old, and NTSB records show it sustained substantial damage in an accident in Texas in 2005.