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Jenni Rivera's road to Latin superstardom

NEED TO KNOW
  • Rivera is feared dead after the wreckage from her plane was found Sunday
  • The 43-year-old singer/actress aimed to be the 'Latina Oprah'
Jenni Rivera's road to Latin superstardom

Popular Mexican-American singer and actress Jenni Rivera presumably died Sunday in a small-plane crash in the mountains of northern Mexico. Wreckage of the private aircraft was found late Sunday and authorities confirmed there were no survivors. 

One of the premiere stars of Spanish-language television, the 43-year-old mother of five was known as "The Diva of Banda," a popular brass-based form of traditional music. She was also the star of her own English-language reality show, "I Love Jenni," on Telemundo's mun2 network and was working on her own crossover ABC sitcom.

Rivera's manager and business partner, Pete Salgado, said in a statement to CNN"I will always uphold her legacy. She was on the verge of a major crossover. We lost an awesome Women, Mother, Sister, Friend, and artist."

Born in Long Beach, California, to Mexican immigrant parents, Rivera would go on to sell 15 million records and win two Billboard Mexican Music Awards, including Female Artist of the Year.

People en Espanol recently named her one of the 25 most powerful women for creating an empire that included a fragrance, cosmetic and clothing line. She was also a judge on Mexico's version of "The Voice." She would say in numerous interviews that she one day hoped to be the "Latina Oprah."

The outpouring of grief and shock among her fans and supporters has been tremendous, as many of them related to her very public struggles.

She was well-known for her feisty attitude and frank talk about her struggles with love, recently divorcing her third husband just months before her death. A single mom at the age of 15, Rivera saw her fair share of controversy, once being detained at a Mexican airport with tens of thousands of dollars in cash, but wove her struggles with love, domestic abuse, and divorce into her music.

Mexican officials have not released a cause for the plane crash, which left miles of wreckage, but are in the midst of an investigation.

Celebrity friends and supporters took to social media to mourn the loss of Rivera, who was beloved for her frank talk and can't-get-me-down spirit.

"So sad!! Praying for Jenni Rivera's children and family and the passengers families," tweeted Jennifer Lopez.

Gloria Estefan tweeted, "Our deepest sympathy to the family & fans of @jennirivera & those that accompanied her on what was to be her last voyage. Rest in peace."

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