Jenni Rivera, killed in plane crash, mourned by Chicago fans

December 10, 2012 (MONTERREY, Mexico)

Hundreds of Chicagoans came out to celebrate her life on Monday night in Little Village at the arch on 26th Street. They held candles and signs expressing their love for the singer.

Others shared their sorrow over the woman known as the diva of banda music.

"I cant believe it, there is a pain in my heart," said Yadira Diaz

Que Bueno 105.1 paid tribute with songs and stories. DJ Rafael Bautista was a friend who helped Rivera break into the music industry in the late 1990s.

"She always sent that message to the Latina woman to be strong and to work for the things that you wanted," Bautista said.

They remained friends throughout her career, in which she sold more than 15 million albums, performing in the Mexican regional style called banda.

Those who knew Rivera say despite her success, she stayed true to herself.

"She's the most authentic artist especially being female. What you see is what you get - exactly like that," David Miranda, Univision Network, said.

After performing in Monterrey, Mexico, Rivera and six friend boarded a private plane Sunday morning for Toluca. After 10 minutes, the plane lost contact and crashed.

On Monday morning, NTSB investigators confirmed Rivera was killed. Her driver's license was found at the scene.

"Bodies were everywhere... and we're just going to try to bring back whatever we can," Stavo Rivera, brother, said.

The 43-year-old mother of five and grandmother of two was born in Long Beach. She often sang about her tumultuous life, which included filing for a divorce recently from former White Sox pitcher Esteban Loiaza.

"We did not lose Jenni Rivera. A legend was born. That's the way some colleagues and I consider it. Because now she's going to be singing to the angels on high," Miranda said.

Rivera was also an actress, appearing in an independent film and reality TV shows.

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