A year ago today Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera passed away in a tragic plane crash in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, just hours after she had performed a concert. A recent report faults the plane’s conditions and the elderly age of the pilot for the crash, which killed the norteña songstress and the six other passengers on board.
Numerous tributes will take place this week to honor the 43-year-old performer including two special concerts in Mexico, one of which will take place near the crash site. Other tributes include a marathon showing of her popular reality show, I Love Jenni, on the Hispanic entertainment network, Mun2.
Since her ill-timed passing, the legacy of the “Queen of Banda” continues to soar. Just months after her death, Unbreakable: My Story, My Way, her authorized autobiography which she had worked on for years, was finished by her family and became an instant New York Times bestseller. 1969 – Siempre, En Vivo Desde Monterrey, Parte 1, her last concert performance before the plane crash, was also released as a live album and DVD this month.
Although it isn’t rare for a prominent celebrity to be honored years—and perhaps decades—after his/her death, Rivera’s passing hit harder than most for the Latino community. Her achievements, which include selling millions of albums and being the first female singer to sell out various concert venues, speak volumes when you consider her parents were undocumented immigrants and that she became a mother at 15 years old.
Next year a feature biopic film will be released starring her eldest daughter Chiquis Rivera who will play the role of her mother. She is currently taking voice and dance lessons to prepare for the film and will also take the stage to perform some of her mother’s greatest hits during the anniversary week of her death.