Jenni Rivera Fans Hold Vigil for the Late Singer

As expected, Jenni Rivera fans have begun gathering to mourn over the late singer’s tragic death – in front of clusters of flowers and lit candles.

At a recent vigil held in Lynwood, California, mourning fans wiped tears away outside a church. Salvador Sifuentes, a fan of Rivera’s, said he and his family always followed the banda singer’s music.

“We didn’t expect something like this to happen – it was by plane,” he said.

Indeed, the news of Rivera’s untimely death has shaken the Latino community to its core. La Diva De La Banda and six others were in a plane en route to the Toluca municipality of Mexico on Sunday, when their pilot reportedly lost contact with air traffic controllers a few minutes before departure.

New clues into Sunday’s plane crash that killed the famous banda singer have emerged – the New York Daily News recently reported that the plane the group was in has a previous malfunction a few years back.

Rivera, who was known as much for her music as well as for her mun2 reality TV show “I Love Jenni,” had struggled through many hardships, including being a teenage mother and a victim of domestic violence. She was 43 when she died.

Rivera’s death reminded Sifuentes of another famous Latina singer whose life was cut by tragedy – Selena Quintanilla-Pérez. Known simply as Selena, the Tejana singer was murdered at age 23 on March 31, 1995. At the time of her death, Selena had been working on a huge crossover into English-language music.

“Jenni was supposed to do a crossover too,” Sifuentes pointed out. Sadly, we will never be able to see that now.

Rivera was known for her fierce personality and incredible openness about her personal and family life. Our Deputy Editor Lee Hernandez appeared on HuffPost Live yesterday to speak about the late singer, who he interviewed a few months ago. Besides having had a prolific singing career and being a businesswoman, he described the singer as very empowering for other women.

“I think that’s something that will resonate with people,” Hernandez told HuffPost Live. “I would definitely call her a feminist because she definitely tried to help women in the music industry make a name for themselves.”

Check out a clip of our Deputy Editor’s HuffPost Live appearance here.