Just two weeks ago, we lost one of our great legends, boxer Hector Macho Camacho. But this past weekend, our hearts broke as we heard the news that Jenni Rivera, La Diva de La Banda, died tragically as the small plane she was on crashed in the mountains of Mexico. Here was another Latino legend that was taken from us in a tragic way.

Read more ¿Qué más? Jenni Rivera's 11-year-old son Johnny tweets heartbreaking good-bye to his mamá

Jenni's years' long career included such honors as 15 million albums sold, making her the highest-earning grupera singer of all time. She even became the first female regional Mexican singer to ever sell out the Staples Center in Los Angeles in September 2011.

But we can't forget her work outside of showbiz. Jenni also established the Jenni Rivera Love Foundation, which was devoted to helping abused kids, cancer-stricken kids, single moms, undocumented workers, and women who were victims of domestic violence.

Aside from Jenni, there is unfortunately a string of Latino legends who left us too soon due to very tragic circumstances. See our tribute gallery, below.

Image via Splash News

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Jenni Rivera

Image via Splash News

Throughout her groundbreaking career, La Diva de la Banda won numerous Billboard Latin Music Awards and garnered four Latin Grammy nominations. On the brink of mainstream success, Jenni had just signed a contract with ABC which would have her starring in her own sit-com about a head-strong single mom doing anything she could to help her kids get ahead...much like her real life. It was to be titled Jenni. Her Mun2 reality show I Love Jenni became that network's biggest hit and was now in its third season. She also had a weekly syndicated radio show and clothing and cosmetics lines.


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Macho Camacho

Image via GSR Media/Splash News

Macho Camacho was shot in the face while in a car, waiting for a friend in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The boxing champ was taken off life support after an emotional and controversial few days while his family weighed their options after he was declared brain dead in the hours following the shooting. The flamboyant boxer was known as much for his skills as for his sense of style (he would sometimes fight with a loincloth emblazoned with his initials!). Although plagued by domestic violence allegations, child abuse charges, and drug use, the champion boxer was legendary in the ring--even famously ending the career of boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard when Camacho beat him in a 1997 fight.


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Selena Quintanilla

Image via hellboy_93/flickr

The 24-year-old Tejano superstar was gunned down by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar, on March 31, 1995. The incredibly talented singer was at the peak of her career, on the verge of releasing a crossover English-language album (Dreaming of You, which sadly did become a hit after her death). Selena left behind a grieving husband (who recently published a tell-all memoir about their short, passionate life together), her heart-broken family (dad, mom, brother, sister), and a legion of mourning fans who to this day still honor the legendary singer.

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Ritchie Valens

Image via Wikimedia Commons

One of our first crossover stars, Valens (born Richard Steven Valenzuela) was the forefather of the Chicano rock movement back in the 50s. The teen rock sensation took a classic Mexican folk song and transformed it into the legendary hit “La Bamba.” On February 3, 1959, Valens died in a small plane crash in Iowa (which also killed Rock and Rollers Buddy Holly and J.P. Richardson), just three months shy of his 18th birthday.


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Roberto Clemente

Image via Wikimedia Commons

The legendary Boricua ballplayer also died in a tragic plane accident on December 31, 1972, when he was just 38 years old, as he was traveling to Nicaragua to volunteer in earthquake relief efforts. Clemente was the first Latino ever to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame--and he’s the only member of the Hall of Fame to win a World Series as starter, get an MVP award, AND get a World Series MVP Award. Outside the baseball diamond, his charity work was as famous as his amazing skills, often volunteering to help those less fortunate and traveling to Puerto Rico and other countries in Latin America to lend a helping hand.

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Freddie Prinze

Image via Wikimedia Commons

The half Puerto Rican TV star was best known for his work in the hit sitcom Chico and The Man in the 1970s. Although his personal life was marred with controversy, drug and alcohol abuse (which led to his divorce from his wife Katherine Cochran, with whom he had one son, Freddie Prinze Jr.), the charismatic Prinze ruled with Chico and often appeared on the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson--where he was the first comedian to ever be asked to sit and chat with the legendary host! On January 28, 1977, Prinze shot himself in the head; he died a day later after being taken off life support.