Three weeks ago, tickets for Jenni Rivera's concert on Saturday in Monterrey Arena were already sold out. More than 18,000 people had what the Mexican American signer herself called "The Jenni Rivera Experience" that fateful night.
The Diva de la Banda and her team, publicist Arturo Rivera, attorney Mario Macias, her hair stylist Jorge Sanchez, makeup artist Jacob Yevale and two pilots all boarded that doomed Lear Jet at around noon from outside Mexico City. They were all excited, even boasting a little on social media about how cool it was to travel by private jet.
Before going onstage and as always, Jacob and Jorge gave her the final touches. And as she always did also, she sent a text message to her youngest son, 11-year-old Johnny Angel Lopez. Now she was ready to go out there and sing.
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The night was pure magic. At least three wardrobe changes while the arena was about to burst. At one point, Jenni asked for silence. A lone spotlight focused on her, and she looked up. She dried a tear, but the moment passed quickly and the arena was once again filled with music and joy. On stage at one point in the performance, Jenni received four Gold and Platinum Records for her album sales.
During the concert, Jenni cried when she sang the song "Paloma negra." Journalist and friend Javier Estrella sent her a text asking her if she was okay. Jenni's response: "I have peace in my heart. I promise you I'm good." She was tired, though. She had performed at concerts every single weekend, plus Sunday night participation in reality show La Voz were all taking their toll. During the week, she was first a mom, then a business woman, then a reality TV star. She was still going through the traume of her third failed marriage, this one to baseball player Esteban Loaiza.
"I feel very blessed, I'm a very fortunate woman...Many times, I can't believe things that happen in my life," the singer said in some of her final words to the press.
Promoters of her concert offered Jenni and her entourage a suite in one of the best hotels in Monterrey, but Jenni prefered to fly out that same night. It made sense: it was better to arrive in the Mexican capital in the early morning and catch some z's, than stay in Monterrey and have to run the next morning. Besides, early the next morning she had rehearsal with Paulina Rubio, with whom she was slated to sing a duet that night on reality La Voz de Mexico.
When they arrived at the airport, Alejandro took a picture with la Diva. Impressed, he sent the picture to his mom using his cell phone. Jenni must have been texting with her loved ones. At 3:05 a.m. she wrote to Jose Manuel Figueroa, Joan Sebastian's oldest son: "Hola," she wrote. Then she told him they were getting on the plane.
Minutes after takeoff, the plane disappeared from the radar of the control tower...