Banda Star Jenni Rivera Revealed She Feared For Her Life Months Before She Was Killed
“I have faith in God that he will get me out of this one,” she said of receiving disturbing death threats.
A decade ago, a rising Mexican American banda singer beloved by fans boarded a Learjet flying from Monterrey, Mexico, to Toluca. She and six other people aboard the aircraft that day never made it.
On Dec. 9, 2012, officials announced the death of Jenni Rivera, 43, after the private jet nosedived into a mountain shortly after takeoff, killing the singer, four of her staff, and two co-pilots.
Known as “La Diva de La Banda,” Rivera was celebrated for her music, but she also openly shared details about her personal life, including how she overcame challenges, including becoming a teenage mother and suffering through abusive relationships.
She kept hush, however, about her biggest secret.
In 2019, Pepe Garza, a radio personality, shocked fans when he released a previously unheard interview with Rivera recorded nearly five months before she died.
In the interview, posted on YouTube, Rivera shares her fears about performing and her concerns about a side to her career fans never knew about.
“It’s an interview where she reveals many things that are not very clear yet. ... She asked me to interview her because she had received death threats and she wanted to leave a testimony that this was happening in case something happened to her,” Garza said in Spanish about releasing the recording made on July 27, 2012, the Los Angeles Times reported. “I’ve let many years go by since Jenni’s death, and something in my heart told me this was the year to reveal and share this.”
Rivera told the radio host: “Let’s hope this never gets aired.”
“Every weekend I travel to Mexico, it’s a risk that I continue to take but I do it for the love I have for my fans,” revealed Rivera, who was born and raised in Long Beach, California.
The death threats came via email, message boards and even by phone, she said in the interview. The threats were, in fact, so serious that the FBI once got involved after someone said they would kidnap and murder Rivera if she performed a concert in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Rivera ended the 35-minute interview by noting she was a “strong woman” and her career was vital to her. “No one, not even my team, my family, my friends, no one knows about this and I want it that way because I don’t want to scare my loved ones. I will continue going to work because I have faith in God that he will get me out of this one.”
“What I do is so important to me … and I’m a very brave and determined woman,” Rivera continued. “That’s why I’m here. Nobody knows. Not even my family knows ... not my friends or companions. And that’s how I want it to be because I don’t want to scare more people.”
She added: “We don’t need more chaos in the world. ... I believe in an almighty God who has carried me forward in many aspects of my life, and I trust that he’ll take me out of this, too.”
According to the Los Angeles Daily News, Mexican authorities said an investigation could not definitively conclude what caused the deadly crash, but they claimed it may have been the result of multiple factors, including pilot error or a technical issue, such as a faulty horizontal stabilizer.
On July 2, 2019 — the date that marked what would have been Rivera’s fiftieth birthday — the performer’s loved ones released “Aparentemente Bien,” a single she recorded before the crash.