Ms. Rivera was en route from a concert in Monterrey to the city of Toluca, where she was scheduled to appear as a judge on “La Voz” (the Mexican version of the TV vocal competition “The Voice”). Authorities have not determined what caused the crash.
Ms. Rivera straddled many worlds in her path-breaking career, which included sales of more than 15 million records, three nominations for the Latin Grammy Awards and her growing fame on Spanish and English television.
She grew up in Long Beach, Calif., where her father, Pedro Rivera, was a patriarch of banda, a traditional genre of Mexican music heavy on horns and polka-like rhythms.
For generations, banda was dominated by men. Ms. Rivera broke into the industry in the mid-1990s with hits such as “Las Malandrinas,” an anthem for party girls. She became a conspicuous feminine presence on stage with her rhinestones and leather bustiers.
A mother of five, she developed a repertoire that spoke to the women who made up the core of her fan base. Another of her most popular numbers was “Las Mismas Costumbres,” or “Familiar Habits.”
“It is a very important song to me because not only do I sing it, but I have lived it,” she told the Houston Chronicle. “The song is about a woman who gave herself to a man and helped him and did everything for him. But she ended up separating from him, then divorcing him and then having to fight for support. This song is close to my heart and my life.”
Other titles included “No Vas a Jugar,” often translated as “Don’t Even Think About Playing Me,” and “Ni Tu Esposa, Ni Tu Amante, Ni Tu Amiga,” translated as “Not Your Wife, Not Your Lover, Not Even Your Friend.”
As she modernized the bounds of traditional Mexican music, Ms. Rivera styled herself as the quintessential modern celebrity. Her performances sometimes lasted up to five hours. At times they had an escapist vibe. In one recent performance, the Los Angeles Times re
ported, she drank from a tequila bottle and belted out “I Will Survive,” a song long associated with Gloria Gaynor.
In recent years, Ms. Rivera was the executive producer of three reality television programs on Telemundo’s mun2 television network. They included “Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis & Raq-C” (featuring her daughter), “I Love Jenni” (in which she struggles to balance her career while raising children) and “Chiquis ‘n Control” (also featuring her daughter).
When Ms. Rivera died, she was reported to be developing an English-language sitcom with ABC about a strong, single Latina mother. It was a sign of her ever-growing audience.