Vegas Radio DJ Remembers Singer Rivera - 8 News NOW

Vegas Radio DJ Remembers Singer Rivera

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LAS VEGAS -- From the studios of radio station La Nueva 103.5, the songs of Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera echo from a booth.

Fans mourning the sudden death of the 43-year-old singer have called in since Sunday to remember Rivera, who was killed in a plane crash.

On Sunday, news began spreading that a Learjet 25 carrying seven people had gone down in northern Mexico and that Rivera was among the dead.

Program director Jesus Garcia Avila is a disc jockey and close friend of the Latin superstar for more than 20 years.

"I received some tweets on my iPhone and I started going crazy," Avila said.

He began calling sources trying to confirm what he thought to be a rumor.

"(I was) praying that it wasn't true, but by around 3 p.m. we got the news," he said.

Within minutes, Avila began playing tributes for the bold and soulful singer.

For many fans, Rivera's music was more than a melody as she sang about being abused and drug violence.

"She would represent the woman, everything out there that a woman wants to say," Avila said. "She would get on stage and she would be the voice for that woman."

On Monday, more fan phone calls poured into the studio, many still in disbelief.

"They see pictures of the wreckage, they see her dress that she wore in the concert as part of the wreckage and they are still in shock," he said. "I cannot believe it yet."

Avila said Rivera's death will have an enormous impact on him.

"It's a big loss, it's a big loss," he said. "For me personally, I lost a sister on the personal side. On the professional side, the music world has lost a very talented person."

Avila said Rivera now joins a group of artists gone too soon.

"Jenni Rivera will be no different," he said. "She will go on and on and on. Her music will stay, go on forever, that is my feeling. I see people have taken this into their hearts."

The plane carrying Rivera and the others was registered to a company out of Las Vegas called Starwood Management.

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