Nightly News   |  December 10, 2012

Remembering Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera

The singer beloved by millions of fans died in a plane crash Sunday while heading to Toluca, Mexico. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports.

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>>> fans are in mourning foent for a singer who was an inspiration for millions of fans in the u.s. and mexico . jenni rivera was killed yesterday in the crash of a small, private learjet in northern mexico . kerry sanders reports from monterrey , mexico tonight.

>> reporter: high in the mexican mountains the wreckage from jenni rivera 's plane is spread across an area more than a thousand square feet . among the wreckage, her i.d. the superstar's leer 25 departed monterrey shortly after 3:15 sunday morning with 7 on board including two pilots headed to taluca in mexico . ten minutes into the flight, just 62 miles from the airport, the jet fell off radar.

>> to there are going to be several factors that investigators will look at. of course, the mechanical operation of the aircraft is first and foremost with the on-scene investigation.

>> reporter: this photo was posted on twitter moments before jenni and her entourage took off. she sold more than 15 million albums. the mother of five was also a judge on the spanish language version of "the voice." outside her california home, fans today set up a makeshift shrine, part of their deep affection driven by rivera's willingness to share her own troubles in life, including her three failed marriages.

>> she was just an inspiration. she's a warrior.

>> frankly, we're still in shock.

>> she's a fighter and struggler and overcame obstacles.

>> reporter: tonight mexico 's aviation investigators are unsure if the plane had a black box . it could be key to determine what went wrong. kerry sanders , nbc news, monterrey , mexico .