MEXICO CITY (AP) — A small plane carrying Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera went missing early Sunday after taking off from the city of Monterrey, authorities in northern Mexico confirmed Sunday.

Jorge Domene, spokesman for the Nuevo Leon state government, told Milenio television that the plane left Monterrey about 3:30 a.m. local time after a concert there and aviation authorities lost contact with the craft about 10 minutes later. It had been scheduled to arrive in Toluca, which is located outside Mexico City, about an hour later.

Domene said a search for the plane is under way with civilian protection agency helicopters flying over the state. He said seven people including her publicist, lawyer, makeup artist and the flight crew were believed to be aboard the U.S.-registered Learjet 25, the ministry of transportation and communication said in a statement.

Alejandro Argudin, of Mexico's civil aviation agency, said Sunday afternoon that Rivera's plane was still listed as missing not crashed.

The 43-year-old who was born and raised in Long Beach, California, is one of the biggest stars of the Mexican regional music known as grupero music, which is influenced by the norteno, cumbia and ranchera styles.

The so-called Diva of the Banda recently won two Billboard Mexican Music Awards: Female Artist of the Year and Banda Album of the Year for "Joyas prestadas: Banda." Her famous songs include "La Gran Senora" and "De Contrabando."

The singer, businesswoman and actress appeared in the movie Filly Brown, as the incarcerated mother of Filly Brown, and has her own reality shows including "I Love Jenni" and "Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis and Raq-C" and her daughter's "Chiquis 'n Control."

Rivera had given a concert before thousands of fans in Monterrey on Saturday night. After the concert she gave a press conference during which she spoke of her emotional state following her recent divorce from baseball player Esteban Loaiza.

"I can't get caught up in the negative because that destroys you. Perhaps trying to move away from my problems and focus on the positive is the best I can do. I am a woman like any other and ugly things happen to me like any other women," she said Saturday night. "The number of times I have fallen down is the number of times I have gotten up."

The mother and grandmother had announced in October that she was divorcing Loaiza after two years of marriage. It was her third marriage.

Rivera is the sister of Mexican singer Lupillo Rivera. Patricia Chavez of Lupillo Rivera's office in the United States told The AP that "for now we don't have any information that would be useful."

 
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