Selena Quintanilla’s music (Lake Jackson, April 16, 1971 – Corpus Christi, March 31, 1995) is heard in more than 92 countries, her talent inspired films, television series, books and documentaries; The Queen of Tex-Mex crossed generations and borders, so today, 50 years after her birth, we remember some of her successes.
Selena grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas, in a family of Mexican origin. She began her musical career when she was a child, after her father, Abraham Quintanilla, created the family band: Selena y los Dinos, where her brothers AB, playing bass, and Suzette, leading the drums, also participated.
They performed at fairs, bars, as well as weddings and 15 years. The group recorded its first Texas music album in 1984, and although it was not a bestseller, the single “Ya se va” gained fame among radio stations. Little by little, Selena’s talent and presence on stage conquered fans of Texas music, which was traditionally dominated by men.
Laura Canales was the top representative at that time, winning the Texano Music Awards four consecutive times as Female Artist of the Year, a category that Selena would dominate since 1988. Selena grew up composing songs in English, and although she did not know how to speak Spanish, she learned to sing it from phonetic form.
Later, when he measured the success he had with the Spanish-speaking public, he took pains to speak it well.
Movies and series
His popularity, his difficult rise to the United States music market, his charisma and his tragic death have inspired books, films, series and documentaries since his death, which occurred at the age of 23. Selena: the series, which is executive produced by her father and sister, Abraham and Suzette Quintanilla, premiered in 2020 through Netflix, and within a few days it had already established itself as one of the most successful projects to tell the story of singer. The second season will premiere on May 4.
The biographical film of Selena (1997), starring Jennifer López, was also a box office success, which also catapulted López to stardom, and Selena’s Secret (2018) is another series that premiered on Telemundo, based on the book by Puerto Rican journalist María Celeste Arrarás, where the story of her death is told from the perspective of Yolanda Saldívar, her murderer.
The singer was crowned 11 times as female vocalist of the year at the Texan Music Awards, and was awarded three times as Artist of the Year: twice in 1994 and once in 1996 at the Billboard Latin Music Awards.
On February 24 of this year he received his second Grammy after his death with the Artistic Career award. Musical platforms The artist continues to conquer the public through her songs that cross generations and borders, she is heard in at least 92 countries.
On the Spotify platform, his most played songs are “Forbidden Love”, “The boy from apartment 512” and “If once”, monthly they reach up to 5.3 million listeners.
His last concert was weeks before his death, on February 26, 1995 at the Houston Astrodome, attended by more than 67 thousand spectators. The concert has been viewed more than 42 million times on YouTube. “Como la flor” and “Si una vez” are the most viewed songs on the platform, with at least 398 million views.
In addition to being a singer, Selena was a songwriter, producer, and fashion designer, inspiring later generations. She was the first Latin artist to conquer the world and opened the door to singers like Jennifer López, Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin abroad.
Her countless hits inspired various tributes from JLo, Selena Gomez, Belinda, Camila Cabello, Angela Aguilar, and Danna Paola. Selena Vive, a tribute at Reliant Stadium for the tenth anniversary of her death, brought together artists of all genres such as Thalía, Paulina Rubio, Ana Gabriel, Alejandra Guzmán and Gloria Estefan.
In 1994, she opened Selena Etc, a boutique, salon, and clothing store, fulfilling her dream of presenting her own clothing line in two locations: Corpus Christi and San Antonio.
When he died, he was unable to open a headquarters in Monterrey, Nuevo León. In addition, in 2000 the makeup brand MAC launched its first makeup collection inspired by and dedicated to Selena, which was the best-selling celebrity cosmetic line in history.
His love story
The story with the guitarist and composer Chris Pérez, who was part of Selena y Los Dinos in 1990, gave way to the book A Selena, con amor, in which he describes his life with the artist.
He says that during a trip to Acapulco they began to see each other secretly from the family, since Selena’s father did not approve of the relationship. After some time, on April 2, 1992, the couple decided to elope to marry in an express ceremony at Nueces County Courthouse, without the family’s approval.
Yolanda Saldívar, founder and president of her Selena fan club, became her assistant and sales manager, and after four years of collaboration, on March 31, 1995 she was shot with a 38 mm revolver that left a wound of death to the singer.
The murderer was sentenced to life in prison, however, she could ask for parole in 2025.