Selena Quintanilla-Pérez: Short Lived 90’s Pop Icon

90’s Pop Icon

She was the “Queen of Tejano Music”, her style and musical talent gave her nickname “Mexican Madonna”. But unfortunate she lived a very successful short life when one day tragedy stuck to this 90’s style icon and took her life.

Who was Selena?

Selena Quintanilla Pérez’s was Mexican-American singer born on April 16, 1971 in the Texas town of Lake Jackson.  Known simply as Selena, she was the daughter of Abraham Quintanilla Jr. and Ofelia Zamora.

Her father saw in her a talent for singing, so he formed a band, with Selena as Vocalist, her son AB on bass and Suzette behind drums and usually he playing guitar. In the beginning they called themselves “Los Dinos con Selena”, but as time went by they became “Selena y los Dinos”. After forming the band, the next thing was to get rid of Selena’s shyness when she came on stage. Abraham would encourage his youngest daughter to do small performances to family and friends just to make sure she would get used to a stage and get rid of her stage fright.

Selena went to school like any girl, but her promotion as a musical artist and the demand for performances began to interfere with her education. This caused her father to take her out of school when she was in eighth grade. As a result of her musical responsibilities, Selena continued and completed high school through correspondence.

In April of 1992 she secretly married in Nueces County, Texas, with Chris Perez, a guitarist of her band, but her father did not approve of this relationship.

Her beginnings as soloists began when in 1985 Selena recorded hes first album titled ” Mis Primeras Grabaciones ” although it was not sold in stores and his father bought all the original copies, ten years later this record was re-published under the same title. Her second album called “Alpha” had more luck, because with it she won the award for the Female Vocalist of the year at the Tejano “Music Awards” as well as a prize for the best Artist of Texan music.

In 1988 she releases two new albums called “Preciosa” and “Dulce Amor”.

In 1989 the company EMI made a contract to the young singer, also with Coca Cola to advertise the brand.

In the year 1990 the singer released her new album entitled Ven Conmigo, and in 1992 the album “Entre a mi mundo”, which contained the song “Como la Flor”, which was a great success.

In 1994 he released the album Amor Prohibido, from which the singles “BidiBidiBomBom” and “Technocumbia” are released, among others. From there, Selena and the Dinos became the most successful group of this genre, giving massive concerts in cities of Texas, and northern Mexico, areas where its popularity was in the cinema, also making special appearances in programs such as “El Show de Cristina”, “Siempre en domingo”, “Sábado Gigante” and “Padrísimo Show”.

Also that same year she started in the business world when designing and manufacturing a clothing line and opened two stores called Selena, one in Corpus Christi and another in San Antonio, Texas.

On Sunday, February 26, 1995, she dedicated her success to starring in a big concert at the Astrodome in the city of Houston in Texas to which more than 67,000 people attended.

Selena had begun to record some tracks for in English, scheduled to be released in the summer of 1995, but this project was cut short with the death of the artist, who had only been able to record four songs in English.

Musical style

Selena was considered the greatest female exponent of the Tex-Mex genre or Texan music, rancheras, ballads and cumbia.

Death of Selena

Selena’s life ended on March 31, 1995, at the age of 23, when the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar, murdered her by shooting her out of room 158 of the DaysInn motel in Corpus Christi. Both lived in Corpus Christi and knew each other. Since months ago there were disagreements between Selena and Yolanda, and that day Selena decided to cut all working relationship with Yolanda, when Selena left the room Yolanda shot her in the back, Selena wounded and bloodied with her green sports clothes ran asking for help all the hotel until she reach the lobby. There she fainted and was helped by the hotel workers, who called an ambulance; nevertheless, she died later in the Central Hospital, according to the medical-judicial reports. At 1:05 in the afternoon she was declared dead.

On Monday, April 3, many funerals were held in hes honor, which attracted audiences from different cities. George W. Bush, then governor of Texas, named Sunday, April 16, “El Día de Selena” in Texas.

The so-called Selena case dramatically attracted the attention of the media and the Latino community that cried out for justice. Saldivar was found guilty on Monday, October 23, 1995 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

By order of the court, the weapon that was used to assassinate her was destroyed in thirty pieces that were later thrown in the bay of Corpus Christi, even though many fanatics opposed the destruction of the weapon because it is considered an important piece of the Selena’s story

It was indeed a tragic end of talented Selena. We still miss her.


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