Selena Quintanilla Perez (April 16, 1971- March 31, 1995), known by many as “Selena” was a Mexican- American singer-songwriter, “Queen of Tejano music,” and was seen as an icon by many. Her musical career began at an early age and so did many obstacles but was able to overcome them and become successful.
Selena began singing at the age of three and at six started singing in both Spanish and English. Her father who was in a musical group, Los Dinos in the late 50s remained passionate about music and started musical group with Selena and her siblings.
In 1984, “Selena Y Los Dinos” was recorded and did not well but it did not discourage the group. The band would go on to release three more albums and the group’s name changed to just “Selena.”
That same year in 1986 to 1996 she won the title, Best Female vocalist at the Tejano Music Awards, was named “top Latin artist of the 90s” by Billboard, as well as other awards and titles.
Selena was known for her Tejano music, also known as Tex-Mex. This genre comprises of various forms of folk and popular music which originated in Hispanic populations along Central and South Texas. Selena still managed to find love and start a family; on April 2, 1992 she married her lead guitarist Chris Perez. She continued doing what she loved, and along with her musical career she began designing and manufacturing a clothing line for Selena Etc. Botique in 1993. She opened two shops, one in Corpus Christie and another in San Antonio. Her business was a success and revenue reached the millions.
Promoting her fan club manager, Yolanda Saldivar to manager of her boutiques was the start of many problems. Money began missing and trust issues were growing, so much in fact she was fired. On March 31, 1995 Selena met with Saldivar at the Corpus Christi Days Inn to retrieve documents needed for taxes. The both had an argument and Saldivar shot Selena in the back, she was rushed to the hospital and was pronounced dead. She was 23 years old.
In October of 1995, Saldivar was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Selena’s death shocked many and her funeral drew 60,000 from different parts of the world. People’s magazine published a remembrance issue “Selena- Her Life in Pictures.” The issue quickly sold out and became what exposed the high numbers and influence of the Latin population and led to the making “People en Espanol.”
Selena was a strong believer in community involvement and charity work. To this day she continues to be loved and forever remembered.