Looking back on legend Selena’s life and tragic death

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Selena performing her last concert on February 26, 1995 at the Houston Astrodome.
Selena performing her last concert on February 26, 1995 at the Houston Astrodome.

It has been 20 years since Tejano music sensation Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, known by Selena was murdered March 31, 1995.  Before her sadly passing Selena was breaking attendance records home and abroad, creating a turn to the Tejano music sensation.

Selena Quintanilla-Perez began singing the Tejano music that would make her famous in her father’s restaurant in Lake Jackson, Texas. Her father Abraham Quintanilla, who created/manage the family band “Los Dinos”, named after his own band in his earlier years.

With Selena’s brother, A.B., playing bass, and her sister, Suzette, playing drums, they would have never imagine the glory they would reach.

Year’s later Selena was only 15 years old, when she won female entertainer of the year at the Tejano Music Awards. Which led her to a record contract, and several albums followed.

During the rise of fame Selene fell in love with her guitarist Chris Perez, who she eventually married in private before publicly expossing to her parents.

In 1994 Selena also won a Grammy of the best Mexican-American album for “Selena Live!” and seemed poised for mainstream stardom.

A year later Selena performed her last concert on February 26, 1995, at the Houston Astrodome, where she performed live in front of more than 61,000 people.

Hours later the president of Selena’s fan club (Yolanda Saldivar) shot her to death in a Texas motel room. Her death made international headlines, and her funeral drew more than 60,000 mourners fans.

She was 23 years old.

Months later her 1995 crossover album, “Dreaming of You,” went to the top of the Billboard 200 the first week it was released. She was the first Latin artist to debut atop the list.

“There were supposed to be 14 tracks, but we had only recorded four of them, so we put together a tribute album of new and old songs,” Nancy Brennan, then vice president of A&R at EMI, told Texas Monthly.

“Making that album was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do, because we were listening to her voice all day and crying as we were mixing the songs.”

Twenty Years later Selena’s influence is still felt.

As in “Selena” the 1997 movie that ignited Jennifer Lopez career, becoming the first Latin – American female to be paid 1 million dollars for a movie role. Lopez was also nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance.

“Getting to play the part of Selena was life-changing for me,” Lopez told Para Todos magazine. “I got to immerse myself in her life, got to know her family, her home, her culture … every part of her story. It was a special time in my life both professionally and personally. Playing her not only opened doors for me in the film world, but it inspired me to start my own music career. In a lot of ways, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t had that experience.”

With Selena’s Death came tragedy and remorse, but at the end years later Selene is still a pop sensation, who has created and inspired many artists.  Selena will always be known for her beautiful voice and her perfection beauty, “Como Una Flor.”