Selena Quintanilla Perez was born in Lake Jackson, Texas on the 16th of April, 1971. The names of her father and mother are Abraham Jr. and Marcella Quintanilla respectively. In the 1950s and 1960s, her father created a band which played a mixture of every rock and roll songs and traditional Mexican music. The music style is called Tejano music, and it later became viral throughout Mexico and the southwest United States. Eventually, her father retired from his music career to start a family.
Early life of Selena
Selena was the youngest child with two siblings. Her elementary school was in Lake Jackson which is a small town located about fifty-five miles south of Houston, Texas. She showed her talent to her father for the first time when she was six years old. He was teaching Abraham III, her elder brother how to play the guitar when Selena started singing. Afterwards, the children created a family band, and they rehearsed almost everyday.
Selena was regarded as QUEEN OF TEJANO and was often called the MEXICAN MADONNA because of her dance moves and sexy outfits. At age 10, she began leading in her family band called Selena Y Los Dinos. The musical group began performing at clubs and wedding in their native home in Texas. The band comprises her brother, Abraham who as the bass guitarist and her sister who was playing the drums.
The group was produced and managed by their father. She grew up speaking English, but her father later taught her to speak and sing in Spanish so she could flow with the Latino community. At first, she learned the lyrics phonetically and finally learned how to speak Spanish fluently.
Her Life and Achievement as a Professional Singer
Selena became famous and was loved by the Tejano music fans, and she won both the Performer of the year and the Best Female Vocalist of the year awards in 1987. Ven Conmigo was the first Tejano album she released in 1990 and the record achieved gold record status, that is, it sold over 500,000 copies. In 1992, despite her hectic schedule, she took a break to marry Chirs Perez, her band’s lead guitarist.
Selena joined EMI records in 1989, and suddenly, she also had a significant record company supporting her. Jose Behar, the CEO of the company’s new Latin music division saw in her a talent which could impact more lives other than her Tejano fans. In 1991, she sang a song with Alvaro Torres named Buenos Amigos which later became a hit.
The song became the number one on Billboard’s Latin chart and later introduced her to new audiences throughout the U.S. Selena continued to grow in fame when she released her next hit song Donde Quiero Que Estes.
Many good things happened to Selena’s personal and musical life in the early 1990s. That was the period she married Chris, and together they both shared in the success and growing popularity of Selena especially in Mexico.
Her father wrote many international sounding songs for her. However, these songs were not really famous in Mexico, but they also started gaining the hearts of people in the United States and Central and South America making the size of the audience in her shows to increase. In February 1994, over 60,000 people went to see her perform in Houston. In March 1994, she released an album Selena Live which won a Grammy Award as the best Mexican American album.
As Selena’s fame increases, her record sales also increase. In July 1994, she released a new album Amor Prohibido which sold over one million copies. The album was the top-selling Latin album and was also named the Tejano Music Award’s album that year. Her recordings began to make good sales after she won the Grammy Awards for her live album in 1993. She and her band did a lot of tour dates in California, New York, Puerto Rico and Argentina.
Selena’s Tragic Death
After she did her live release, she decided to work on an English Language album which she hoped would get her on top of the U.S pop music charts. Unfortunately, she didn’t live to see the success of the album. On the 31st of March 1995, Selena died in Corpus Christi, Texas when she was shot by Yolanda Saldivar, the founder of the Selena fan club. Saldivar was the manager of Selena’s boutique in San Antonio and was going to be fired for embezzling money. Selena death was like a shock wave which struck the hearts of the Latino community and her fans all over the world.
After her death, Selena first English-Language album called Dreaming of You was released, and it became a massive hit. Also, her life story was used to act a movie called Selena in the year 1997 with Jenifa Lopez featuring as the Tejano superstar and Edward James Olmos featuring as her father.
The persona and popularity of Selena music lived on even after her death. Even the reality star, Kim Kardashian dressed up as the Selena as a sign of respect for her in the 2017 Halloween and although this act made a lot of Selena’s fans angry.
Surprising Facts about Selena you probably didn’t know about
Selena made a massive impact on the popularity of Tejano music and also brought it a broader audience outside the Tejano community. She influenced artists such as Kat DeLuna, Becky G, and Jennifer Lopez.
Selena was celebrated on Selena Day
Not long after Selena’s death, Gorge W. Bush (he was the Governor of Texas then), named April 16, which was her birthday as Selena Day. The commemoration is done every year to celebrate her anniversary and memory.
Selena is usually compared to Madonna
Selena is generally called the Mexican American version of Madonna because of her clothing style, and stage presence which is a reminder of Madonna, particularly in her early years.
Her Life Story was made into a movie
The life story was acted in the movie Selena in 1997 with Jennifer Lopez as the heroine and James Edward as her father.
She wanted to become a Fashion Designer
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She loved fashion and often seen talking about becoming a fashion designer. She was known for her unusual look and eccentric style.
She married her first love
In 1992, Selena married her first boyfriend secretly in the year 1992.
Her Final Album became the fastest selling by a female singer in Pop History
Her last album Dreaming of You was the fastest selling album released by a female in pop history. In the first week, her album sold over 400,000 copies and went on top of the charts.
Some inspiring Quotes by Selena
"You have to take what you could get when you're getting started."
"We went through a hard time, and we had to turn to music as a means to putting food on the table. And we've been doing it ever since.
"If you have a dream, don't let anybody take it away
"The reason I'm really appreciative of everything that's going on around me is because I never expected it, and I want to keep that attitude."
"You shouldn't care for somebody just because of the materialistic things that they have, and I'm a firm believer in that.