Selena-Amor Prohibido (CD Single)-Frontal
"Amor Prohibido" ("Forbidden Love") is a song by Mexican-American Tejano pop singer Selena. Amor Prohibido was the lead single released from her album of the same name (1994). The song was written and produced by Jorge Alberto Pino, Bebu Silvetti, A.B. Quintanilla III, Jose Behar, Pete Astudillo and Abraham Quintanilla Jr, and was prepared and adapted by Joe Ojeda and Chris Pérez.[1] It was released in the United States for the Tejano and rhythmic contemporary radios. The song describes a relationship between a man and a woman in which their love is tested by poverty, differences and parental disapproval.

Widely known as Selena's signature song, "Amor Prohibido" won both the Premio Lo Nuestro Awards for "Pop Ballad of the Year" and was awarded "Regional Mexican Song of the Year" for three consecutive years, starting in 1995.[2] During the Tejano Music Awards, the single won all nominated awards for the album Amor Prohibido.[3] The success of the album and the single's airplay helped Selena to be nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Mexican-American Performance" in 1995.[4] During the 1996 Tejano Music Awards, Selena won "Single of the Year" for the song.[4] "Amor Prohibido" also won the "Latin Pop Award" during the Broadcast Music Incorporated Awards in 1995[5] and won the Billboard Latin Music Awards in 1996.[6][7]

Background and compositionEdit

"Amor Prohibido", one of the first songs composed for Selena's fifth studio album of the same name, became the year's most successful single in 1994 and 1995.[8] It was written and produced by Jorge Alberto Pino, Bebu Silvetti, A.B. Quintanilla III, Jose Behar, Pete Astudillo and Abraham Quintanilla Jr.[1] The single was prepared and adapted by [[Joe Ojeda, and Chris Pérez. Amor Prohibido was originally written about Selena's grandparents.[9] It also leaked into airplay in the South Texas region a couple weeks prior to the album's official release date.[9] Selena's brother, A.B. Quintanilla III, had written the song with some help from Selena while touring for the Selena Live! Tour in 1993. A.B finished writing the song after Selena had won her first Grammy Award for Best Mexican American Album for her fourth studio/first live album Selena Live! (1993).[10] Creation and lyrics were inspired by Selena's grandparents who had dealt with the song's meanings during their time. Selena told numerous TV crews about the song and its meanings to both her and her family. Amor Prohibido then became the leading single and first single from the album "Amor Prohibido" and instantly became Selena's signature song due to its popularity.[9]

Selena promoted the song during her Amor Prohibido Tour which officially started on January 28, 1994.[11] Selena first gave her fans a taste of "Amor Prohibido" during her Denver, Colorado concert as her first musical number.[12] Selena's final performance for "Amor Prohibido" in the year 1994 was on December 2 during the Tejano Music Awards in San Antonio, Texas.[12]

"Amor Prohibido" is a Tejano Pop song mix with Latin pop. It is set in common time composed in a moderate beat tempo. Its lyrics describes a relationship between a man and a woman in which their love is tested by poverty, differences and parental disapproval.[9]

Critical receptionEdit

"Amor Prohibido" was critically praised for Selena's choice in "stepping out" of the Tejano music world because "Amor Prohibido" was taken directly out of the genre of Tejano music and had Latin American sounds and rhythm.[13] A.B. Quintanilla III, who was the main song-writer for Selena, writes songs out of the boundaries of Tejano music,[12] which led Selena to become the "Queen of Tejano music" due to her being the first and only Tejano artist to have achieved this feat.[12] Selena's different types of genres for "Amor Prohibido" gave music reviewers acceptance in Latin culture due to Selena's taste in her "different" styles of music.[12]'s Ramiro Burr stated that "The hits were obvious—the eloquent "Amor Prohibido," on love conducted in secret", "Amor Prohibido" also was the first of his named "hits" for Selena's album "Amor Prohibido".[14] "Amor Prohibido" was also named the first of three AMG Track Picks for the album of the same name.[15] added Selena's single "Dreaming of You" on "The top 12 Spanish language songs that have been played on English language radio", while doing so, stated that "the album of the same name includes "Amor Prohibido" and "Como La Flor," both of which enjoyed popularity in Latin America" during their scoring.[16]

With "Amor Prohibido" and thirteen other of Selena's top-ten singles in the Top Latin Songs chart, she was named "top Latin artist of the '90s" and "Best selling Latin artist of the decade" by Billboard.[17] During the entire month of March of 2010, "Amor Prohibido" and a few other Selena music videos were selected for a Selena tribute for her fifteenth anniversary of her passing to 42 million homes nationwide on Music Choice On Demand.[18] "Amor Prohibido" is a "seamless track" reviewed the Daily Vault, which made them wonder about Abraham Quintanilla Jr, believing he was a professional, albeit over-influential.[19]

Chart performanceEdit

"Amor Prohibido" debuted number thirteen on April 13, 1994, on the U.S. Hot Latin Tracks on Billboard shortly after the album's release in 1994.[20] The song later peaked at number one seven weeks after its release on June 11, 1994.[21] The single spent nine weeks at number one while the single spent twenty weeks on the Hot Latin Tracks.[22] "Amor Prohibido" debuted and peaked at five on the U.S. Billboard Latin Regional Mexican Airplay, the single spent three weeks on the Regional Mexican Songs charts.[23]

Music videoEdit

The video, shot in Joshua Tree, California, premiered on February 14, 1994, on all major Spanish language television channels in America. Produced by Tango Productions, it was directed by Cecilia Miniucchi who directed most of Selena's music videos and Selena Remembered. The production of the video began on February 6, 1994, with Philip Holahan as the director of photography and editing by Clayton Halsey. A licensing problem abruptly halted the taping of the video, causing Selena and Abraham Quintanilla III to drive back to their home town in Corpus Christi to retrieve it so they could resume production. Experimenting outside of the Tejano genre, the video is shot and edited in a very surreal fashion, with Selena choosing different styles of clothing (including her husband's shirts) and various colors, frequently changing them throughout the video.[11]

The video opens with Selena running towards an open door (signifying a new relationship) and dancing with joy. Walking outward from a blocked wall, Selena sings about how much she wants to just hear the words coming from her crush's mouth. While singing, Selena is seen with an open door and more "relationship" scenes are played out on the background/wall behind her of a women and a man who are in love. She decides that because of their parents disagreements about their love and since they are poor, they should only worry about their love for one another. As the music continues to play, Selena sings "Amor Prohibido" (Forbidden Love). The scene changes to Selena and her crush smiling and flirting at the open door, then transitions to her looking down at a puddle in the sand of her reflection. As Selena cuddles with her crush, she points to an abandoned window in the desert. As Selena stares out of a window, she tells her crush that she is poor and all she has to give to him is her heart and love. The scene transitions again, and Selena is dancing to her reflections saying "Amor Prohibido". The video ends with Selena and her crush leaving through the open door, running away from their lives to have a new one containing the two of them.

Track listingEdit

US Promo Single
  1. Amor Prohibido (2:50)
Mexico Promo Single
  1. Amor Prohibido (2:50)

Credits and personnelEdit

  • Selena – vocals, producer
  • Stephanie Lynn – additional vocals
  • Rick Alvarez – additional vocals
  • Joe Ojeda – keyboards
  • Ricky Vela – keyboards
  • Chris Pérez – guitar
  • Henry Gomez – guitar
  • Johnny Saenz – accordion
  • Suzette Quintanilla – drums
  • Rene Gasca – trumpet
  • Gilbert Garza – trombone
  • Los Dinos – bajo sexto
  • A.B. Quintanilla III – writer
  • Pete Astudillo – writer
  • Jorge Alberto Pino – executive producer
  • Bebu Silvetti – producer, string arrangements
  • Brian "Red" Moore – engineer, liner notes
  • Lisette Lorenzo – art Direction
  • Gregg Vickers – concept





The song "Amor Prohibido" has been recorded or performed live from popular Latin American to Finnish artists. Lyrically, Spanish-language covers are usually recorded exactly as the same meaning as Selena's version unlike Meiju Suvas who recorded the song in a different meaning in Finnish. Shakira sung some parts of the song during a trivia interview in 2002 for Univision's, Otro Rollo.[24] Thalía sang the song for the Selena ¡VIVE! concert on April 5, 2005, and also included a studio version of the song on her album El Sexto Sentido.[25] Meiju Suvas, a Finnish recording artist, recorded the song in Finnish and became the first artist to have recorded "Amor Prohibido" in another language. Meiju Suvas recorded the song in a different meaning titling the song as "Kielletty Rakkus" (Forbidden Love).[26] Yolanda Duke recorded the song in salsa as part RMM's tribute to Selena on the album, Familia RMM Recordando a Selena.

Release historyEdit

Year Awards ceremony Award Results
1994 Premio Lo Nuestro Awards[2] Pop Balad of the Year Won
Tejano Music Awards[3] Single of the YearWon
1995 Tejano Music Awards[3] Single of the YearWon
BMI Music Awards [6][7] BMI Pop Music Award Won
1996 Tejano Music Awards[3] Single of the YearWon

[5] || Latin Music Award|| style="background: #99FF99; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="yes table-yes2"|Won

Country Date Format
United States January 28, 1994 Latin Pop, Tejano and rhythmic radios[12]
Mexico April 13, 1994 CD single[12]
March 12, 2002 Digital download[27]
United Kingdom September 22, 2002[28]
France September 22, 2002[29]
Germany September 22, 2002[30]
Japan September 22, 2002[31]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Album Credits". Barnes & Noble. 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Amor Prohibido awarded "Pop Ballad of the Year" and "Regional Mexican Song of The Year" by Lo Nuestro". Univision. 2010-08-25. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Tejano Music Awards Past Award Winners". 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Past Nominations and Winners of the 36th Annual Grammy Awards". 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Amor Prohibido awarded "Latin Music Award". Billboard magazine. 1996-05-18. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Amor Prohibido awarded "BMI Pop Music Award"". BMI. 2001-04-19. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Amor Prohibido awarded "BMI Pop Music Award"". BMI. 2001-04-19. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  8. "Topping The Charts Year By Year". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 110 (48): LMQ3. 1998-11-28. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Selena Remembered. John Lanner and Edward James Olmos. Q-Productions. N/A, Corpus Christi. 1997. 127 minutes in. "Her Life... Her Music... Her Dream"
  10. "Album Credits". 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Selena: The Final Notes. Dick Arlett and Dale Dreher. Canada TV. N/A, N/A. 1997. 60 minutes in.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 Selena Remembered, coverage about her life and death. John Lanner and Edward James Olmos. Q-Productions. N/A, Corpus Christi. 1997. 127 minutes in. "Her Life... Her Music... Her Dream"
  13. "A Selena special". 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  14. Ramiro Burr (2010-08-24). "Selena- Amor Prohibido Review". Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  15. Erlewin, Stepehn. "Selena- Amor Prohibido: Review". Allmusic. Rovi. Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  16. (2010-08-24). "Top Spanish-Language Hits That Played On U.S. English-Language Radios". Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  17. Mayfield, Geoff (1999-12-25). "Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 111 (52): YE-16–18. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2010-03-30. 
  18. (2010-03-01). "This Week In Arts". Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  19. JB (17 June 1997). "Dreaming Of You Selena". Daily Vault. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  20. ""Hot Latin Tracks" on". Retrieved 1994-04-23. 
  21. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named http
  22. ""Hot Latin Tracks" on". Retrieved 1994-08-06. 
  23. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ReferenceB
  24. "Otro rollo". Presenters: Adal Ramones. Otro rollo. Univision, Puebla, Mexico. 2002-02-19.
  25. "Selena VIVE (2005)". 2010-08-24. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  26. "Kielletty Rakkaus by Meiju Suvas". 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  27. ""Amor Prohibido MP3 Downloads" on". Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  28. ""Amor Prohibido MP3 Downloads" on". Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  29. ""Amor Prohibido MP3 Downloads" on". Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  30. ""Amor Prohibido MP3 Downloads" on". Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  31. ""Amor Prohibido MP3 Downloads" on". Retrieved 2010-08-24. 

External linksEdit