Background information
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Birth name Selena Quintanilla
Also known as Selena
Born April 16, 1971
Lake Jackson, Texas, United States
Died March 31, 1995 (aged 23)
Corpus Christi, Texas, United States
Music genres Tejano pop, Mexican cumbia, ranchera, Latin pop, R&B, pop
Occupations Singer-songwriter, record producer, actress, dancer, model, designer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1982–1995
Labels Freddie Records, Cara Records, GP Productions, EMI Latin, Q-Productions, SBK Records
Associated acts Selena y Los Dinos, Abraham Quintanilla III, Suzette Quintanilla, Chris Pérez

Selena Quintanilla Pérez (April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995), principally known by her first name, was a Mexican-American (or more specifically, Tejano) singer who has reached legendary status and is considered to be the most popular and influential Hispanic artist of all time.

Early lifeEdit

Selena was born in Lake Jackson, Texas and grew up in Corpus Christi, where she began her musical career. Her father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., was a singer with the original Los Dinos from 1957 to 1972, and nurtured the burgeoning musical talent of his children. Selena, her brother Abe III (bass), and their sister, Suzette (drums), were a second generation of Los Dinos. Its other two members who started in the band were Ricky Vela on keyboards and Roger Garcia on guitar.

Selena made her first public appearance at her father's Mexican restaurant in Lake Jackson at eight and recorded her first record at nine. Throughout her adolescence Selena was constantly on tour. She finished high school by mail and lived most of her life on the tour bus "Big Bertha". She completed her education via correspondence courses. The singer signed with Capitol EMI in 1989, and released several albums with that label, including 1994's wildly popular Amor Prohibido, which knocked Gloria Estefan's Mi Tierra off the number one spot.


Chris Pérez replaced Roger Garcia as guitar player. A romance budded between Perez and Selena, and the two married on April 2, 1992. Even as Selena's career skyrocketed she remained very close to her family, choosing to live next door to them in Corpus Christi.

In 1994, Selena won a Grammy for Best Mexican-American Album for Selena Live!.

She holds the record of drawing the largest concert crowd – over 67,000 screaming fans – in the history of the Houston Astrodome, for her 1993 performance at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It is erroneously believed that her largest crowd at the Astrodome was the famed 1995 concert, which she gave a little over a month before her death. The crowd she drew that night, however, was nevertheless enormous: over 64,000 fans.

The greatest irony in Selena's musical career is that she became a star singing in her second language. She grew up speaking English, recording her early Spanish hits phonetically.

Aside from her singing, Selena was an avid clothing designer. Boutique shops with the Selena name opened in Corpus Christi and San Antonio in the 1990s. She also dabbled in acting, making a cameo in the Johnny Depp film Don Juan de Marco.


A deranged fan named Yolanda Saldívar worked her way into the singer's inner circle becoming one of Selena's close friends, becoming president of Selena's fan club and manager of the boutiques. In 1995 the Quintanillas found out Saldívar had embezzled money from these ventures and decided to fire her. Selena agreed to meet Saldívar at a Corpus Christi Days Inn on the morning of March 31, 1995 in order to retrieve paperwork for tax purposes. At the motel an argument ensued over the embezzlement and Saldívar shot the singer once in the back. Selena died at a local hospital at 1:05 pm, hours after she was shot.

Selena's death shocked and saddened Latinos and non-Latinos alike across the United States. Major networks interrupted their regular programming to break the news. The outpouring of grief by her massive faithful fanbase was unprecendented. Soon, America's reaction to her death was being compared to the reactions to the deaths of John Lennon and Elvis Presley. Numerous vigils and memorials were held in the singer's honor.

Her funeral drew 60,000 mourning fans, many of whom came from outside the United States.

That summer her album Dreaming of You, a combination of Spanish language hits and new English language tracks, debuted at #1 on the 'Billboard music charts in the US, making her the first Hispanic singer to accomplish that feat. On its release date, it sold over 175,000 copies, the most ever by an American female singer in pop history. To date, it has sold approximately 12,000,000 copies in the United States.

People magazine issued a commemorative edition in her honor – the third such tribute in its history. It sold a record number of copies – over 1 million – and ultimately spurred the creation for People En Español.

In October of 1995 a Houston jury convicted Saldívar of murder and sentenced her to life in prison, without possibility of parole.


There is a museum to honor Selena's memory and a bronze life-sized statue of her on Ocean Drive in Corpus Christi.

In 1997, Jennifer Lopez played Selena in the movie of the same name. This fact stirred some controversy in the Mexican-American community as Jennifer Lopez was a Hispanic of Puerto Rican descent playing the role of a singer who was of Mexican descent. But Selena's fans embraced the touching autobiography, and Lopez's role in Selena catapulted her to superstardom.

Selena's enduring popularity is evidenced by the fact that she continues to outsell many living artists. In fact, the Guinness Book of World Records, in 2003 (she had previously graced the book's pages as the "most dominating artist"), considered adding her to their pages as being the only deceased celebrity who continues to compete with today's top pop stars.
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A massive tribute concert, "¡Selena Vive!", – which over 50,000 fans attended – was organized on April 7, 2005, a week after the tenth anniversary of the star's death. Reliant Stadium in Houston hosted the event, which featured many high-profile artists, including Gloria Estefan, Pepe Aguilar, Thalía, Paulina Rubio, Banda El Recodo, Ana Barbara, Alejandra Guzmán, Aleks Syntek, Ana Gabriel, Fey and many others. All of the musicians present performed renditions of her music, including her brother A.B. Quintanilla, who performed along with his band Kumbia Kings, backed with footage of Selena singing "Baila Esta Cumbia".

"Selena Vive!" holds the record for the highest-rated and most-viewed Spanish-language show in American television history. The show, which was over 3 hours long, scored a whopping 35.9 household rating.

On April 12, 1995, George W. Bush, then the Governor of Texas, declared April 16 to be "Selena Day". [1]

Since its creation on April 2011, Selena Wikipedia seeks to attract fans and other volunteers to help this website to become one of the largest and informative Selena site.

Discography Edit


External linksEdit