Selena Quintanilla

From Academic Kids


Selena Quintanilla Perez (April 16, 1971 - March 31, 1995) was a Mexican-American singer who is regarded as one of the biggest stars of the Tejano genre of music.

Selena was born in Lake Jackson, Texas and grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas, where she began her musical career. Her father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., was a singer with the original Los Dinos from 1957-1972, 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.

Chris Perez 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 Live. She holds the record of drawing the biggest concert crowd in the history of the Houston Astrodome, for her February 1995 performance at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

The greatest irony in Selena's musical career is that she became a star singing in her second language. Her first language was English, not Spanish.

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 woman named Yolanda Saldivar worked her way into the singer's inner circle, becoming president of Selena's fan club and manager of the boutiques. In 1995 the Quintanillas found out Saldivar had embezzled money from these ventures and decided to fire her. Selena agreed to meet Saldivar 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 Saldivar 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 Tejano fans in Latino communities throughout the United States and in the north of Mexico (Selena was not particularly well known before her death either in Mexico City or in the southern region of the country). Numerous vigils and memorials were held in the singer's honor. 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.

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 was a bit of a controversy as Jennifer Lopez was a Puerto Rican playing a Mexican role. The movie is the basis from which Lopez rose to superstardom, while at the same it also served to introduce Selena and her music to an even wider audience.

A massive tribute concert, "Selena Vive!", 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 y Los Dinos (1984)
  • The New Girl In Town (1985)
  • Alpha (1986)
  • Munequito de Trapo (1986)
  • And the Winner Is... (1987)
  • Preciosa (1988)
  • Dulce Amor (1988)
  • Selena y Los Dinos (Re-released in 2002 as "Selena") (1989)
  • Personal Best (1990)
  • 16 Super Exitos Originales (Re-released in 2002 as "Mis Primeros Grabaciones) (1990)
  • Ven Conmigo (Re-released in 2002) (1990)
  • Entre A Mi Mundo (Re-released in 2002) (1992)
  • Baila Esta Cumbia (Mexico release) (1992)
  • Selena y Emilio Navaira: Entertainers of the Year (1992)
  • Quiero (Mexico release) (1993)
  • Selena Live! (Re-released in 2002) (1993)
  • Mis Mejores Canciones: 17 Super Exitos' (1993)
  • Amor Prohibido (Re-released in 2002) (1994)
  • 12 Super Exitos (Re-released in 2002) (1994)
  • Selena (AKA Excelsior) (1994)
  • Grandes Exitos (Mexico release) (1994)
  • Dreaming of You (Re-released in 2002) (1995)
  • Mis Primeras Grabaciones (Re-release of 1984 album) (1995)
  • Exito del Recuerdo (Canada release) (1995)
  • Multipistas: 10 Exitos de Selena (1995)
  • Fotos Y Ruecuerdos (????)
  • Exitos y Recuerdos (Three different versions: pink, orange, and blue covers. Platinum disc re-release in 2001) (1996)
  • Siempre Selena (1996)
  • Selena Soundtrack (Re-released in 2002) (1997)
  • Anthology (1998)
  • All My Hits Todos Mis Exitos (1999)
  • All My Hits Todos Mis Exitos, Vol. 2 (2000)
  • Live! The last concert (Re-released in 2005 as a CD/DVD) (2001)
  • Ones (CD/DVD) (2002)
  • Greatest Hits (CD/DVD) (2003)
  • Y sus Incios (2003)
  • Y sus Incios, Vol. 2 (2004)
  • Y sus Incios, Vol 3: The Early Years (2004)
  • Y sus Incios, Vol. 4 (2004)
  • Intimos Momentos (2004)
  • Selena Remembered (CD/DVD) (2005)
  • Unforgettable (Limited Edition 2 CD Set) (2005)
  • Unforgettable: The Studio Album (2005)
  • Unforgettable: The Live Album (2005)
  • Unforgettable (CD/DVD Set) (2005)

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