Selena Quintanilla–Pérez (April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995), known as simply Selena, was an American singer-songwriter, actress and fashion designer. She was named the “Queen of Tejano music” and was also known as the “Mexican Madonna”. Selena was born as the last child of a Mexican-American father. She released her first LP record at the age of 12 with her Selena y Los Dinos band. At the 1987 Tejano Music Awards, she won the Female Vocalist of the Year award. She won this award eight times in a row. Selena signed a record agreement with EMI Latin in 1989. She released five Spanish-language albums with them, each having chart and sales success.
“Como La Flor” became one of her signature songs after it got to number six on the US Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart in 1992. The next year, Selena Live! won a Grammy Award for Best Mexican/American Album. In 1994, Amor Prohibido was released and five of the singles became number one hits. Selena became the first Hispanic singer to do this. The album became the fastest-selling Latin album of all time. Amor Prohibido and the song of the same name were nominated for a Grammy Award. In late 1994, Charles Koppelman, the chairman of EMI Latin, believed that Selena was ready to release a cross over album. Selena would then begin recording songs in English instead of Spanish, which would expand her career.
On 31 March 1995, Selena was killed by Yolanda Saldívar, a friend and former manager of her clothing stores. Selena’s death affected people in Hispanic communities. Many candlelight vigils took place, as well as other memorials from fans. Two weeks later, Governor of Texas at the time, George W. Bush, made 16 April “Selena Day” in Texas. Her crossover album Dreaming of You, which was not finished, was released on 18 July 1995. In 1997, Warner Bros. released a movie about her life. Puerto Rican actress Jennifer Lopez played the role of “Selena” in the movie. The role helped Lopez become famous.
In 2005, a tribute concert called Selena ¡VIVE! premiered on Univision. The show had the highest ratings in the channel’s history. It was also the most-watched Spanish-language show in the history of American television. It was watched by more than 37 million people in the United States. In 2006, a Selena museum was built in Q-Productions. Mirador de la Flor, a bronze life-sized statue, was created in memory of Selena. These memorials are in Corpus Christi, Texas. The statue is visited by hundreds of fans every week. As of 2012, Selena has sold over 60 million albums worldwide.
Here’s a collection of 20 photos of a very young Selena that will make you smile and maybe cry a little bit too.