Selena Quintanilla-22 Years After Her Tragic Death
Last week, March 31st, marked 22 years that Selena Quintanilla has been gone. Some of you may not even know who I am talking about and that is precisely why I am writing this. Some say she had a gift. She had many gifts in fact. Perhaps her greatest gift was her voice. A voice that was silenced by murder at the young age of 23. Today I am sharing her inspirational story.
Selena Quintanilla-The Early Years
Selena Quintanilla was born in Lake Jackson, Texas on April 16th, 1971. Of Mexican descent, Selena debuted extremely early on in her career as the lead singer of Selena and Los Dinos, a band that was the brain child of her musician father, Abraham Quintanilla. She was only 9 years old. Selena was inspired by her father, listening to him play the guitar and sing as she grew up. Selena's early career consisted of singing in her parents restaurant, and at local venues-constantly struggling to find her voice, and struggling with which genre of music she wanted to focus on.
Despite these challenges, Selena was able to amass a cult type following of adoring fans over the span of her early singing career. She was also able to break through barriers in the primarily male-dominated Tejano music genre which was no small feat during the early 1980's. Her fan base was primarily Mexican-Americans who were devoted to Selena and Tejano music. Selena became known as the "People's Singer", as she never lost sight of who she was and where she came from. Selena was naturally humble and her impending rise to fame never changed that
The Rise To Fame
1987 was a turning point for Selena and her family. She was awarded the Tejano Music Award for Female Vocalist of the Year and this greatly increased her popularity and exposure levels. She went on to win this award every year up through 1995.
In 1989 she was signed by EMI Latin records and released her self-titled debut album. All of Selena's early releases were in Spanish, but Selena was intent on crossing over into the mainstream music scene.
In the early 1990's Selena catapulted into fame and fortune with Grammy nominations and wins, advertising contracts with giants like Coca-Cola , and her own line of fashion boutiques in Texas. Selena had a penchant for racy fashion and came to be known as "The Mexican Madonna" for some of her fashion choices.
The Tragic Loss of the Queen of Tejano
On March 31st, 1995, Selena Quintanilla was shot from behind by her long time friend,confidante, and employee, Yolanda Saldivar. Saldivar had been embezzeling large amounts of cash from the profits of Selena's fashion boutiques. After Selena's tragic and senseless death, her first cross over album, Dreaming of You was released. It debuted at the top of the Billboard Charts and remained there for weeks.
The tragic loss of Selena Quintanilla at just 23 years old sent shock waves throughout the the United States, Mexico, and the world. In 1997, Warner Brothers released a biographical film entitled just "Selena" with Jennifer Lopez playing the role of the Queen of Tejano. The resemblance between the two was striking. By 2012, Selena has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide-a testament that her legacy lives on, even 22 years after her tragic death.