Selena Quintanilla: The Life and Legacy


Eliana Flores, A&E Editor

Selena Quintanilla was the person who made a legacy with her music. She was a famous singer all across the world. But if you are a diehard Selena fan, what do you really know about her?

Selena Quintanilla made history. In 1989, when she  joined EMI records, which was a record label that many other famous singers like the band Queen. The head director of a Latin music division, Jose Behar, knew that her songs would become something special all across the world.  Selena released a song called Buenos Amigos, which quickly became nominated for best Mexican American song. She became widely known in the US. She was an inspiring artist and a popular Latina singer.

Selena had won many awards throughout her career. Selena was nominated for 86 awards, and wining 67 of those nominations. She won 36 Tejano Music Awards, 14 Billboard Latin Music Awards, 10 Lo Nuestro Awards, five BMI Awards and one award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. In 1995, she was inducted into the Billboard Music Hall of Fame. Seven of these awards included the Tejano Music Award for Female Vocalist of the Year, and last but not least her Grammy awards. In 1994 Selena won a Grammy for the best Mexican American Album. Selena was so happy because she was the first woman to ever win a Grammy in the Tejano Music category.  In 1995 , Selena won yet another Grammy for best Mexican American Album, Amor Prohibido. She was never able to receive the Grammy because she had died before the Grammys in 1995.  Three years after her death, Selena won yet another Grammy for best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. For her being such a young artist, she really made a name for herself and her career. Within the Latin culture, women were never seen as successful , but Selena did it and made it to the top. This is what made her so inspiring.  

Selena had released a total of  fifteen albums all together. The most famous ones are Dreaming of You, which was her first  English crossover album, Mis Primeras Grabaciones, Selena, Selena Live, and Amor Prohibido. She was becoming a big image within the Latin American Pop Culture.

Selena Quintanilla, was born on April 16th, 1971, to a loving family. Selena’s father, Abraham, felt that Selena had a talent for singing, but she thought otherwise. She wanted to be fashion designer, but her father knew what she possessed, and he steered her on the road to becoming a singer. Eventually, she became a beloved singer all across the world. Along the way, she met Chris Perez, who she quickly fell in love with, and who she married, on April 2, 1992. After her marriage to Chris, Selena made her dream come true, and opened her own fashion boutique called, Selena’s Boutique and Salon. Selena’s life was finally everything she had hoped it would be and more. She was a popular singer, clothes designer, she was rich, and she was accomplishing her dreams.

By the end of her life, Selena’s life was finally everything she had hoped it would be and more. That all changed on March 31, 1995, when Yolanda Saldivar, her fan club president, shot and killed Selena when she was confronted for missing money from her fan club. Her fans were crushed by this loss. Many of her fans were young girls. Selena had influenced as well as inspired young girls to go after their dreams. This tragic event was not gonna let that stop her from releasing her last album, Dreaming of You. The album had famous songs that consisted of, “Dreaming of You”, and “I Could Fall in Love.” Just like many artists unfortunately she died at the young age of 23.  She had barely started living her life.

Selena had made such an impact within the Latin/American culture that her life and legacy  was made into a movie in 1997, that stared Jennifer lopez as Selena Quintanilla. Jennifer Lopez had played such an amazing role in that movie that viewers often wondered  if she was the real person who sang those songs from the movie. 

Selena’s death, according to PBS, “resembled the deaths of of many artists like Elvis Presley and John Lennon. Her funeral, attended by tens of thousands of mourners, was testimony to her standing as an icon to Mexican-Americans and Latinos of all generations […] Selena’s posthumous English-language album, Dreaming of You, sold over 200,000 copies the day it was released. It would eventually top 6 million” (Latin Music USA).

Today, Selena has influenced so many young artists today like Solange, Lil B, Nikki Minaj, and the Weekend and if you listen closely you can even hear Selena’s name mentioned in many of these artist’s songs. In the end, Selena is still a popular singer, because of her songs, her voice and the legacy she left behind.  Selena will live in our hearts forever, and as the song goes we will be Dreaming of You, Selena.