She would’ve been a household name by now, she would have achieved international fame, but Selena, the queen of Tejano music, was shot dead by a fan and business associate when she was only 24.
Selena left behind a few years’ worth of amazing music and deep regrets.
What strikes you most at Selena’s tragic destiny is the stupid reason she was killed, the pettiness of the crime.
A business deal gone sour and a friendship ruined, that’s all it took Yolanda Saldívar to pull a gun and kill the Latina music star.
Rise To Fame
Selena Quintanilla was born on April 16, 1971, in Texas, the place that saw the birth of an original melange of Mexican and American musical styles known as Tejano.
Her father, Abraham, was a musician himself and he brought up his three children to love music as well.
Their passion led them to form a band called Selena y Los Dinos, which rapidly became popular in the Corpus Christi area.
Selena was the most talented of the three kids and soon began singing on her own.
By the time she turned 15, she won the title for best female singer at the Tejano Music Awards, a feat that brought her national attention.
In 1989, the 18-year old singer launched her debut album, Selena and she became an international star with hit songs like “Como La Flor” and “Amor Prohibido.”
Most of her fans were from Latin American countries, although for Selena Spanish was not her native tongue.
She was a third-generation Texan of Mexican roots and she had to work hard to master Spanish.
“As a third-generation Texan who had to learn Spanish phonetically, with her father coaching her on her accent, she knew that there was a chance that the Mexican fans might dismiss her.”
“Instead, they adored everything about her, from her dark hair and brown eyes to her curvy figure,” her husband and fellow band-member Chris Perez wrote in his 2012 memoir.
The 1990s brought Selena one success after another, her star was rising and she produced album after album.
The greatest triumph of her short life came in 1994 when she won a Grammy for the best Mexican-American album, with her concert album ‘Selena Live!’ Selena was 23 and ready to conquer the world, but fate had other plans for her.