The Legacy Of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez

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a picture of the iconic legend Selena

Abigail Estrada, Social Writer

Dreaming, that was the understatement for the everything Latin Tejano artist Selena Quintanilla-Pérez had ever wanted. Selena’s fame did not come overnight, her passion didn’t fully live up to her legacy until sadly after her death. The question from so many others though is how did she manage to create such an impact, how did a girl from the small area of Lake Jackson and Corpus Christi Texas, end up making an everlasting impact on the world. Her story is one that is remarkable and sadly got cut short at the end. 

Selena Quintanilla was born on April 16th, 1971 in Lake Jackson Texas, this would be the area where she would spend her childhood until the big move to Corpus Christi in 1982. Corpus is and was known for the big stardom of Tejano artists and their big breaks. Before the move, Selena and her siblings were in a band called Selena y Los Dinos, which would perform songs at their family restaurant till the family business would go bankrupt. Their dedication to music was fully on the need to survive, this was the path they were choosing for the food on their table. The band continued to play at any venue they could possibly find such as weddings, carnivals, and anything they could put their name out there. Selena grew up to be quite the singer and continued to blossom as a performer. As she grew the power of her voice became more and more astonishing. Later on, Selena y Los Dinos had released their first studio album named Miss Primeras Grabaciones which did not do as well as they thought. They would continue to release records usually selling 20,000 copies of each record. 

Selena and her power in the Latin industry grew even though she never knew Spanish till she was older, she was taught and continued to learn all the way through her career, even though interviews she would ask for the translation of certain words. Once Selena’s old life and fame started clashing she would officially go on the road full time. This was the start of the big rise of her that we know today. Selena y Los Dinos had been “ended” when they signed to a label that told them about the progress she would make without the dinos. The family band did not go away though as they still stayed by her side as her band. Selena’s debut studio album was called Selena. This album was the breakthrough for everything they ever wanted, this was the start to success. As the band grew and her performances so did the need for more help, that is when Chris Pérez came in. Once he joined the band, he and Selena’s chemistry grew till the point they had eloped against her father’s wishes on April 2d, 1992. As her relationships grew the awards did as well, such as her Grammy for best Mexican American Album. 

Selena’s love wasn’t the only thing that had grown throughout these times so did her entire life, she had gotten so big she had become an ambassador for Coke A Cola and created her own boutique. That is when Yolanda Salvador came into the equation, Yolanda was Selena’s biggest fan, she was the president of her fan club, and had even become her best friend. When Selena offered her a job at her boutique that is when things got dirty. Yolanda had stolen over 30, 000 dollars from the family through these times, Once Selena found out she was heartbroken and betrayed. She had fired Yolanda and wanted nothing to do with her. This set off Yolanda for the worst when Yolanda had contacted Selena to pick up important files, the first time it was at night with Chris but the second was the fatal day we all know about. When Selena came that morning to pick up the last bit she could, that was when Yolanda let out the fatal gunshot, after the gunshot Selena had rushed to help till she would later go to the hospital she sadly died at. March 31st, 1995 was a hard day for dedicated fans and loved ones, even after 20+ years of her passing her legacy still lives on every day. She has had countless movies and documentaries made for her and her music is countlessly streamed to this day. Her legacy shall live on through any era.