Press "Enter" to skip to content

The True Story of Selena Quintanilla’s Death

The True Story of Selena Quintanilla's Death

The True Story of Selena Quintanilla’s Death

Selena redefined Tejano music and was beginning to crossover into the U.S. when she was fatally shot.
Today, Selena’s legacy is being explored in a two-part Netflix present. Here is how else Selena’s family and followers have saved her reminiscence alive.

It was imagined to be the beginning of a vibrant new chapter. Tejano star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was engaged on her English crossover album, Dreaming of You, following the success of her 4 Spanish-language albums all through Mexico and Latin America. However earlier than she might end her report, Selena was shot and killed by former fan club president Yolanda Saldívar on March 31, 1995. She was 23 years previous.

Selena might bodily be gone, however the essence of who she was still permeates our tradition right now—25 years after her death. It’s not simply her songs, however her sense of style and elegance, too. Since Selena’s death, there have been all the pieces from Selena-inspired clothes and make-up traces, to tribute albums, live shows, musicals, memorials, Barbie dolls, wax figures, drag exhibits and numerous different artwork types celebrating her life, together with a brand new collection from Netflix. Christian Serratos is spot-on as Selena.

“When Selena handed away, I instructed my family that I used to be going to attempt to preserve her reminiscence alive via her music,” Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla, Jr., instructed Individuals in March. “And 25 years later I feel we, as a family, achieved that.”

Right here, we have a look again on the days main as much as Selena’s death—and discover her legacy right now.

How did Selena die?

A month earlier than her death, Selena was on the peak of her profession: On February 26, 1995, she carried out along with her band Los Dinos for greater than 60,000 individuals on the Houston Astrodome in her iconic purple pantsuit. Just a few days later she attended the Grammy Awards for a second time, the place her fourth-studio album Amor Prohibido was nominated for Greatest Mexican-American Efficiency. (She misplaced, however in 1994, “Selena Dwell” received the Grammy for Greatest Mexican-American Album.)

She was additionally recording “I May Fall In Love” with famous songwriter and producer Keith Thomas in Franklin, Tennessee. And outdoors of music, Selena was seeking to increase Selena And so on, a boutique model that she launched the yr prior with shops in San Antonio and her hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas.

However in early March 1995, Selena and her family found monetary problems along with her fan club and style model. They accused Saldívar—who was promoted to handle the boutiques after her profitable work with the club—of not sending followers objects that they paid for, in addition to embezzling $30,000, the Related Press reported on the time. Selena tried to recuperate these information on just a few separate events, and on one such try at a Days Inn motel in Corpus Christi, Saldívar shot Selena within the again with a 38-caliber revolver. The bullet shattered an artery in her collarbone earlier than exiting her chest, the consequences of which additionally negatively impacted her mind operate, in line with the Related Press.

A number of motel staff later testified that Selena got here working into the motel’s foyer after being shot and chased by Saldívar. She gave Saldívar’s title and room quantity earlier than she collapsed and was rushed to Corpus Christi Memorial Hospital, the place she was pronounced useless, AP reported. This testimony was in battle with Saldívar’s protection, that she shot Selena accidentally. Saldívar was discovered responsible of first-degree homicide and sentenced to life in jail, although over time she’s maintained her innocence and filed for a number of appeals to no avail.

The sudden lack of Selena was so devastating that many couldn’t imagine the information at first. Maria Aguirre, a receptionist for Tejano radio station KQQK on the time of the singer’s death, instructed the New York Occasions that calls from followers poured in because the information of her being shot unfold, a lot of whom have been “calling to substantiate” that Selena died.

“They can not imagine that it happened,” she had stated. “It is nearly like the sensation when John Lennon died. She was the queen of Tejano.”

What happened to Selena’s family?

Selena’s family—Abraham, her mom Marcela, her siblings Abraham III (A.B. for brief) and Suzette, in addition to her husband Chris Pérez—are alive and properly right now. Whereas A.B., Chris, and Suzette have been a part of Los Dinos, solely A.B. and Chris went on to maintain making music and type new bands (although there have been a few Los Dinos reunions over time, together with the 2015 Billboard Music Awards).

Suzette manages the family’s leisure firm and studio, Q Productions, that her father based in 1993 and the place Selena herself recorded music. The studio can also be house to the Selena Museum that the family constructed “in response to the 1000’s of letters mailed to them by followers expressing their need to have Selena’s reminiscence shared with the general public.” Suzette additionally labored intently with MAC Cosmetics on their second Selena assortment. And The Selena Basis that Abraham and his spouse Marcela run to assist youngsters in want has partnered with native teams in Texas to deliver collectively reside occasions honoring Selena, such because the Fiesta de la Flor.

In 2012, Chris launched his memoir about his relationship with Selena, titled To Selena, With Love. And final February, Selena’s father shared on his Fb that he completed co-writing his personal e book with Nancy De Los Santos, who was a co-producer on the 1997 Selena biopic starring Jennifer Lopez that catapulted each the late singer and the actress into international recognition.

On the 20th anniversary of the Selena film in 2017, Abraham and Suzette sat down with Leisure Tonight to mirror on Selena’s legacy. “She had this stunning character, and this wonderful expertise,” Suzette stated. “Combining all that collectively, I feel that’s why we’re still speaking about her.”

Later that very same yr, the family was current to unveil Selena’s star on the Hollywood Stroll of Fame. It was reportedly one of many largest crowds organizers had seen.

Today we celebrate Selena’s legacy.

Selena stays not solely probably the most beloved, however probably the most profitable Mexican-American artists thus far. The posthumous launch of Dreaming of You in July 1995—her report label mixed her 4 English songs with earlier Spanish-language hits and covers—offered 175,000 copies in its first day alone, a report for feminine artists on the time. A month later it debuted at primary on the Billboard’s High 200, and up till 2018, the album spent the second-most weeks at primary on Billboard’s High Latin Albums chart. (Latin singer-rapper Ozuna broke her report along with his debut album, Odisea.)

She broke obstacles inside male-dominated Tejano music, a method that mixes genres reminiscent of people, mariachi, and cumbia, whereas placing her personal spin on it. This allowed her to enchantment to each her Mexican and American audiences. Whereas Selena was not the primary or final Latinx or Hispanic artist to crossover—Dangerous Bunny, J Balvin, and Rosalía are a number of the artists who’ve Spanish-language songs on each Latin and U.S. charts right now—her accessibility stays a novel instance and inspiration.

“I feel she still represents the potential of being an entire American…whereas still being ‘Mexican sufficient’ and never dropping contact along with her family or her roots,” José Limón, professor emeritus on the College of Notre Dame, instructed NBC Information. “That is the form of contradiction that every one Latinos reside with, and she or he embodied it and navigated each worlds efficiently.”

New York Occasions best-selling creator Shea Serrano shares an analogous sentiment within the Selena chapter of his e book Films (And Different problems). He remembers the scene the place Abraham (performed by Edward James Olmos) is explaining to his youngsters how exhausting it’s making an attempt to be Mexican sufficient for Mexicans and American sufficient for People. The film “represented us. And it did so in a manner that not often happened then, and, much more than 20 years later, not often occurs now,” he wrote.

Whereas Latinx illustration stays low, not simply in motion pictures however throughout numerous different industries, the general public mourning of Selena’s death and the various tributes, together with the film, marked each a shift in and enabled larger Latinx visibility. Creator and scholar Deborah Paredez explores this in her paper, “Remembering Selena, Re-membering Latinidad.” She considers how Individuals (then Individuals Weekly) launched Individuals en Español a yr after their challenge on Selena’s death offered out and the way Selena Endlessly, The Musical shined a lightweight on Latinx individuals in theater. The musical ran from 1999-2001 in Texas and Los Angeles, and 95% of the forged members (and a lot of the attendees) have been Latinx, which demonstrated {that a} lack of illustration was not for lack of expertise, Paradez wrote.

Finally, she wrote, Selena’s reminiscence turned a secure place for Latinx individuals to claim their id and demand their voices be heard.

The Netflix present is one in all many tasks to commemorate Selena.

On December 4, Netflix launched the primary six episodes of a two-part miniseries about Selena’s profession. An ensemble piece, Selena: The Sequence focuses particularly on Selena’s time in her family band, Selena y Los Dinos. “Everyone knows Selena the icon, however this present is about her family, and the way all of them performed a pivotal position in her success,” Gabriel Chavarria, who performs A.B., tells

Ricardo Chavira, who performs Abraham, agrees. “We’re going deeper into the dynamics of this family. You could have absolutely realized characters in all of the totally different relations. I feel it is vital now, due to the age through which we’re residing in—particularly with COVID. A variety of familys are spending extra time collectively. It may very well be instrumental in us recognizing the importance of our personal familys, and likewise the family of group,” he says.

Between Netflix’s upcoming collection, and the deliberate books and albums from the Quintanilla family, a brand new era will quickly uncover all that Selena was in a position to do when she was alive—and what she continues to do in death.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.