Inside The Life of Chris Perez as Selena Quintanilla’s Former Husband

Chris Perez gained fame for being the better half of Selena Quintanilla, the Queen of Tejano music and frontwoman of the Tejano band, Selena y Los Dinos. In his own right, however, he is a Grammy Award-winning American guitarist, songwriter, and singer. The San Antonio, Texas native served as the lead guitarist of Selena y Los Dinos before later forming his own band, the Chris Pérez Band, through which he received the highest recognition for his talent, a Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album.

Finding someone who connects with you easily, and understands you completely is quite difficult. When you eventually find such a person and end up losing the person to a situation beyond your control, the whole experience can be devastating. This was the unfortunate case of foremost American guitarist, Chris Perez, who found a soul mate in fellow musician, Selena Quintanilla-Perez. However, Chris lost Selena to the cold hands of death, and following her demise, his life never remained the same again.

Chris’s sorrow was also heightened by the fact that Selena did not die a natural death. Rather, she was shot dead on March 31st, 1995 by Yolanda Saldivar, her former friend who also previously served as the manager of her boutiques. Through his subsequent marriage to a woman named Venessa Villanueva and his foray with other music groups, Chris has certainly tried to move on from his late wife but he would be the first to admit that he might never be able to do so.

Chris Perez’s Profile Summary

  • Full Name: Christopher Gilbert Pérez
  • Nickname: Chris Perez
  • Gender: Male
  • Date of Birth: August 14, 1969
  • Chris Perez’s Age: 52 Years Old
  • Place of Birth: San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
  • Ethnicity: Mexican-American
  • Nationality: American
  • Zodiac Sign: Leo
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight (Heterosexual)
  • Religion: Christianity
  • Marital Status: Divorced
  • Chris Perez’s Ex-Wives: Selena Quintanilla ​(1992-1995)​, Venessa Villanueva ​(2001-2008)
  • Chris Perez’s Children: 2 (Cassie Pérez and Noah Pérez)
  • Chris Perez’s Parents: Carmen Medina and Gilbert Pérez
  • Chris Perez’s Height in Inches: 5 feet 10 inches
  • Chris Perez’s Height in Centimetres: 178 cm
  • Chris Perez’s Weight: 70 kg (154 lbs)
  • Body Measurements in Inches: 44-32-38 Inches
  • Chris Perez’s Net Worth: $1 Million
  • Famous For (Occupation): Guitarist, Songwriter, Singer, Author
  • Chris Perez’s Instagram: @chrispereznow

Chris Perez Began To Play Various Musical Instruments As A Schoolboy

Chris Perez is the son of a computer programmer father named Gilbert Perez and a mother named Carmen Medina. He was born in San Antonio, Texas on August 14, 1969. Chris, who has a younger sister, was not fortunate enough to be raised by both parents as they divorced when he was four years old. While he maintained a relationship with both of them through the years, he was primarily looked after by his mother who remarried in 1978.

With the support of his mother, Chris Perez was able to join his middle school’s concert band. He first thought himself how to play the French Horn before learning the Electric Guitar. Despite not minding him playing music, his mother was skeptical about him playing the electric guitar. This was due to the negative stereotypes that rock and roll musicians, who mainly used the musical instrument, had. Regardless, the young man was still able to learn his craft. He got so good and confident in his ability that he contemplated running away from home at age seventeen to launch a music career. He wanted to relocate to Los Angeles, California where he would be able to start a rock band.

As fate would have it, in the same year that he contemplated leaving home, Chris Perez joined forces with singer, guitarist, and percussionist Shelly Lares. He joined Shelly’s band which performed Tejano music, a genre of music sung in Spanish and English that mixed country music, traditional Mexican folk music, and polkas. While he would later write about his dislike for Tejano music at the time, Chris acknowledged that he was making much more money than he had imagined doing it. It also helped that his guitar playing ability was well received by fans of the group, thus giving him more confidence to pursue the career.

He Achieved Fame with Selena y Los Dinos Before Later Forming The Chris Pérez Band

In 1989, veteran American record producer Abraham Isaac Quintanilla allowed Chris Perez to serve as the lead guitarist for his Selena y Los Dinos music band. This was after the previous guitarist, Roger Garcia, left the music business after getting married. The group’s bassist and songwriter, A.B. Quintanilla III, who was the son of Quintanilla and the elder brother to frontwoman Selena, had recruited Chris after hearing good things about him. The older Quintanilla had had doubts about recruiting Perez due to his rock and roll image and how his presence would affect his daughter’s image. However, he still went ahead to sign him up.

Selena y Los Dinos with Chris as its guitarist achieved fame but their music was overshadowed by events in their personal lives. After Selena passed away, Chris teamed up with a few friends, including former members of Selena y Los Dinos to form the Chris Perez Band in 1998. The band, which was later signed to Hollywood Records, rocked the airwaves from the late 90s to early 2000s. In 2000, they won a Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock, Urban, or Alternative Album. This was for their debut album titled Resurrection released on May 18, 1999. However, the music group was disbanded after it released its second and final album on April 16, 2000, titled Una Noche Más.

Perez then went on to join the Kumbia All-Starz band formed by Selena’s brother. However, Chris left the group after a four-year spell to create his own band which he called the Chris Perez Project. The veteran guitarist has also tried his hands in writing and he published the book titled ‘To Selena With Love’ in 2012. The book was centered on his relationship with Selena and the struggles they faced together.

Chris Perez Eloped With Selena After Her Father Disapproved Of Their Relationship

Chris Perez
Chris Perez and Selena image source

After joining the group and gaining their trust and respect, Chris Perez began to fall for Selena. The duo bonded in no time and soon began dating but her father disapproved of the relationship. After asking them repeatedly to stop seeing each other, Selena’s father kicked Chris out of the group. This left Selena both devastated and heartbroken. She reportedly suffered from the separation even though she managed to keep in touch with Chris. After a while, the pair decided to elope on April 2nd, 1992 in Nueces County, Texas.

While they had planned to later tell their family about the marriage, they were beaten to it by the local radio station who announced their elopement within hours of it happening. Abraham did not take the news well and so he isolated himself away for a while. He later returned to the couple and apologized for the hard-line he took on their relationship. He further extended an invitation to Chris to return to the band.

Their Marriage Ended When Selena Was Tragically Killed

Barely 3 years into their marriage, Selena met her tragic death at the hands of her close friend and business partner, Yolanda Saldivar, who shot her on March 31st, 1995. Reports which were prepared indicated that the two friends were facing some strains in their business relationship at the time of the incident.

As expected, the music icon’s death plunged Chris into a state of severe mourning and depression. Close family and friends revealed that the widely acclaimed guitarist did not eat for complete two days after the death of his wife. Lack of food combined with sorrow and depression led Perez to abuse drugs and alcohol. The Selena y Los Dinos lead guitarist secluded himself from family and friends and even abandoned his music for some time. It was also gathered from his family members that he blamed himself for not being there for his wife at the time of her murder.

The musician gradually lost weight and looked malnourished which led to his longtime friend and buddy, John Garza, moving in with him six months after the death of his wife in a bid to keep an eye on him. The following year, Chris went to live with his father who stayed in San Antonio.

Chris Perez Married Again But Divorced A Few Years Later

When Perez moved to San Antonio, all he had in mind was to recoup and move on but love found him a second time. He met Venessa Villanueva thanks to his friend Garza who orchestrated their meeting. The pair officially began dating in 1998 and by 2001 they got married. Their union was blessed with two lovely children; Noah and Cassie. However, the couple began experiencing some difficulties in their marriage which ultimately led to Chris filing for divorce in 2008.

Meet His Children

Cassie Perez

  • Full Name: Cassie Gabrielle Pérez
  • Gender: Female
  • Date of Birth: 23rd December 1998
  • Age: 23 Years Old
  • Place of Birth: San Antonio, Texas
  • Father: Chris Perez
  • Mother: Vanessa Villanueva

Cassie was born before her parents got married as she was welcomed into the world on 23rd December 1998 in San Antonio, Texas. She is their first child and only daughter. According to reports, the young lady studied at Del Mar College. While it is not clear what she studied at school, she has since become a certified aesthetician and phlebotomist.

Noah Perez

  • Full Name: Noah Pérez
  • Gender: Male
  • Date of Birth: 4th April 2005
  • Age: 17 Years Old
  • Place of Birth: San Antonio, Texas
  • Father: Chris Perez
  • Mother: Vanessa Villanueva

Unlike his older sister, Noah was born after his parents got married. He was born on the 4th of April 2005, three years before his parents’ marriage ended. But despite the fact that his parents are no longer together and that he has down syndrome, Noah maintains a very good relationship with both of them. He is particularly fond of his father and sister they all spend time together. It is no wonder that Noah has reportedly begun to take an interest in music.

Chris Perez Is Reportedly About To Get Married For The Third Time

Chris Perez
Chris Perez and Melissa’s engagement image source

In the late 2010s, the musician commenced a relationship with Melissa Jimenez. In January 2018, it was announced that Chris Perez asked his lady love to marry him with a stunning ring. Jimenez shared pictures of her engagement ring on social media and her fans were thrilled by the news. The young lady is also a musician like her beau and it is expected that wedding bells will soon be ringing for the love birds.

Chizitere Onukogu
Chizitere is a graduate of United States International University, Kenya. He has been writing and editing articles particularly in the field of sports, TV and entertainment and for many years. His writings has been published on multiple websites, blogs and publications

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