Selena Quintanilla was a Mexican American singer, model, actress, and fashion designer who was regarded as one of the most significant faces in the entertainment industry most especially among the Mexican American community. Although she didn’t get to live a long life, she has still remained a person of interest more than 20 years after her death.
Selena Quintanilla Biography and Life
It was on April 16, 1971, that Selena Quintanilla was born as the youngest child of Abraham Quintanilla Jr. and Marcella Ofelia Samora in Corpus Christi, Texas. She was raised a Jehovah Witness alongside her elder siblings, Suzette Quintanilla (sister) and A.B. Quintanilla III. For her education, the singer attended the American School of Correspondence in Chicago and graduated with a high school diploma. She then went to the Louisiana State University and the Pacific Western University.
Because she was born into a musically inclined family, she got into music very early in life. Her father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr was a singer, songwriter, and a producer, and that made it very easy for him to get all his children into the industry even at a very young age. When Selena was only 9, her father began the Selena y Los Dinos Tejano Band which she was the lead. The band had Abraham Quintanilla III, Suzette Quintanilla, the Grammy-winning producer Mike Dean, Pete Astudillo, and Chris Perez as members at one point. Although she remained a member of the Band until her death, she also pursued a solo career.
Selena’s musical career took off professionally in 1982 and soon she became a big voice in the male-dominated Tejano music genre earning her the name of the Queen of Tejano music. Her first solo album, Selena, came in 1898, followed by Ven Conmigo (1990). This was followed by Entre a Mi Mundo (1992), Live! (1993), and then Amor Prohibido (1994) which was the last album she released alive. After she was death, however, her final album, Dreaming of You was released in 1995.
Selena Quintanilla’s rather short career saw her winning various awards including the 1994 Grammy Awards for the Best Mexican/American Album of the year with her Live! album. The Queen of Tejano also Won the Billboard Latin Music Awards with the same album as well as other awards.
Although many people would never forget her for her music, she was also a fashion designer who owned the Selena Etc.. She had different stores which were managed by Yolanda Saldívar. The beautiful singer appeared in the movie, Don Juan DeMarco in 1995. The movie also featured actors like Jonny Depp and Marlon Brando.
Husband and Family
Throughout her life, Selena Quintanilla kept her family very close. She began a relationship with band mate, Chris Pérez. Although Abraham Quintanilla Jr. strongly disapproved of the relationship because he believed Perez would only make Selena forget her dreams and leave her music, she got the support of her mother. In 1992, the two lovers decided to elope and get married.
Before they got married, Quintanilla Jr disbanded Perez from the band, but after the marriage, he took him back in.
Following the death of Selena Quintanilla in 1995, Chris Perez remained single until 2001 when he got married to Venessa Villanueva. The marriage produced two children but it ended in a divorce in 2008.
Death and Funeral
Yolanda Saldívar was brought in to take charge of Selena’s boutiques as well as the running of the Selena Fan Club. It was soon discovered, however, that Saldivar was embezzling money from both of the ventures. At the time, she had already made away with more than $30,000.
Quintanilla, Jr. took it upon himself to confront Saldivar whom he later fired and banned from getting anywhere near his daughter. Nevertheless, because Selena saw her as a friend and someone important to her business, she tried reestablishing the relationship and decided to meet with her together with Perez to get some missing documents for the purpose of Tax records. They were later to realize that Saldivar gave them fake documents.
Saldivar convinced Selena to return to the motel where they met alone to get the right documents that night, but on the insistence of Chris Perez, she left it for the next day. On March 31, the singer met her former manager at the motel to get the right documents only to be met with stories by Yolande Saldivar claiming she had been raped in Mexico. Selena drove Saldivar to the hospital where doctors examined her and saw no sign of rape.
Back to the motel, Selena terminated their working relationship but as she made to get away, Saldivar took out a revolver from her handbag and shot the singer as she tried to escape. Selena Quintanilla Perez ran into the lobby where she collapsed while asking for help and asking that the door be locked so that Yolanda doesn’t shoot her again. She also gave the name of Yolanda and the room number she was in (158).
She was rushed to a local hospital there in Corpus Christi but she died a few hours later. Meanwhile, Yolanda Saldivar who tried to escape the scene of her heinous crime was arrested by the police and was later found guilty of First-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with eligibility for parole after 30 years.
After her death, George W. Bush who was then the Governor of Texas declared April 16, which was her birthday as Selena Day in the state.
Selena Quintanilla-Pérez became even more popular following her death and many children born were named after her. Her funeral was witnessed by many fans, with close to 40,000 people walking by her casket. Her funeral rites held at the San Fernando Cathedral and she was laid to rest at the Seaside Memorial Park in Corpus Christi.