The Selena Quintanilla biography is an abrupt story of triumph and heartbreak. Known to millions as only Selena, the Latin and Pop music sensation stole hearts and created an entertainment legacy living well beyond her tragically shortened life. What are some facts that you should know about Selena Quintanilla Pérez?
The Selena Quintanilla Pérez early years. Selena was born on April 16, 1971 in Lake Jackson, Texas. The daughter of Abraham and Marcella Quintanilla, Selena was the youngest of three children, joining a brother, A.B. and a sister, Suzette. Selena's father had held a lifelong love of music, but family obligations cut his personal musical aspirations short. However, tough times did not prevent him from encouraging and inspiring musical interests in his children.
Selena’s early music career. While Selena was the youngest Quintanilla, her voice and poise placed her in the front of the family’s band before her tenth birthday. As the family band, Selena Y Los Dinos, began to play beyond the family’s restaurant and minor engagements at local weddings and events, the musical group became the Quintanilla family’s primary source of income.
Selena Quintanilla's music industry success. Selena Y Los Dinos signed with the music company EMI Latin and was propelled to stardom on the Tejano music scene behind Selena. As Selena’s fame grew, she racked up a number of awards and firsts. Selena earned five simultaneous Spanish albums on the Billboard 200 music charts. She had multiple Grammy nominated albums—winning a Grammy award for Selena Live! In 1993 fans dubbed her the “Queen of Tejano”—and a crossover was in the making to bring Selena’s Tejano music to English language listeners as well by 1995.
Selena’s personal life and tragic death. Selena Quintanilla married Christopher Pérez in 1992 as her music empire was growing. With fan clubs emerging, music industry honors mounting, and appeal pending outside the Spanish language/Tejano market, Selena was achieving her family’s dream by the young age of 23. That dream was cut short by Yolanda Saldivar, the manager of Selena’s official fan club. Saldivar murdered Selena on March 31, 1995, to avoid prosecution on theft and embezzlement charges from Selena’s enterprises.
Selena’s legacy. Although the magnitude of Selena’s success in the English speaking music market was not fully realized, the Hispanic community rallied around the fallen star. The movie, "Selena," based on her life was a resounding hit—and her music topped Latin music charts for years following her death. Billboard Magazine also named Selena the “Latin Artist of the Decade.” Selena’s family began The Selena Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to helping children in crisis to ensure that Selena’s inspiration and memory continue to encourage youth.
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