Women’s History

Selena Quintanilla: The Queen Of Tejano Music


Artwork by Megan Lovett

Megan Lovett, Staff Writer

Her upbringing

Selena Quintanilla was a woman of many talents  and a role model to young girls. She pushed boundaries that had never been tested, and believed that, “ The impossible is always possible.” Selena was born on April 16th, 1971 in Lake Jackson Texas. Her father, Abraham Quintanilla, had his own band in the 1950’s. This band was what inspired him to create a family band with Selena as the lead singer at the age of 10. The family was incredibly talented and supportive of each other. The band, ‘Selena Y Los Dinos,’ performed at her fathers restaurant and they would play at parties and weddings. 

        Her rise to fame

In an article by Biography.com, it mentions that Selena’s first language was actually english, and she had to learn spanish later on in her life, through music, and her family. As the family created their own music, Selena slowly gained recognition, which was not only hard in itself, but incredibly hard as a Mexican Woman. Women were not expected to do music that way at the time. It didn’t take long for her to become labeled as ‘The Queen of Tejano Music.’

       Her fashion and Passion

Selena did more than music of course. She took a huge part in fashion, dancing, encouraging children to graduate, and also went to college and opened her own boutiques. Her creative dance moves on stage along with outfits that she designed captured everyone’s hearts along with her beaming smile and the appreciation she had for her fans. 

Outside of her Career

  Other than charming the world and breaking records, like becoming the first female tejano recording artist to be awarded a gold record for her song, ‘Ven Conmigo,’ She also had a husband. Her husband, Chris Perez, was the guitarist of the band, and had a secret relationship with her for quite some time before they were discovered by her father, who was not supportive of the idea initially. It’s said that Selena knew the best way to handle it would be to secretly elope and just like the other things in her life it ended in success. Chris has a book titled, ‘To Selena with Love’ where you can read all about their beautiful story. According to a CNN interview with Chris, he said, “She was everywhere after she passed away, she was all over the TV and then there was the trial but the memories I had were my own. I was very protective of those. With this book I was able to show her in a different light, the woman off the stage.” Selena wanted 5 children and a home with land and lots of animals. This dream was incredibly close but sadly it never happened. 

Her Tragic End 

She was incredibly close to reaching her goals at the time of her passing. Yolanda Saldivar was the president of her fan club who had ended her career as a nurse to work full time for Selena. Over time the family and friends of Selena noticed that Saldivar was quite possessive of the Latina artist. It was some time into the establishment of Yolanda and Selenas professional and friendly relationship that Selena’s father noticed money being stolen from them. This caused issues with important financial documents that were needed for the business. Saldivar was fired, but she still held the documents. Selena, who was described as trusting by many, met up with Yolanda to acquire the documents alone. Saldivar had bought a gun not long before this interaction, and shot the young woman in the shoulder causing a fatal injury. She did not make it through the attack, and passed away on March 31, 1995 at the age of 23. 


Her Legacy

  The legacy of Selena has not faded one bit, and has in fact increased. At the time of her passing, 60,000 people showed up to pay their respects at the star’s funeral. If you walk into popular clothing stores, you’re likely to see her face, or style somewhere. Her impact has transcended generations and she broke barriers for many.