Saturday, March 31, 2012


Compiled by Mary Alize Velázquez and Tony Franco

In March 31, of 1995 the entire world was blown away by the tragic news...a young woman had died at the age of only 23.  The fact that a woman's life would end at such a young age is terrible, but this was so much worse. It was worse because the innocent victim in this horrible crime was Selena Quintanilla Perez: The Queen Of Tejano Music. A women who was admired and followed by thousands of fans in the Latin World and who would have soon been followed by millions more in the English Pop world had she lived to fulfill her crossover dream, her American Dream...

“La Reina Del Tex Mex “ or translated in English, “The Queen of Tex Mex” was Selena Quintanilla- Perez nickname in the entertainment industry.  Selena was born April 16, 1971 in the city of Lake Jackson, Texas. Selena was the youngest of  her siblings Suzette and Abraham. Her parents Abraham Quintanilla and Marcela Ofelia Zamora raised her as a Jehovah Witness. Selena’s singing career started at the age of 3, when her father Abraham began teaching her songs. By the age of 9, with a little more experience, Mr.Quintanilla started a band by the name of Selena y los Dinos.

Selena y Los Dinos
The group started performing at the Quintanilla´s family restaurant, however this was not for a long time since the family experienced a financial crisis and went bankrupt. The family then relocated to Corpus Cristi, Texas. At this point they would perform anywhere possible, whether it was at  quinceañera (15th birthday celebration), weddings, street corners, fairs, or anywhere they would get hired.

Within time, Selena’s popularity increased causing her singing career to interfere with her education. By the 8th grade, her father decided to pull Selena out of school, so that she could pursue her singing career, eventually later on, she was able to obtained her high school diploma, when she was 17 years old.

Selena and her band recorded their first album in 1985, it was produced by a local record company. This first album was not a hit since it did not reach the stores and her father Mr. Quintanilla, purchased all the copies. This album was released once again several years later,  and it was titled “Mis Primeras Grabaciones”.

Selena and husband Chris Perez
Selena y los Dinos “ as they were known, recorded six albums without having a record company. 

The album ‘Ven Conmigo” was released in 1990 and it became such a hit, that it made her, the first female to achieve gold status.

 “Amor Prohibido” 2 years later, raised Selena to stardom. Around the same time, a registered nurse and fan named Yolanda Saldívar approached Selena's father with the idea of starting a fan club. Her wish was granted and she became the club's president; later she became the manager of Selena's retail enterprises.

The album Amor Prohibido was released in 1994,  and it was nominated for a Grammy award for Mexican-American Album of the Year. Selena and her band received yet more accolades in 1994. Billboard's Premio Lo Nuestro awarded them six awards, including Best Latin Artist and Song of the Year for "Como La Flor".

                                                       BARRIO BOYZZ AND SELENA

Meanwhile, her duet with the Barrio Boyzz, "Donde Quiera Que Estés", reached number one in the Billboard Latin Charts. This prompted Selena to tour in Latin America.  She performed a duet with Salvadorian singer Álvaro Torres, the song title was "Buenos Amigos".

By fall of 1994, Amor Prohibido was a commercial success in Mexico and made four number one Latin hits, replacing Gloria Estefan's Mi Tierra on the chart's number one spot. It sold over 400,000 copies by late 1994 in the U.S. and another 50,000 copies in Mexico, reaching gold status.

Aside from music, Selena began designing and manufacturing a clothing line in 1994 and opened two boutiques called Selena Etc., one in Corpus Christi and the other in San Antonio. Both were equipped with in-house beauty salons. Hispanic Business magazine reported that the singer earned over five million dollars from these boutiques. Selena briefly played opposite Erik Estrada in a Mexican telenovela (soap opera) titled  Dos Mujeres, Un Camino. In 1995, she entered negotiations to star in another telenovela produced by Emilio Larrosa.

At the peak of her career, Selena visited local schools to talk to students about the importance of education. She also donated her time to civic organizations such as D.A.R.E.. These demonstrations of community involvement won her loyalty from her fan base. Selena scheduled her English album for release in the summer of 1995.

At the peak of her career and in the preparation of releasing her English album, the Quintanillas encounter a problem with Yolanda Saldivar who was the president and manager of Selena’s fan club. The family had discovered that Saldivar was stealing money from Selena’s fan club. With this shocking and disappointing surprise they decided to terminate Saldivar.

After three weeks of letting go of Yolanda from her position she called Selena and scheduled a meeting to discuss the situation at a motel. Selena and Yolanda meet at the Days Inn hotel in Corpus Cristi, on March 31, 1995. The reason for the mutual meeting was for Yolanda to hand over financial records, which she had previously declined to give Selena.

During this first encounter between both, Yolanda claimed that she had been raped in México, and was in need of help from Selena. Selena concerned with the situation and worried for Saldivar immediately took her to the hospital. At the hospital after tests where ran to prove any type of rape indications on Yolanda, doctors  found no evidence, or sign of possible rape. With this being discovered both Yolanda and Selena proceeded to the hotel where they had previously met. Once they arrive Selena demanded Yolanda  the financial records Saldívar had been refusing to turn over.

Selena and Yolanda Saldivar
days before the fatal encounter.

At the Days Inn in Corpus Christi, Texas, during the argument, Yolanda pulled out a gun and aimed at Selena while inside the room of the hotel. Startled by the weapon, Selena attempted to escape from the scene, but during this attempt Yolanda fired the gun shooting Selena in her right shoulder causing injury to an artery. As she managed to ran out of the room, Yolanda followed her cursing and still aggravating the wounded Selena verbally,  there was a 150 foot blood trail leading from the room to the lobby.

Seriously hurt Selena managed to reach the lobby of the hotel and seeked for help, but she collapsed on the floor. The lobby clerk called 911 to seek help for the wounded young singing star, who was trying to cling to life....As Selena lay dying on the lobby floor, she told them who shot her before she passed out. 

The paramedics began working on her, they managed to put her in the ambulance, Selena was transported to a nearby hospital, but she lost her struggle for life due to her wound and loss of blood. It's rumoured that the last words Selena spoke were "Why did she do this to me?" "Please don't let me die!"...

17 years ago, on march 31st  at 1:05 p.m., 16 days before her 24th birthday, the world lost that beautiful young and talented sweet girl whose dreams were just beginning to become a reality, but were cut short by a bullet.

Two weeks after her death, on April 12, George W. Bush, then Governor of Texas, declared Selena's birthday April 16 as "Selena Day" in Texas. Selena was inducted into the "Latin Music Hall of Fame" in 1995.

In October 1995, a Houston jury convicted Saldívar of first degree murder and sentenced her to life in prison, with the possibility of parole in thirty years. Under a judge's order, the gun used to kill Selena was destroyed in 2002, and the pieces thrown into Corpus Christi Bay.

The death of Selena cause anger and commotion within the entertainment industry and society. It was such a shock to the whole world the news stopped there actual programming to bring the world the tragic news of this super star whose life had been taken away.

Her music was heard nation wide through out radio stations her albums sold out everywhere. It was such tragedy for the music world and for  all the fans who followed the star.

Her face was on the front covers of many magazines, newspapers, and fliers, any publication you can possibly think of, showed and talked about Selena´s tragic death. Thousands of mourners cried her departure from this world, and paid tribute to Selena. 


Now 17 years later she is still remembered throughout movies like “Selena “ with the participation of Jennifer Lopez, many early recording albums and unreleased  recordings hit the market after her death, her music lives on, and you can still hear songs like Amor Prohibido, Como la Flor, Bidi Bidi Bom Bom, Dreaming of You on radio stations today.

On April 3rd,  Chris Perez, widower of Selena,  will released a book about their relationship, something that her fans had been long waiting for.

The new book "To Selena, With Love" reveals intimate details about the late Tejano star's life, but the book's author – her widower, Chris Perez – doesn't consider it a "tell-all" kind of book.

"I thought it should be honest, with dignity. I knew there would be things that would make me feel uncomfortable, but I think I wrote the book with respect," Perez, 42, said in a recent interview.

That summer, Selena's album Dreaming of You, a combination of Spanish-language songs and new English-language tracks, debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, making her the first Hispanic singer to accomplish this feat. and the second highest debut after Michael Jackson's HI Story. 

On its release date, the album sold over 175,000 copies, a record for a female pop singer, and it sold two million copies in its first year.[34] Dreaming of You sold more than 330,000 copies in its first week.The album was number 75 in the List of BMG Music Club's top selling albums in the United States. 

Songs such as "I Could Fall in Love" and "Dreaming of You" were played widely by mainstream English-language radio, with the latter reaching number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100. Meanwhile, "I Could Fall in Love", while ineligible for the Hot 100 at the time, reached number 8 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart and the top 10 on the Adult Contemporary Chart. "Dreaming of You" was certified 3x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Until this day her albums are still a total hit and sell everyday. This legends life was cut too short by a woman who unfortunately, had become jealous of Selena´s tremendous success.

Where would Selena be at today, if this woman had not killed her? That we´ll never know, but there is no doubt that Selena will always live through her videos, pictures and her musical legacy forever. We thank  her for everything that she shared with us,  while she was alive, and for the many memories she left behind.

Today her music lives on, on March 20, 2012 her CD "Enamorada de Ti" (In Love with You), was released and it includes several duets with Cristian Castro "Como la Flor", Samo and Selena singing "Amor Prohibido", Bidi Bidi Bom Bom with Selena Gomez, "Fotos y Recuerdos" with Don Omar, and the title song from the album "Enamorada de Ti" featuring Selena and Juan Magan among other songs.

 Her smile will forever shine from heavenWE TRULY MISS HER! Rest In Peace….

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