Selena: A Life Remembered (Part 2)

~ Continued from Part 1 ~

As Selena's popularity increased, placing additional demands on the group (such as travel), Abraham removed Selena from grade 8, prompting immediate unjustified criticism. Some accused him of violating child labor laws, while others warned him of ruining his children. "They will be surrounded by drinking and drugs," and "it will affect them," critics incorrectly predicted.(1)

Despite the skeptics, Selena remained intact. She continued to have fun and enjoy singing. She maintained her down-to-earth personality and refused to kidnap anyone, believing that "if you treat people well, they will eventually come back."(2) Accordingly, Selena always maintained a large repertoire with her fans and audience.(3) At the same time, she also maintained her academic skills and was awarded the G.E.D. from the Chicago School of Correspondence on October 17.

As Selena became a star, her brother AB III becomes a accomplished songwriter and producer after initially tending to supply his youngest sister with the quality, original material that the band lacked. One of his first songs, "Dame Un Beso," enjoyed moderate success. Not long after, A.B. III replaced his father as the lead songwriter. In addition, Ricky Vela, another member of the band also helps with the musical composition.

When the band's second album, Alpha, was released, it brought Selena her first musical honors. She has been the "Female Vocalist of the Year" at the 1987 West Texas Music Awards and Music Awards and was named "Female Vocalist of the Year" and "Artist of the Year" at the Tejano Music Awards. This recognition presents Selena to two influential personalities: Rick Trevino, founder of the Tejano Music Awards and Johnny Canales, the television personality of one of Spain's highest rated shows. Their efforts have given Selena the necessary publicity, broadening the horizons for Selena and Los Dinos.

Two more albums, Preciosa and Dulce Amor, were released in 1988 to gain more recognition from Selena. With album sales of more than 20,000, Selena's name began to spread beyond Texas. Not surprisingly, Selena was a finalist for "Female Vocalist of the Year" for 1988 and "Terco Corazon" and A.B. III were nominated for "Single of the Year" and "Song of the Year" respectively at the Tejano Music Awards.

Despite Selena's growing fame, Quintanilas's lifestyle has not changed much. They continue to live with beans and burgers and share just about anything. As a result, they wrote "No One You Know," written at the top of the group bus, "Big Bertha Windshield."

However, their happiness changed drastically when Selena was signed by Jose Behar, former head of Sony's Latin music division and creator of Capitol / EMI Latin label in 1989. The signing happened when Behar and his friend Mario Ruiz, who became President of EMI Mexico attended the Tejano Music Awards in 1989, looking for new talent and found Selena. The events went as follows on the account of Jose Behar:

"… We were standing in the back of the audience when we saw her. Mario and I looked at each other like, 'Aunt. This is special. "

"… I said, 'It's interesting. Women don't sell in the market.' But I really said to myself, 'This is the crossover I'm looking for.(4)

After that, believing that he had found the next Gloria Estefan, a popular and successful Latin cross artist, he went backstage and met and signed Selena after talking to her father. At that time, Behar never imagined how many records Selena would sell.

Despite signing with Capitol / EMI Latin and making "Female Vocalist of the Year", she was honored with the 1989 and 1990 Music Awards, as well as the "Female Artist of the Year" at the Tejano 1990 Music Awards, the first few issues Selena did a little better than the previous ones. However, another breakthrough came in 1991 when she was paired with Alvaro Torres at Buenos Amigos. Their video rose to # 1 on the Billboard Latin Tracks chart, which gives Selena a national exposure. The advent of Donde Quiero Que Estes with the extremely popular Latino band Barrio Boyzz further enhanced Selena's growing growth, which allowed her to enter the Latin American international market with her solo hits, "La Carcacha" and "Como La Flor".

Then Johnny Canales helped Selena become an instant celebrity in Mexico, leading to a star offering a leading role in a Mexican soap opera that she rejected because of her steamy scenes. Although she was determined to make it big, Selena had no intention of sacrificing her principles. She appreciated her appeal to the general public, consisting of young children and grandparents.

Performing in tight pants, low-cut bustier and shiny clothes was her limit. Unlike many others, Selena did not have to give up her morale for glory. Her natural talent was enough. Additionally, when Johnny Canales compared Selena to Madonna, Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson, all pop stars, he stated, "I would say (Selena) was like these people, but better. These people never sang Tejano. She could do what they did, but it would be difficult for them to do what she does.(5)

Also during this time, the Los Dinos Band expanded, giving Selena some of her happiest moments. Pete Astudillo, a native and talented artist from Laredo, Texas, joined in 1989. He and Selena continue to perform hit duos such as "Yo Te Amo" and "Amame, Quiereme".(6) Accordingly, the two were twice nominated for the "Vocal Duo of the Year" at the Tehano Music Awards.

Another great addition was Chris Perez, who briefly joined Los Dinos in 1988, left a year later to try it for himself, and then returned in 1990. Chris was a talented guitarist who eventually became Selena's husband. They were married on April 2, 1992.

Although Selena's father initially opposed marriage, he soon regarded Chris as a "son."(7) Then Selena and Chris shared a nearby house, while her parents lived in the house next door, and her brother, A.B. III and his wife and children in another. There were nine dogs between the three houses, five of which belonged to Selena, an avid animal lover. Later, the two bought a piece of land a little further away with plans to build a larger house to start a family and run a small farm. Prior to her death, Selena had already chosen the furniture.

When Selena's career began, she released two hit albums: "Ven Conmigo" with the hit song "Baila Esta Cumbia" in 1990 and "Entre A Mi Mundo" with the hit songs "La Carcacha" and "Como La Flor" in 1992 The great success of these albums ended the transformation of Selena from "unknown" to "star". Then a show starring Selena, La Mafia and Emilia Navajra at the Summit in Houston in the summer of 1991 drew over 9,000 people. Next up was Selena Live in 1993, which gave the young singer her first Grammy, along with three Tejano Awards, opening the door to mainstream pop.

After four years of trying, Jim Behar, using Selena's growing popularity and sales, finally convinced EMI's pop division to give her the opportunity to go through it. Before 1993, Behar faced repeated setbacks and had to start every time key executives left the Company. As one EMI executive director, Nancy Brennan, Vice President of Artists and Repertoire, summarized, "Everything (Behar) talked about was Selena. It was like a broken record, 'Selena, Selena …'"(8)

Brennan was exposed to Selena when she attended the Billboard Latino Music Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada to see John Secada, a hugely popular EMI performer. Selena's opening there made a lasting impression. By December 1993, Selena was signed by SBK's EMI subsidiary to launch her crossover album, which took a year and a half to produce due to the annoying effort to find the right songs and producers.

The success of "Amor Prohibido" from 1994 also added to the delays of the crossover, as Selena was asked to appear everywhere. Nancy Brennan recounted one such episode when she was forced to postpone the recording session: "This is the first time I've made a debut album by an artist who was too busy to record for me. How can you say to someone, "No, I don't want to play the astronomy for 60,000 people. I want to work in your archive. Everyone wants it.(9)

Amor Prohibido's album, featuring four # 1 Latin singles (Amor Prohibido's title track "No Me Queda Mas," "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" and "Fotos Y Recuerdos," kicks off Selena's biggest year ever. " Amor Prohibido "came out, he immediately replaced Gloria Estefan's Mi Tierra" # 1 on Billboard's Latin song charts and even made the Top 200 of Billboard's pop charts. This led to six awards at the Tejano Music Awards More than 45,000 people attended – "Female Artist of the Year", "Female Vocalist of the Year", "Album of the Year Orchestra", "Record of the Year", "Beady Bidi Bom Boom" , "Song of the Year," and "Techno Cumbia," Crossover Song of the Year. "More than 400,000 copies were sold at the time of Selena's death less than a year after her release.

Selena also realized two more dreams in 1994. First, she opened a boutique / salon in Corpus Christi called "Selena, etc." From her childhood, Selena has dreamed of designing clothes and jewelry. Second, she plays the role of Don Juan Demarco, a movie released in early 1995, starring Marlon Brando and Johnny Depp, and offers the potential to lead to larger and perhaps leading roles. The action was Selena's recent dream.

With the upcoming release of Selena's cross-album "Dreaming About You," his widespread fame and rocket demand, a million-dollar record deal, a Grammy award, endorsed by sponsors like Coca Cola and her own clothing line, it seemed like the meteoric Selena's career can only be promoted. At that time, Selena was named "one of the most successful Latino entertainers in the world" by Hispanic Business magazine.

Astrodome's sold-out concert for Houston Livestock and Rodeo in February 1995, with a crowd of 61,000+, at that time, the largest in Astrodome history, only reinforced that belief. Yet, ironically and almost prophetically, when Selena was asked to speculate on her future during an interview in July 1994, she modestly stated, "I hope she is still alive, I hope she sings even later, maybe 10 years earlier, I hope to have a family by then.(10)

Four years earlier, Yolanda Saldidar, Selena's "biggest fan," came to Selena's life after urging her to create a fan club in her honor. Although Abraham initially refused, he eventually gave up when Yolanda agreed to make him a "no-profit" and donated the rest of the charity. In the end, Yolanda's relationship with Quintanillas deepened when Selena called an operations manager to manage Selena's sales, customer relations and finances, etc.

At that time, no one saw Saldidar's dark obsession. In addition, no one knew that Yolanda had failed to repay a $ 5,300 student loan, quit her nursing job under suspicious circumstances, was rejected by Shelley Lares, a prominent, young singer from Tejano, to create Shelley Lares Fan Club. and is accused of stealing $ 9,200 from a dermatologist she worked for.

However, in early 1995, Abraham Quintanila began receiving complaints from upset fans who announced that they were not receiving Selena's packages, consisting of a T-shirt, baseball cap, cassette / CD and an autograph poster, for which they paid membership fees. imports, the money also began to disappear from the boutiques. With their suspicions, the Quintanillas investigated and found that Yolanda had written four checks, including one for herself for $ 3,000 from the Fanclub's books. Then Selena's father angrily confronts Yolanda, who claims he can explain everything if given some time. Saldivar then purchased a .38 caliber pistol.

But despite growing evidence, Selena sent Yolanda to Mexico to assist in the discovery of "Selena, etc." boutique in Monterey. Hoping that they could remain friends after the confrontation, Selena was inclined to give Saldiar the chance she asked for – to "prove her innocence and find the missing documents."

Then, while in Mexico, Yolanda called Selena on the phone to report hysterically that the car containing the documents had been stolen and had been raped. But Yolanda refused medical attention when she returned to Corpus Christi. Instead, she asked Selena to meet her at the Dance Inn Motel in Corpus Christi. When Selena and her husband arrived, Yolanda was unable to produce any documents.

Yolanda then called Selena around midnight on the morning of March 31, 1995, claiming he was suffering from internal bleeding caused by rape. During the phone call, Saldiar asked Selena to come back alone, which she did in the morning.

When she arrived, Selena drove Yolanda to the hospital, where she withdrew her story of rape. Then Selena takes her back to the motel where they were arguing after Selena is thought to have fired her and plans to return an Fabergé egg ring, funded by all boutique staff, who she was fooled into believing that Yolanda was generous gave as a gift.

After hearing the argument and the rifle, the maid cleaning the nearby room looked out the window and saw Selena clenching her chest and screaming for help as she ran away from Yolanda, clutching a .38 in her right hand, aimed and fired again.

When Selena reached the lobby, she collapsed and was bleeding profusely from her wound. Although the desk pen locked the door and called 911 for an ambulance, it was too late. Efforts to revive Selena, despite the infusion of blood and electrocution that briefly restarted her heart, were fruitless. She was pronounced dead at 1:05 p.m. Then, tens of thousands passed along Selena's open casket to pay their last respects while her body lay still.

Today, almost 12 years after her death, Selena's legacy continues to live on. In spite of the tragedy, Selena has made the crossroads into a mainstream and is an icon whose spirit is still alive. Reminders of Selena's warmth, generosity and indelible beauty are all around Corpus Christi. The Mirador de la Flor stands along the bay, while a museum dedicated to his career is only a few kilometers away. Every year, thousands visit the tomb of Selena, the Mirador de la Flora and the Museum of Selena. Selena's souvenirs remain popular with rare autographs that sometimes go for more than $ 1,000. With its continued fame and popularity, it would not be surprising if the US Postal Service eventually issued a stamp in honor of Selena's lasting legacy.


(1) Rick Mitchell. An interactive biography of Corpus Christi talk time. (Houston Chronicle), 1995.

(2) Rick Mitchell. An interactive biography of Corpus Christi talk time. (Houston Chronicle), 1995.

(3) Bill Hewitt, et al. People weekly. (Chicago, April 17, 1995) 49.

(4) Rick Mitchell. An interactive biography of Corpus Christi talk time. (Houston Chronicle), 1995.

(5) Rick Mitchell. An interactive biography of Corpus Christi talk time. (Houston Chronicle), 1995.

(6) Himilce Novas. Remembering Selena: A tax on pictures and words. (Griffin: New York, 1995) 43-44.

(7) Rick Mitchell. An interactive biography of Corpus Christi talk time. (Houston Chronicle), 1995.

(8) Rick Mitchell. An interactive biography of Corpus Christi talk time. (Houston Chronicle), 1995.

(9) Rick Mitchell. Corpus Christi Caller Times biography. (Houston Chronicle), 1995.

(10) Bruce Hagan, producer; Joshua Quinn, editor, and more. Al. Dateline NBC – Obsession. (April 7, 1995).