Remembering the Life and Legacy of Selena 20 Years Later

Twenty years after Selena’s tragic death, fans will get a chance to honor the late singer’s legacy by attending a series of festivities that are scheduled to take place beginning April 17th.  At first, Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla III, had some mixed feelings about the upcoming festivities, but he eventually changed his mind.

“Of course I’m happy that people today will remember Selena more than ever,” Abraham Quintanilla III, said via telephone from his office in Corpus Christi, Texas. “But as Jehovah’s witnesses, we don’t want people to think we’re behind all the festivities,” he added. “We remember our daughter every single day…we don’t need a special day to remember her.”

Corpus Christi’s Conventions and Visitors Bureau will be in charge of hosting this year’s two-day festival. Tickets will cost $5 for adults, $2 for children ages 5-12, and kids under 5 years old will receive complimentary admission. The city of Corpus Christi is expected to draw in a crowd of 50,000 fans or more to honor the late singer’s life. “It will be the first edition of an annual festival that will grow every year,” Quintanilla said.

According to WABC-TV the festival,  Fiesta De La Flor, will showcase musical artists such as A.B Quintanilla (Selena’s brother), the Kumbia Kings All Starz, Selena’s widower and former Los Dinos guitarist, Chris Perez, Little Joe & La Familia, Los Lobos and many others. For more information about the festival, visit

The Historical Museum of Lake Jackson (a city where Selena lived until she was nine), will be featuring an exhibition of the star, right up through April 18th. Also, there will be a 5K “Bidi Bidi Fun Run, with all proceeds going to the Selena foundation which helps children deal with crisis issues.

Just recently, Alamo Drafthouse put together a sing-along screening of the movie Selena at its South Lamar location. The theater showed the film three times to a packed crowd in Austin, Texas.

Selena started her music career at six-years-old and was the lead singer of her family’s band called Selena y Los Dinos.” When she was 15, Selena won the best female entertainer of the year award at the Tejano Music Awards in San Antonio, Texas. Her beautiful singing voice and humble personality, captured the hearts of many Americans, including Mexicans across the world.

On the day Selena was shot and killed by Yolanda Saldivar (her fan club president and manager of her boutiques), Selena’s father was having breakfast at a Hi-Ho Mexican restaurant when he received that distressful phone call. Selena had met with Saldivar that morning to discuss business matters, according to various news sources.  In early March, Saldivar was accused of stealing money from the fan club as well as Selena’s fashion boutiques.

Selena took Saldivar to the Doctors Regional Hospital in Corpus Christi Texas, after Saldivar told Selena that she was “raped” in Mexico. Selena and Saldivar then returned back to the Days Inn Motel where Saldivar was staying at the time. Evidently, a loud argument broke out between them and Saldivar shot Selena in the back, thus severing an artery.

Selena ran to escape from Saldivar, but ended up collapsing on the ground in a pool of blood. After doctors tried to revive the young beauty for 50 minutes, Selena Quintanilla-Perez was pronounced dead at 1.05 p.m. CST due to excessive blood loss and cardiac arrest. Her killer, Yolanda Saldivar, in the meantime, is currently sitting behind bars serving a life sentence. Saldivar has a chance of getting out on parole in the year 2025.

According to Billboard, Selena passed away before finishing up her crossover album entitled Dreaming of you. The sixth studio album was released on July 18, 1995 and became Selena’s first number one album on billboard’s 700 chart. She also earned seven number ones on the hot latin songs chart for “Tu Solo Tu, holding the number one spot for ten straight weeks.

Two years after Selena was killed, current American Idol judge, actress and singer, Jennifer Lopez (JLO) caught a big break  when she played the leading role of Selena in a biopic. Lopez, 45, recently spoke in an interview with Billboard about Selena’s legacy and the impact she had on the music world.

“It has always bugged me that people would try to think there’s a next Selena,” Lopez said. “It’s like saying there’s another James Dean or Marilyn Monroe. People like that don’t come along everyday…there is never going to be another Selena,” she declared.

As a matter of fact, Selena’s legacy is what inspired Lopez to launch her own music and acting career in the first place. “It had a lot to do with it— all those performances, Lopez said of her lead role in Selena. “I sang in musicals before, but only as part of a cast…never as a solo artist, upfront or a recording artist.”

Three miles away from the Hi-Ho restaurant is Q-Productions, Inc., an entertainment company that Quintanilla founded back in 2003. The studio includes a performance stage, offices, secret hallways that lead to one another and a Selena museum that is located in the center. One room contains all of Selena’s plaques, awards, her glistening dark magenta one-piece outfit that she wore to her last awards show, as well as her collection of glass eggs.

Selena’s death sent massive shock waves across the world and the enormous outpouring of grief was being compared to the deaths of John Lennon and Elvis Presley, according to myfoxaustin. In addition, the website also states that Selena was nicknamed “The Mexican Madonna” by the media. Her funeral drew in a huge crowd of approximately 60,000 or more.

April 16th would have been Selena’s 44th birthday— her birthday was officially declared “Selena day” back in 1995 by former Governor of Texas, George W. Bush. Selena died on March 31,1995 and the talented singer was only 23 years old.

“He’s committed to having Selena be remembered in a light he believes is truest to her spirit,” Suzette Quintanilla (Selena’s sister), said of her father. “One thing my dad said is that he never wanted her to be forgotten…and she hasn’t been.”


Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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