April 16 - Selena Day in Texas

Posted on April 16, 2020

Today is the birthday of a talented, influential Latina woman who was taken from the world by a senseless act - and at a tragically young age.

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was born on this date in 1971. She was the youngest child of a musical family. She was just 10 when she started recording - and at that point she was already the featured member of a band! Selena y Los Dinos included an older brother and sister. Despite her talent, she faced criticism and hardships, partly because she and her band were performing Tejano (or Tex-Mex) music, and that genre was dominated by men. 

Some places wouldn't even book the band.

What a loss for them! In 1987, Selena won Female Vocalist of the Year at the Tejano Music Awards - and she ended up winning that award eight more times in a row! She is now considered the Queen of Tejano.

In 1989, at the ripe old age of 18 (!), Selena signed with EMI Latin as a solo singer. Her brother became her main music producer and songwriter, and her albums grew in popularity until she won a Grammy for Best Mexican American Album.

When Selena was 23 years old, she was shot and killed by a friend and former manger of Selena Etc. boutiques. How unspeakably sad, huh?  

The album Selena had been working on at the time of her death sold 175,000 copies the day it was released - and so it went straight to the top of the Billboard 200. This is the first predominantly Spanish-language album to do this!

The governor of Texas, George W. Bush (who later became President of the US), declared April 16 Selena Day. Movies have been made about Selena. She still ranks one of the best selling female artists in Latin music.

Jennifer Lopez played Selena in the 1997 movie.

We are so lucky Selena Quintanilla started her recording career so young. But we are so unlucky that gun violence took her from us so young!

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