On March 31, 1995, the world lost one of the most celebrated Mexican-American entertainers of the late 20th century, the great Selena Quintanilla. A unique artist that is often described as a “vessel for Latinx identity” and as a bridge that musically unified two languages and cultures in a transcendental manner.
The world misses her; therefore, in the 21st Century, we continue remembering Selena Quintanilla’s outstanding musical career 26 years after her death. Whether we keep her musical repertoire, movie and tv series playing, or she is honored in big awards, Selena, in some shape, form, or fashion, is still alive in everyone’s hearts.
Although Selena was murdered by Yolanda Saldívar when she was only 23 years old, the “Queen of Tejano music” accomplished so much in her short life. Debuting on the music scene in 1981, Quintanilla was only ten years old when she became a member of the band Selena y Los Dinos alongside her elder siblings A.B. Quintanilla and Suzette Quintanilla.
Six years later, the singer, songwriter, businesswoman, and fashion designer broke barriers in the Tejano music industry — a male-dominated music genre — after winning the Tejano Music Award for Female Vocalist of The Year in 1987.
Selena Quintanilla later became the top-selling Latin artist of the 1990s decade and one of the most influential Latin artists of all time. She is also the first recording female Tejano artist to win a Grammy Awards for Best Mexican/American Album. Quintanilla’s critically acclaimed fourth studio album Amor Prohibido became one of the best-selling Latin albums in the United States.
After her tragic passing, her legacy continues, and only two weeks later, former Texas Governor and US President George W. Bush declared Selena‘s birthday Selena Day in Texas. The same year the United States Social Security Administration ranked “Selena” as one of the 100 most popular names for newborn girls, and she was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame, the Hard Rock Cafe’s Hall of Fame, and the South Texas Music Hall of Fame.
Her posthumous crossover album, Dreaming of You, made her the first Latin artist to debut atop on the Billboard 200. The world continued falling in love with her story and music in 1997 when Warner Bros. released Selena, the iconic film starring Jennifer Lopez.
She became the best-selling celebrity collection in cosmetics history after her family released a posthumous collaboration with MAC cosmetics.
In 2020, her latest biographical drama, Selena: The Series, was released on Netflix on December 4, and later honors and tributes continued to be erected. She was recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at The Recording Academy’s 2021 Special Merit Awards honorees.