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Selena (April 16, 1971 – March 31,
1995)

Selena Quintanilla-Perez was
born in Lake Jackson, Texas. Selena is known as the Queen of Tejano music. Billboard dubbed her the “top Latin artist of the 90s” and the “best selling Latin artist of the decade.”

Selena was the youngest child of her family. She started her
career in 1980 as a member of Selena y Los Dinos, which included two of her elder siblings. She began recording professionally in 1982. Selena was often criticized and was refused bookings in Texas for performing Tejano music (at this time, it was a male-dominated genre). In 1986 she won a Tejano Music Award for Female Vocalist of the Year. She went on to win the award nine consecutive times and obviously, her popularity skyrocketed. In 1990 her second album, Ven Conmigo became the first album by a female Tejano artist to achieve Gold status.

Her third album, Entre a Mi Mundo (1992) was her breakthrough. It peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Albums chart for eight consecutive months. A single from the album, Como La Flor has become one of her signature songs. Live! (1993) won a 1994 Grammy for Best Mexican/American Album. In 1994, Selena released Amor Prohibido. It became one of the best selling Latin albums in the U.S. She began recording English-language songs for a crossover album, which became 1995’s Dreaming of You.

In April 1992, Selena eloped with her guitarist Chris Perez. On March 31, 1995, Selena was shot by Yolanda Saldivar, a business associate at one of her fashion boutiques, after a meeting about Saldivar’s possible embezzlement of funds from the boutiques and fan club money. Selena was only 23 years old.

Her posthumous English album, Dreaming of You debuted in the top spot of Billboard’s Hot 200 Album chart. Selena was the first Latin artist to achieve this feat. Two weeks later, then-Florida Governor at the time, George W. Bush declared April 16 as Selena Day in Texas. In 2007 Warner Brothers released Selena, a film about the young singer’s life and career, starring Jennifer Lopez. As of 2012 Selena has sold a whopping 60 million albums worldwide. She is still greatly missed.

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