Famous Like Me > Actress > S > Selena
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Profile of Selena
on Famous Like Me
|Also Know As:
|Date of Birth:
||16th April 1971
|Place of Birth:
||Lake Jackson, Texas, USA
||April 16, 1971
Lake Jackson, Texas, United States
||March 31, 1995
Corpus Christi, Texas, United States
Selena Quintanilla Pérez (April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995), principally known by her first name, was a Mexican-American singer who has reached mythical status and is considered to be one of the most popular and influential Hispanic music icons of all time. Very few other Hispanic celebrities (e.g. Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan) rival her popularity among American Hispanics.
Selena was born in Lake Jackson, Texas and grew up in Corpus Christi, where she began her musical career. Her father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., was a singer with the original Los Dinos from 1957 to 1972, and nurtured the burgeoning musical talent of his children. Selena, her brother Abe III (bass), and their sister, Suzette (drums), were a second generation of Los Dinos. Its other two members who started in the band were Ricky Vela on keyboards and Roger Garcia on guitar.
Selena made her first public appearance at her father's Mexican restaurant in Lake Jackson at eight and recorded her first record at nine. Throughout her adolescence Selena was constantly on tour. She finished high school by mail and lived most of her life on the tour bus "Big Bertha". She completed her education via correspondence courses. The singer signed with Capitol EMI in 1989, and released several albums with that label, including 1994's wildly popular Amor Prohibido, which knocked Gloria Estefan's Mi Tierra off the number one spot.
Chris Perez replaced Roger Garcia as guitar player. A romance budded between Perez and Selena, and the two married on April 2, 1992. Even as Selena's career skyrocketed she remained very close to her family, choosing to live next door to them in Corpus Christi.
In 1994, Selena won a Grammy for Best Mexican-American Album for Live.
She holds the record of drawing the largest concert crowd – over 67,000 screaming fans – in the history of the Houston Astrodome, for her 1993 performance at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It is erroneously believed that her largest crowd at the Astrodome was the famed 1995 concert, which she gave a little over a month before her death. The crowd she drew that night, however, was nevertheless enormous: over 64,000 fans.
The greatest irony in Selena's musical career is that she became a star singing in her second language. She grew up speaking English, recording her early Spanish hits phonetically.
Aside from her singing, Selena was an avid clothing designer. Boutique shops with the Selena name opened in Corpus Christi and San Antonio in the 1990s. She also dabbled in acting, making a cameo in the Johnny Depp film Don Juan de Marco.
A woman named Yolanda Saldívar worked her way into the singer's inner circle, becoming president of Selena's fan club and manager of the boutiques. In 1995 the Quintanillas found out Saldívar had embezzled money from these ventures and decided to fire her. Selena agreed to meet Saldívar at a Corpus Christi Days Inn on the morning of March 31, 1995 in order to retrieve paperwork for tax purposes. At the motel an argument ensued over the embezzlement and Saldívar shot the singer once in the back. Selena died at a local hospital at 1:05 pm, hours after she was shot.
Selena's death shocked and saddened Latinos and non-Latinos alike across the United States. Major networks interrupted their regular programming to break the news. The outpouring of grief by her massive faithful fanbase was unprecendented. Soon, America's reaction to her death was being compared to the reactions to the deaths of John Lennon and U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Numerous vigils and memorials were held in the singer's honor.
Her funeral drew 60,000 mourning fans, many of whom came from outside the United States.
That summer her album Dreaming of You, a combination of Spanish language hits and new English language tracks, debuted at #1 on the Billboard music charts in the US, making her the first Hispanic singer to accomplish that feat. On its release date, it sold over 175,000 copies, the most ever by an American female singer in pop history. To date, it has sold approximately 4,000,000 copies in the United States.
People Magazine issued a commemorative edition in her honor – the third such tribute in its history. It sold a record number of copies – over 1 million – and ultimately spurred the creation for People En Espanol.
In October of 1995 a Houston jury convicted Saldívar of murder and sentenced her to life in prison, without possibility of parole.
There is a museum to honor Selena's memory and a bronze life-sized statue of her on Ocean Drive in Corpus Christi.
In 1997, Jennifer Lopez played Selena in the movie of the same name. This fact stirred some controversy in the Mexican-American community as Jennifer Lopez was a Hispanic of Puerto Rican descent playing the role of a singer who was of Mexican descent. But Selena's fans embraced the touching autobiography, and Lopez's role in Selena catapulted her to superstardom.
Selena's enduring popularity is evidenced by the fact that she continues to outsell many living artists. In fact, the Guinness Book of World Records, in 2003 (she had previously graced the book's pages as the "most dominating artist"), considered adding her to their pages as being the only deceased celebrity who continues to compete with today's top pop stars.
A massive tribute concert, "¡Selena Vive!", – which over 50,000 fans attended – was organized on April 7, 2005, a week after the tenth anniversary of the star's death. Reliant Stadium in Houston hosted the event, which featured many high-profile artists, including Gloria Estefan, Pepe Aguilar, Thalía, Paulina Rubio, Banda El Recodo, Ana Barbara, Alejandra Guzmán, Aleks Syntek, Ana Gabriel, Fey and many others. All of the musicians present performed renditions of her music, including her brother A.B. Quintanilla, who performed along with his band Kumbia Kings, backed with footage of Selena singing "Baila Esta Cumbia".
"Selena Vive!" now holds the record for the highest-rated and most-viewed Spanish-language show in American television history. The show, which was over 3 hours long, scored a whopping 35.9 household rating.
Released While Being Alive
- Selena y Los Dinos (1984)
- The New Girl In Town (1985)
- Alpha (1986)
- Munequito de Trapo (1986)
- And the Winner Is... (1987)
- Preciosa (1988)
- Dulce Amor (1988)
- Selena y Los Dinos (Re-released in 2002 as "Selena") (1989)
- Personal Best (1990)
- 16 Super Exitos Originales (Re-released in 2002 as "Mis Primeros Grabaciones) (1990)
- Ven Conmigo (Re-released in 2002) (1990)
- Entre A Mi Mundo (Re-released in 2002) (1992)
- Baila Esta Cumbia (Mexico release) (1992)
- Selena y Emilio Navaira: Entertainers of the Year (1992)
- Quiero (Mexico release) (1993)
- Selena Live! (Re-released in 2002) (1993)
- Mis Mejores Canciones: 17 Super Exitos' (1993)
- Amor Prohibido (Re-released in 2002) (1994)
- 12 Super Exitos (Re-released in 2002) (1994)
- Selena (AKA Excelsior) (1994)
- Grandes Exitos (Mexico release) (1994)
- Selena y Graciela Beltran: Las Reinas del Pueblo (1995)
- Dreaming of You (Re-released in 2002) (1995)
- Mis Primeras Grabaciones (Re-release of 1984 album) (1995)
- Exito del Recuerdo (Canada release) (1995)
- Blue in the Face Soundtrack (Song- "God's Child (Baila Conmigo)") (1995)
- Multipistas: 10 Exitos de Selena (1995)
- Fotos Y Ruecuerdos (????)
- Exitos y Recuerdos (Three different versions: pink, orange, and blue covers. Platinum disc re-release in 2001) (1996)
- Siempre Selena (1996)
- Selena Soundtrack (Re-released in 2002) (1997)
- Anthology (1998)
- All My Hits Todos Mis Exitos (1999)
- All My Hits Todos Mis Exitos, Vol. 2 (2000)
- Live! The last concert (Re-released in 2005 as a CD/DVD) (2001)
- Ones (CD/DVD) (2002)
- Greatest Hits (CD/DVD) (2003)
- Y sus Incios (2003)
- Y sus Incios, Vol. 2 (2004)
- Y sus Incios, Vol 3: The Early Years (2004)
- Y sus Incios, Vol. 4 (2004)
- Intimos Momentos (2004)
- Selena Remembered (CD/DVD) (2005)
- Unforgettable (Limited Edition 2 CD Set) (2005)
- Unforgettable: The Studio Album (2005)
- Unforgettable: The Live Album (2005)
- Unforgettable (CD/DVD Set) (2005)
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