could you Imagine what it would be like to grow up as a performer in a
world that didn’t even except female Tejano singers? Can you imagine how
much courage and work it would take to make it to the top? That’s was Selena
Quintanilla Perez had to go through.
Selena was born in Lake Jackson, Texas on April 6th, 1971 to Abraham
and Marcella Quintanilla. Abraham was a shipping clerk for a chemical company
Abraham being a well respected Mexican musician, who only sang
English songs, and had his career ruined because of that.
didn’t respect him because he was Mexican, and the Mexican people did not
respect them because they sang English songs.
By the time Selena reached age 10, it became very obvious that Selena was
a natural born performer and that she had a great amount of singing talent.
Abraham decided to start a band, he was afraid that the same thing would
happen to her, so he decided to teach her some Spanish songs, but one
problem, Selena only knew how to speak English, so Selena went on with most
of her life not even knowing what the words meant that she was singing.
Well in order to start the band they would need more then Selena so
Abraham made Abraham III (nicknamed A.B.) her older brother, and Suzette, her
older sister. A.B. already knowing the drums, Suzette already knowing the drum,
and Selena having an awesome voice started their band, “Selena Y Los Dinos”.
They started practicing together and performer a little.
In 1980, Abraham and Marcella opened up a Mexican restaurant. At first
business was booming, Abraham even had to quit his shipping clerk job to
devote his full time and attention to the restaurant. Unfortunatly after the Texas
Oil Bust of 1981, the restaurant went bankrupt and had to be shut down. So
Abraham bought a bus and “Selena Y Los Dinos” began to tour the Texas
countryside. At age 13 Selena had to leave 8th grade and start taking high school
Selena sang almost exclusively Spanish. She sang a Tex-Mex pop called
Tejano. They made there first recording in 1984, slowly people started to notice
and love Selena, but by her being a female Tejano performer, no one thought she
would actually last, because the Tejano industry of music was ruled over by men,
and although many women had tried, they rarely made it to stardom. Little did
they know that “Selena Y Los Dinos” would climb the charts and end up being
It was in 1987, that they really started to make it to the top. All the
recording and touring throughout the 80’s finally paid off, because in 1987
“Selena y Los Dinos” came to national attention, when Selena won a Tejano
Music Award for Female Vocalist and Performer of the Year. It was a great
accomplishment for a 15 year old girl. Until then the two categories didn’t even
exist. Her fame was definitely being brought to the Latino communities, but
In 1989, Selena and her band were signed to EMI, also known as Capitol
Records, releasing there album a year later. Over the next few years Selena
became one of the most popular Tejano Performers.
In 1992, Selena and her lead guitarist Chris Perez eloped, after her father
had forbid for them to see each other. Her family later welcomed him into the
In 1994, Selena’s first mainstream exposure came in, she played a singer
in the 1993 film Don Juan DeMarco. Also in 1994 she won a Grammy for “Best
Mexican/American Album” for her album “Selena: Live”. It was her first time ever
being nominated for a Grammy. Also, later that year she opened “Selena Ect.”
Two fashion boutiques located in Texas. Her outstanding success, concerts, and
now boutiques attracted many fans, including Yolanda Salvidar, who would have
a big effect on Selenas life later on.
Toward the very end of 1994 Selena signed a major world wide English-
language crossover album recording contract. “Dreaming of You” was released in
February 1995. With sales booming and Selena holding a record breaking
concert at the Houston Astrodome where over 61,000 fans attended, there was
no thought in anyone’s head that anything could stop Selena. And then tragedy
After the record-breaking concert, Selena and her father came to realize
that Yolanda Salvidar, who was now her fan club president, had been
embezzling funds from the boutiques. On March 5th, 1995 Selena went to a hotel
to meet up with Yolanda to recover the missing paperwork. It was said that the
women argued loudly and then Yolanda pulled out a handgun and shot
Selena as she was leaving. Selena ran to the hotel’s lobby and a worker call
Cite this Selena
Selena. (2018, Oct 03). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/selena-essay/