Written by Melissa Valenzuela
The Queen of Tejano Music
April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995
Selena Quintanilla was born on April 16, 1971 in Lake Jackson, Texas. Her life was later taken at the young age of 23 on March 31, 1995. Despite being a part of the Latinx Community, Selena grew up only speaking the English Language, but was taught to sing in Spanish so she was able to show her heritage through music. Through music and interviews, she was able to learn the Spanish Language fluently.
Before Selena became a household name, Selena and her siblings began in a small family band that mainly played at their restaurant, weddings and clubs in their home state of Texas; they were known as Selena y Los Dinos. After playing for a large crowd, Selena and her band began to gain popularity and the band began to go on the road and set off to record their first record. Despite wanting to record English music, Selena y Los Dinos recorded music in the Tejano genre, which at the time was a male dominated genre. Although Selena is a household name today, many people did not believe in her success (this was not only because she was a female lead singer for Tejano music, but because the band members were so young).
Luckily for us, Selena was not brought down by what people believed of her success. Instead, she challenged this idea by producing more music with her family, and later gained the success in not only her music, but her fashion design, and even small movie roles such as the 1995 film Don Juan DeMarco (Staring Johnny Depp). As Selena’s success began to climb, it unfortunately came to a sudden end when Selena’s life was taken by the president of her fan club.
Selena is not only a well-known artist, but a member of the LATINX Community who broke history by defying the social norms in the Tejano music genre. By pushing her success into the world, she not only placed a platform for women to do outstanding things but allow the LATINX Community a platform as well. When we set our minds to something, todo es posible.