Twenty years ago, the movie “Selena” was released to a huge acclaim. Today, the legacy of the Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla Pérez has remained very much alive. Selena was and still is an influential figure to people of many ages and backgrounds, and many Venice High students are her dedicated fans.
“Being a Latina, I grew up hearing her popular songs.” Said junior Nancy Lopez, “I love her because she is such an icon to Latinos, no other can compare. She started the business of bilinguals singing and putting your thoughts out into the world as a girl. It’s sad that I can’t go to a concert or expect a new album.”
On March 31, 1995, Selena, 23, was fatally shot in the back by Yolanda Saldivar, president of her fan club, as she left a motel. Saldivar is still serving a life sentence.
A charismatic performer who possessed a distinctive voice and was intuitively aware of the requirements of stardom, Selena designed all her outfits, including those now-legendary bustiers, and choreographed all her dance moves. Selena had been able to push Tejano music into mainstream awareness. With only two years of a major recording contract, she’d placed five No. 1 singles on Billboard’s Hot Latin Tracks chart and a No. 1 debut album.
Many Venice students hope they would’ve met Selena, even though most of them weren’t even born in the 1990s. However, Selena left a legacy that influenced the Hispanic culture in many ways, through fashion and music. Last year, Mac put out a makeup collection in remembrance of Selena. Girls look up to Selena as she showed the world a humble Mexican American that conquered respect and fame.
“I love Selena so much!” said junior Chelsea Murillo. “When I was little, every year after her death, my mom would put on the movie and it wasn’t until I grew up that I understood what was happened. I liker her because she broke the barrier of women in the Tejano music which was an industry dominated by men. My favorite song is No Me Queda Más.”