identity

11 Reasons Why: What Makes Selena Special For Us Latinos

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez will always be an important personality in Latino culture in the United States. Her music and the tragic circumstances of her death made her a pop culture phenomenon that escaped the niche Hispanic market. After her death, Hollywood studios furiously vied for the rights to adapt her incredible rags-to-riches story to the big screen. Selena is a fundamental Latino icon even 23 years after her death in 1995, at the tender age of 23.

Next time someone asks you at a party why you tear up listening to the late great Selena, lecture them with these facts: 

1. She brought Tejano music to mainstream America… and showed girls can do anything

“Tejano music was hard for us because I was a girl. My dad had a lot of problems while trying to set up shows for us or presentations because there are a lot of men who don’t think that women can get the attention of the public. But . . . wrong!”

Credit: Paving-Your-Way. Digital image. Pop Sugar.

Before Selena Mexican-American music was considered an eccentricity and was definitely not played in non-Hispanic clubs and radio stations. Selena changed all that during her life and after her untimely death. 

Credit: images. Digital image. NBC4

We are sure “Amor prohibido” is played at Latino and non-Latino weddings alike! 

2. She valued family

“We went through a hard time, and we had to turn to music as a means to putting food on the table. And we’ve been doing it ever since. No regrets either.”

Credit: 150327112631-02-selena-restricted-super-169 CNN. Digital image. CNN.

Familia is important for us Latinos and Selena never forgot her origins and the role that her family had in her success. This is a rare trait and certainly something that most mainstream celebrities lack. 

Credit: 636107575027683977-Selena-life-06. Digital image.  Corpus Christi Caller Times.

She started her career as part of the Quintanilla family group Selena y Los Dinos, where her two older siblings also made pompas shake. 

3. She was proud of her heritage

“I feel very proud to be Mexican. I didn’t have the opportunity to learn Spanish when I was a girl, but . . . it’s never too late to get in touch with your roots.”

Credit: Always-Remembering-Your-Roots. Digital image. Pop Sugar.

Many singers and actors of Latino origin change their names for a more English-sounding or a more neutral one. But not our Selena. She didn’t look for a fancy name and good on her: Selena is such a powerful, defining name that shines on any billboard. 

Credit: Selena-Quintanilla-Family-Talks-About-Movie-Selena-e1508233876918. Digital image. The Guardian Nigeria.

Singing in Spanish is a daring act in itself if you want to break into the mainstream, and she was unapologetic. 

4. Because real women have curves
“I’m very real, very sincere, and honest, and that’s how I’ll always be”

Credit: selena-quintanilla_vix. Digital image. VIX.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say, but it is also defined by mass media. Which is unhealthy: there are hundreds of healthy body types and not all women are skinny like teenage models. Selena was proud of her curves. Eso mija, eres una fregona. 

Credit: Selena-selena-quintanilla-perez-28912004-500-336 . Digital image. Fanpop

She was the precursor of proud curvy Latinas today, reinas like America Ferrara and Gina Rodriguez. 

5. She had a unique style

“Always believe that the impossible is always possible”

Credit: EVFPWLKGDRH53M4YORIV5ZNFEU_Digital image. Los Angeles Times

It is hard for a Latino girl to reaffirm her identity. Selena did so with aplomb. Her wardrobe choices were interesting and daring in equal measure, which is probably one of the reasons of her success as a pop culture brand. 

Credit: Selena-Quintanilla-Net-Worth. Digital image. The Wealth Report

She was criticized by more conservative audiences for “revealing too much”. We say al carajo con sus juicios

6. Because she showed that Latinas can be kickass celeb sponsors
“What I don’t like are arrogant people. We’re all equal. I don’t like it when a person assumes to be better”

Credit: SELENA_BEAUTY_RGB_72.0.jpg . Digital image. tacked


Her posthumous campaign with cosmetics giant MAC demonstrated that Latino women in particular and women of color in general could and should carry campaigns. She was beautiful and the world needed to see that. 

Credit: s-l300.coke_111.Digital image. Selena Forever.

She also did work with Coca-Cola, one of the epitomes of American culture worldwide. 

7. She was active in her community
“All I need to do is try and do the best that I can do”

Credit: selena306. Digital image. Selena Forever

As a minority, solidarity is key for the Latino community in the United States, particularly today. Selena embodied community values and never forgot her fellow Mexican-Americans. Certainly an example we should all follow. 

Credit: Selena85. Digital image. Selena Forever.

She grew up in Texas, where migratory patterns and backwards thinking about race make various segments of the Hispanic population feel vulnerable. Power to the people! 

8. Because even George W. Bush recognized her legacy and A-listers loved her (not that a proud Latina needs validation, but this proves she was a positive ambassador for multiculturalism)
“You shouldn’t care for somebody just because of the materialistic things that they have, and I’m a firm believer in that”

Credit: Working-Hard-So-You-Can-Play-Harder. Digital image. Pop Sugar.

Before he was president G.W.B was governor of Texas. He declared Selena’s birthday National Selena Day, a day in which Latino identity and cultural legacy is celebrated. 

Credit: Selena_Marlon. Digital image. Selena Forever.


She was bigger than Tejano music itself, and her death was a day for mourning all throughout her home state. In the picture we can see the Texan queen with legendary actor Marlon Brando. 

9. Because she gave us another Latina star: J-Lo

Credit: Selena. Warner Bros.


Selena keeps giving even beyond the grave. In 1997 Warner Bros. released a much-hyped biopic in which the boricua diva Jennifer Lopez shined and became a star in her own right. The circumstances are sad but fate gave us two proud Latina queens.

READ: 25 Facts About The “Selena” 1997 Movie You Probably Completely Missed

Credit: Selena. Warner Bros.

And yes, we will never have enough Latina stars will we? Donde cabe una caben mil. 

10. She urged children to stay en la escuela (don’t drop out, escuincles!)
“Music is not a very stable business. You know it comes and it goes, and so does money. But your education stays with you for the rest of your life”

Credit: fans5. Digital image. Selena Forever.

Selena knew how important education is for minorities in the United States, and that hard work and academic development are the only way for the community to strive. She constantly visited schools and urged young chamacos not to drop out. Respect. 

Credit: Being-Grateful. Digital image. Pop Sugar.

11. Because she was an independent self made woman
“If you have a dream, don’t let anybody take it away”

Credit: Never-Underestimating-Yourself. Digital image. PopSugar.

She was young but life taught her that all you have is yourself! 

Credit: selena-y-chris-perez-abraza. Digital image. Telem. undo

We can’t believe she was just 23 when she died. Truly wise beyond her years. She even eloped with hubby Chris Perez as a sign of independence. 

San Antonio Fans Got Treated To J.Lo Singing ‘Si Una Vez’ And We Have Serious FOMO

Entertainment

San Antonio Fans Got Treated To J.Lo Singing ‘Si Una Vez’ And We Have Serious FOMO

Discover Laredo / YouTube

Jennifer Lopez arguably became a household name after she portrayed Selena in the biopic about the iconic Mexican-American singer. Since then, J.Lo has become a musical, acting, and producing force in the entertainment industry. Now, at 50, the Puerto Rican superstar is on a new tour and fans in San Antonio were treated to a special cover when she belted out “Si Una Vez” by Texas legend Selena Quintanilla.

J.Lo really showed up for her San Antonio audience with her “Si Una Vez” song after admitting it was her favorite.

At the beginning of the video, J.Lo asks the audience if they want to hear a little Selena. Like, what kind of question is that to ask a Texas audience? Of course, they want to hear some Selena. After asking the crowd which song would be best she told them that “Si Una Vez” is her favorite and that sent the crowd into a frenzy.

Fans were so excited to learn J.Lo’s favorite Selena song because we all have one.

Finding someone with the same favorite Selena song as you is so amazing. Legit, one of the most telling signs of how long your friendship and relationship will last is the Selena test. Do they know who Selena is? Do they like her music? Do you have the same favorite Selena song? This is crucial

Seeing the woman who brought Selena to the big screen was one of the most touching moments for so many people.

Credit: @delunz21 / Twitter

Hearts fluttered. Angels got wings. Moods were lifted. It was a physical moment for so many people who could feel the love from the stage. It was as if Selena was on stage in J.Lo’s body giving us the concert we have been craving.

While all of the concertgoers were melting down, social media people also lost their minds over the cover.

Credit: @TickleMe_Elma / Twitter

It’s like Thalía taking time during her concert to give the fans a taste of Jenni Rivera. Who wouldn’t want to be there for that moment? It feels like a special connection between the singer and the audience as they give praise and attention to a shared icon.

This is one way to ring in your 50th birthday, J.Lo.

Credit: @cruzjay05 / Twitter

There is one thing everyone knows for sure, J.Lo is a force that cannot be overlooked. She is a strong and powerful singer. A recognizable actor. A successful producer. But, most importantly, she is a Selena fan who gives the Tejano singer the respect and love she deserves.

Watch the full performance below.

Thank you, J.Lo. You know how to make your shows something to remember.

READ: 9 Selena Covers That Prove She Will Always Be La Reina

20 Remarkable Mementos You’ll See at the Selena Museum

Entertainment

20 Remarkable Mementos You’ll See at the Selena Museum

In 1995, the world lost the Queen of Tejano music, Selena Quintanilla Perez. Immediately following her death, mass vigils were held around the Latinidad to honor our lost reina. After her death, fans turned to her music for consolation and relief as they mourned the musician. Even after 24 years, the superstar is still grieved and celebrated by her fans.

Festivals are held around the world each year in honor of Selena’s birthday, life and death. Murals of the Queen of Tejano still grace neighborhoods from Texas to California to Mexico. Even international brands like MAC Cosmetics, Forever 21 and Target still collaborate with Selena’s estate to bring fans new merchandise.

While these all immortalize Selena’s legacy, there’s only one museum in the world dedicated to the Queen of Tejano.

In Selena’s hometown of Corpus Christi Texas — only a few miles from her final resting place — is Q Productions. Founded in 1993, Q Productions is the actual studio Selena recorded in with her father, Abraham, and Los Dinos. While it’s still an operating studio, the big draw of the location is the Selena Museum. Featuring mementos, collectables and memories from the iconic Latina’s life and career, it’s a visit that every Selena fan should make.

Here are some of the remarkable artifacts you will find at the Selena Museum.

1. Selena’s red convertible

The Selena Museum

It’s now over 30 years old, but this racy red convertible was Selena’s favorite car. In fact, before she bought the 1986 Porsche, she purchased a new black Porsche hatchback instead. However, something just didn’t vibe for the Queen of Tejano and she traded that one in for this older model. It could be because it’s paint job matches the Latina’s signature red lip but this ride just says, “Selena.”

2. The entire Selena MAC makeup line

The Selena Museum

In 2016, international makeup company MAC Cosmetics launched a line inspired by Selena. The Selena MAC collection was so well received that it sold out online within HOURS. The full line is on display at the Selena Museum — sporting products with names like “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” “Missing My Baby” and “No Me Queda Mas.”

3. Selena’s fashion sketches

The Selena Museum

Anyone who has seen Selena knows that the musician had an incredible sense of style. She had first-hand input in her styling because she designed many of her most iconic looks. Had she not become a musician, Selena wanted to become a fashion designer. In fact, before her death, Selena had opened two boutiques — one in Corpus Christi and one in San Antonio. Another was planned for Monterrey, Mexico however it was never built. Following her death, both locations closed but you can still see the sketches that started it all.

4. Selena’s childhood dolls

The Selena Museum

It’s easy to forget that the legendary Queen of Tejano started off as a little girl, singing songs to her father’s guitar. These sweet reminders of her childhood give us a glimpse into the Selena that only her family know. The baby doll and old Raggedy Anne are toys saved by Selena’s parents and immortalized in the museum. To them, she will always be their little girl.

5. Fan mail from around the world

The Selena Museum

Selena got her start in South Texas but soon achieved stardom that reached around the world. At the Selena Museum, you’ll find devoted fan mail from places like Japan, Uruguay, Peru, Hungary and New Zealand. You can still send fan mail to Q Productions and share your own love and appreciation for Selena.

6. An original manuscript for “Selena”

The Selena Museum

Soon after Selena’s death in 1995, studios began vying for the rights to Selena’s life. The Quintanilla Family wanted to make sure Selena’s spirit was especially respected in any depiction of the departed musician. With this in mind, they became very involved in the film of her life. In 1997, “Selena” debuted to critical acclaim and would arguably be the role that made Jennifer Lopez’s career. At the Selena Museum, you’ll find an original manuscript for the screenplay that would become “Selena.”

7. Selena’s famous bustiers

The Selena Museum

Before pop stars’ became more open with baring a little skin, Selena made the bustier a staple for her wardrobe. Much to her dad Abraham’s dismay, Selena came up with design herself. The fashionista would sow sequins onto regular bras for a show-stopping look. It’s a good thing that Abe eased his anti-bustier stance. They’re further proof that Selena was a star ahead of her time.

8. Selena’s egg collection

The Selena Museum

If you’ve seen “Selena,” you know the Queen of Tejano had an odd little collection. She liked to collect eggs; specifically, Faberge eggs. The Russian treasures are a luxury that Selena adored and the singer had plenty in her collection. In case you’re curious, the collection DOES NOT include that egg ring from She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named.

9. Selena’s Grammy dress

The Selena Museum

Since fashion is such an essential part of who she was, the Selena Museum has several of the late star’s iconic outfits. One that’s exceptionally gorgeous is the Lillie Rubin white sequin dress she wore to the Grammys. You might remember that legendary scene in “Selena” with the rude boutique clerk and swarm of fans. That scene was inspired by a memorable shopping trip in Houston to buy that dress.

10. Collectable Selena dolls

The Selena Museum

Raise your hand if you had one of these babies as a kid. Selena has been memorialized in several different ways but the different collectable dolls made in her image may be the most awesome. At the Selena Museum, there is a collection of six Selena dolls — all sporting one of her signature looks.

11. The studio Selena used to record her final album

The Selena Museum

Q Productions has been a working studio since it’s opening in the 90s. To this day, it still accommodates musicians but Selena was their first ever recording artist. Infact, Selena recorded her final album — “Dreaming of You” — at Q Productions.

12. And the very microphone she used, too

The Selena Museum

Including Suzette’s first drum kit and Abraham’s prized piano, Q Productions has many treasures on display. One you’ll be able to see is the very mic Selena used to record “Dreaming of You.” The album debuted number 1 on the Billboard 200; the first ever predominantly Spanish-language album to do so.

13. The outfit from the cover of “Amor Prohibido”

The Selena Museum

One of Selena’s most iconic looks is the fierce leather and lace outfit featured on the album cover for “Amor Prohibido.” This album proved to be one of Selena’s biggest. Besides being a solid listen from start to finish, it also features hits “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” “Yo Me Queda Más” and “Techno Cumbia.” The popularity of this album ensured that Selena will forever be remembered for this look.

14. Selena’s Grammy

The Selena Museum

For all of Selena’s talent and popularity, she was honored with many awards in her career. The prize of that collection is the 1994 Grammy she won for Best Mexican/American Album. This Grammy made history for the first win by a female Tejano singer. There’s no telling how many more of these she would have won had her life not been cut tragically short.

15. The plaque honoring Selena’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Selena Museum

In 2017, Selena was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The ceremony drew 4,500 fans — the largest gathering to ever attend an unveiling. This plaque was presented to the Quintanilla family to commemorate the historic event and moreover recognize Selena’s legacy.

16. Buckles celebrating Selena’s Houston Rodeo preformances

The Selena Museum

Selena played the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo a total of three times. While all three concerts drew huge crowds, her 1995 appearance broke attendance records for the Houston Astrodome. Following the concerts, these commemorative belt buckles were presented to Selena to celebrate her successful shows.

17. A custom Selena guitar from the Fiesta de la Flor

The Selena Museum

Every year, celebrations of Selena’s life happen all over the world. One such event happens in Corpus Christi. Since 2014, Fiesta de la Flor — an event with music, food, a mercado and all things Chicano — has been held for Selena’s memory. At the Selena Museum, you can see a custom guitar that bares the Queen of Tejano’s face from the event.

18. Selena’s jewelry collection

The Selena Museum

As someone who lived for fashion, it’s only natural that Selena would love a good accessory. The Selena Museum has on display a large collection of jewelry owned and worn by the musician herself. Some items were gifts from loved ones like husband Chris, while others were gifted by fans.

19. Condolence letters from world figures

The Selena Museum

When Selena passed away, the whole world mourned. The loss of such a vibrant, beautiful and kind young woman was such a tragedy that even world leaders took notice. On display at the Selena Museum are several noted condolence letters from the likes of Larry King, President Bill Clinton, and then-Texas Governor George W. Bush.

20. Selena’s famous purple jumpsuit

The Selena Museum

Remember that record-breaking performance at the Houston Rodeo? Even if you’ve never seen footage of the big event, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen Selena’s look from that night. The famous purple jumpsuit she wore to the 1995 Houston Rodeo has become the most recognizable outfit from Selena’s memorable wardrobe. At the Selena Museum, you can take a selfie with it and immortalize your love for the Queen of Tejano.

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