Culture

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. 

Despite The Quintanilla Family’s Protests, Telemundo Is Moving Forward With The ‘El Secreto De Selena’ T.V. Series

Entertainment

Despite The Quintanilla Family’s Protests, Telemundo Is Moving Forward With The ‘El Secreto De Selena’ T.V. Series

Selena’s life has touched her fans ever since she hit the music scene. Her contagious smile and bubbly lyrics made her a favorite of both Spanish and English speaking music lovers alike. However, it is her death that has mystified the world for the past 24 years. Since that day in March of 1995, Selena’s fans have grieved the loss of the Queen of Tejano music and condemned the woman who took her life. Now, the story of her death and the following murder trial of her killer will be brought to US TV screens. 

Telemundo has announced their new series — “El Secreto de Selena” — that will explore the murder investigation and trial following Selena’s death. 

Twitter / @mediamoves

The series is based on the bestselling book by Puerto Rican journalist Maria Celeste Arrarás. Back in 1995, Arrarás covered the trial of Yolanda Saldívar and also conducted a questionable interview with the former fan club president. The Quintanilla family has long been vocal against the accuracy of Arrarás book. 

In the past, sister Suzette has called it “based on a whole bunch of lies.” 

As such, the family was not involved with the production of this series. 

The family is involved, however, in a Netflix original series about the late star’s life. The untitled Selena project was announced at the end of 2018 and will begin production soon. 

Of course, it’s not that surprising considering the disputes they’ve had over Selena’s estate. 

Previously, patriarch Abraham Quintanilla and Selena’s husband, Chris Perez, have gone through litigation around the use of Selena’s likeness and story for any sort of media content. 

Back in 2016, Perez wanted to produce TV series based on his memoir “To Selena With Love.” The courts found in the Quintanillas’ favor and the series was scrapped. 

This controversial new series aired last year on Telemundo in Mexico and South America and will air in August in the United States.  

In the series, Mexican actress Sofía Lama plays Arrarás, who also serves as a producer for “El Secreto de Selena.” In her book, the journalist shows herself as a protagonist alongside Selena and Saldívar. As such, the series will follow this narrative and Arrarás character will have quite a bit of screen time. 

The role of Selena is played by Mexican actress Maya Zapata.

Zapata has acted in several television series and movies, including 2007’s “Bordertown” with Antonio Banderas and Jennifer Lopez. Of course, Lopez’s first starring role as an actress was in the 1997 movie “Selena,” proving it really is a small world. 

Damayanti Quintanar plays Yolanda Saldívar.

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Los miedos hay que mirarlos a la cara.

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The former president of Selena’s San Antonio-based fan club, Saldívar was confronted by the Quintinilla family for embezzling funds from Selena’s clothing boutiques. After she was fired, she lured Selena to a Corpus Christi hotel, begging for the chance to talk. It was there that she shot and killed the music star. Saldívar is eligible for parole in 2025. 

Rounding out the ensemble cast, Venezuelan actor Daniel Elbittar portrays Selena’s husband Perez. The Quintanilla family is played by Jorge Zárate (Abraham), Baltimore Beltran (AB), Bárbara González (Suzette) and Úrsula Pruneda (Marcella).

The 13 episode run will first air in the States on August 25th with new episodes every Sunday. 

Twitter / @Telemundo

The series will combine the acted script and real testimonials from Selena’s murder investigation and the trial of Saldívar. 

While we aren’t sure if this new series will tell us anything we don’t already know about Selena’s life and death, we are certain that it will be an emotional series for Selena fans to watch.  

‘Selena For Sanctuary’ Is The Free Concert In NYC All About Helping The Immigrant Community

Entertainment

‘Selena For Sanctuary’ Is The Free Concert In NYC All About Helping The Immigrant Community

forsanctuary / kaliuchis / Instagram

Singer Kali Uchis is not having the most ideal summer. The American-Colombian artist is allegedly being sued by her former manager, Claire Bogle, who worked for Uchis since 2016. Court documents show that Bogle alleges Uchis didn’t pay her 20 percent of her $1.5 million earnings. But just because she’s embroiled in legal issues, doesn’t mean Uchis is going to let that damper her charity work. The singer is coming through as the headliner for the 2019 Selena for Sanctuary concert, a

Kali Uchis is slated to perform at the third annual Selena For Sanctuary concert in New York City.

“Honored to be headlining Selena for Sanctuary this year. creating safe spaces& raising funds for immigrants; celebrating our roots, & our journeys, all while paying tribute to the inspirational icon Selena. tix are free but all donations & money raised there will support Make The Road NY Organization. c u there,” she said on Instagram.

Since 2017, Doris Muñoz of Mija Management has been producing Selena for Sanctuary, a concert to help undocumented immigrants.

Her mission remains to donate all proceeds from her concerts to undocumented people who need funds for legal fees, to submit DACA applications, etc. This year the entire proceeds of the show will go to Make The Road NY. Their mission is to provide “Legal and Survival Services,” develop “Transformative Education,” and help with “Community Organizing.”

“When our parents can barely afford to take a day off of work to go to the lawyer’s office, how are they even going to pay that lawyer?” Muñoz told Remezcla in an interview in 2017. “I think in the Donald Trump era, we’re sometimes afraid of who we’re talking to and having a brown body, you can feel like a target,” Munoz added. “To be in a safe space like this, surrounded by people who believe in fighting for your community with you, is really beautiful.”

The aim of Selena for Sanctuary is to raise money and awareness for immigrant issues that are impacting millions of lives. The New York City event will be part of Central Park’s Summerstage concert series and it is the second year that the event is happening in NYC.

“Thank you to every single artist + team a part of this. this line up honors how amazing and diverse our Latinx community in music is right now,” Muñoz wrote on Instagram. “This series started out of urgency early 2017, and to see where it has grown feels like all my dreams are coming to life. 
ALSOOOO WE’RE BECOMING AN OFFICIAL NON PROFIT THIS YEAR Y’ALL 😭.”

Other performers this year also include Cuco.

Credit: cucopuffs / Instagram

“YOOOO! So excited to announce being a part of Selena for Sanctuary’s second year in NYC!!! Come out to Central Park August 18th to support our immigrant community in need,” Cuco posted on Instagram. “From personal experiences and coming from a family of immigrants, it’s so important to me that you come and get informed of the struggles going on in our current climate (but also have fun remembering Selena). Love you all ♥️”

It just goes to show that so many people in our community are being impacted by immigration and the immigration policies. Thankfully, Selena for Sanctuary is giving these people and families hope.

Helado Negro will also use his music to bring attention to the struggles of migrants.

“Solidarity for Sanctuary is a non-profit aimed to amplify the voices of immigrant communities through music, advocacy, and the arts,” Helado Negro posted on Instagram. “See you all at the park. :)”

IV Jay, Ambar Lucid, Jasper Bones, The Santuario House Band with music direction by Adrian Quesada, are also scheduled to be performing as well. 

We’re especially looking forward to a performance by Selena’s nephew Principe Q!

“Honored that I was invited to play this FREE event in August 🙏🏽 Selena was all about giving back to her community,” Svani Quintanilla said on Instagram. “It’s beautiful to see such a big event giving back to a bigger community in her honor.”

We assume that this special honor means so much more since he is playing in honor of his tía as well. What a sweet moment for a family to see things coming full circle.

The free show will take place on August 18, at 8 p.m., at Central Park in New York City. Click here for more information. 

READ: If This Single Is Any Indicator, Kali Uchis New Album Is Going To Be Lit

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