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. 

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Selena Vinyl Re-Release Tops Vinyl Billboard Charts

Entertainment

Selena Vinyl Re-Release Tops Vinyl Billboard Charts

Jana Birchum / Getty Images

Selena continues to make moves on the charts decades after her death. The late-singer landed a No. 1 position on the Billboard Vinyl charts again because of her “Ones” rerelease.

Selena is on top of the charts again with an album rerelease.

“Ones,” a collection of Selena’s top hits, was re-released on vinyl and the rapid sale of the vinyl set launched the album to No. 1 on the Billboards vinyl chart. The chart has only been around for 9 years and Selena is already dominating.

People are very lucky to have received their limited-edition vinyl.

Who doesn’t like to experience Selena’s music on vinyl with a new crop top? It is the only correct outfit to wear when you are feeling yourself to the sounds of Selena.

Selena fans are so happy to see their favorite still making news.

It doesn’t take much to make Selena fans excited. It is easy to argue that the late-singer has a very excited and mobilized base of fans. People have kept her legacy and her fame alive all these years.

Now Selena fans want to see the rest of her albums re-released.

Just picture it. A world where you can get all of Selena’s albums released again as vinyl. What a wonderful world that would be, huh? Nothing like having a chance to buy more Selena merch because, tbh, you can never have enough.

Let’s take one more moment to admire this beautiful vinyl.

It is beautiful and glorious. The vinyl set is something we will always remember. Honestly, it is what la reina deserves.

READ: 20 Forgotten Photos Showing Selena With Today’s Biggest Celebrities

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20 Forgotten Photos Showing Selena With Today’s Biggest Celebrities

Entertainment

20 Forgotten Photos Showing Selena With Today’s Biggest Celebrities

holausa / Instagram

During her short life, Selena Quintanilla accomplished more than most manage to do in a lifetime. She conducted hundreds of tours, made performances on TV and movies, and often alongside some of the biggest names in music and entertainment.

Here’s a look at 20 famous stars who met Selena including Garth Brooks and Marlon Brando.

1. Selena and Ricky Martin

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Selena and Ricky Martin presented together at the Premios Lo Nuestro in 1992. In the years since her death, Martin went on to win two Billboard Music Awards in 1993 and 1999, and has even appeared in a few movies and television shows.

2. Selena and Gloria Estefan

selenaandchris / Instagram

During her life as a performer, the queen of Tejano music expressed her love and admiration for Cuban singer Gloria Estefan. On the same night in that Selena presented with Ricki Martin in 1992, the singer got to meet the former Miami Sound Machine lead. In 2005, Estefan covered Selena’s “I Could Fall In Love” for a tribute. 

3. Selena and Mario Lopez

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In a Twitter post to his account, the former “Saved By The Bell” actor shared a sweet picture of him with Selena writing “#TBT Early 90’s with Selena Quintanilla at a Tejano event. She looked beautiful & I wore a red coat & a hideous tie.”

4. Selena and Lorena Herrera

@dreaming_selena /Instagram

The Tejano singer posed next to the Mexican singer and actress after another performance. Herrera has spent most of her career acting in telenovelas and singing. During the 90s, around the time that this photo was taken, the singer was starring on shows like “Dos Mujeres, Un Camino” and “El Premio Mayor.” 

5. Selena and Garth Brooks

@queenoftexmex / Instagram

The Tejano singer had been a huge fan of country singer Garth Brooks. In 1990 the rising star, took a photo with the singer.

6. Selena & Freddy Fender

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Selena took a photo alongside Mexican-American Tejano country legend Freddy Fender back in the 90s.

7. Selena with Rick Nelson & Freddy Fender

@queenoftexmex / Instagram

Selena sang alongside one of her biggest Tejano heroes and the American rock and roll star Rick Nelson. 

8. Selena & Daisy Fuentes

queenoftexmex / Instagram

Cuban American television host and comedian took a photo with Selena back in the late 90s during the height of their careers.

9. Selena and Marlon Brando

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Back in 1994, Selena Quintanilla graced the screen in a cameo appearance in “Don Juan DeMarco.” The film starred Marlon Brando who she is pictured with above as well as Johnny Depp and Faye Dunaway.

10. Selena and Ramiro Delgado

@dreaming_selena / Instagram

In 1994, Selena made an appearance on the popular telenovela ‘Dos Mujeres, Un Camino.” For two episodes the Mexican-American shared the scene with Ramiro Delgado, Gaby Platas and Lupe Esparza.

11. Selena, Tweety and Bugsbunny

@queenoftexmex / Instagram

During a Univision party in Las Vegas, back in 1992, Selena took photos with Tweety and Bugs Bunny. 

12. Selena and Minnie Mouse

queenoftexmex / Instagram

Selena took photos with Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck after a 1992 performance at Disneyland in 1992. Of course, for her big moment she wore her famous jeweled bustier.

13. Selena and Bonnie Brait

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Selena had a long list of celebrities she admired and the legendary definitely Bonnie Raitt topped it. At the 1995 Grammys just weeks before Selena’s death, the Tejano queen got to meet her musical favorite and take this photo.

14. Vicente Fernández

@_vicentefdez / Instagram

Quintanilla had long been a fan of the legend, Vicente Fernández when she first took a photo with the Mexican singer and actor back in the 90s. No doubt, by her smile, her moment to shine next to El Rey de la Música Ranchera was a huge one.

15. Selena and El Buki

rareselenaylosdinosblog / Instagram

These two gave us major hair goals back in the 90s when they posed for this photo.

16. Selena and Grupo Bronco

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Selena posed alongside Selena after performing together on the Televisa soap opera “Dos Mujeres, Un Camino.”

17. Selena and Barrio Boyzz

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In 1994, Selena joined forces with the America Latin pop quintet the Barrio Boyzz for the song “Donde Quiera Que Estés.” After recording the song, the Barrio Boyzz joined Selena on a mini tour throughout Mexico and Texas.

18. Selena and Veronica Castro

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During a visit to Monterrey in 1992, Quintanilla did an interview with Verónica Castro.

19. Selena and Cristina Saralegui

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Latinx who think Latinos who don’t speak Spanish better take a moment and learn. Selena struggled to learn Spanish for years until she became an international and decided to learn the language completely. During an interview on Cristina’s show Selena spoke in Spanish and charmed her fans.

20. Selena and Esai Morales

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Years after he played Bob Morales in the 1987 biopic “La Bamba” and years before he went onto act in NYPD Blue, Esai Morales was posing next to Selena Quintanilla as a fan.


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