Watch & Cry Happy Tears: Selena Quintanilla Being an Absolute Queen in These Iconic Interview Moments
Selena Quintanilla will always be an icon. Until her tragic death exactly 27 years ago, she surprised people everywhere with her soothing yet powerful voice wherever she went. Singing unforgettable songs that tugged on heartstrings like “Amor Prohibido,” or uptempo bops like “Como La Flor,” she brought a perfect mix of sweetness and spice to all her performances (and who can forget her “lavadora” dance move?!).
Still, even more shocking for some was her personality. As the Queen of Tejano Music, Selena could have been a diva — but old interviews show she was anything but.
As unearthed interviews, quotes, and off-the-cut moments show, Selena was as real as it gets. She never let fame get to her head, even after winning the Grammy for Best Mexican/American Album in 1994 — with that gorgeous white and gold sequin dress that will be ingrained in our minds forever.
She was definitely glamorous, but she was still the girl from Lake Jackson, Texas, that started off performing in restaurants with her siblings as a young child. Falling in love with her band’s guitarist Chris Perez later in life, Quintanilla just wanted happiness — and she lived her life with positive energy, vivacity, and authenticity everywhere she went. Plus, she was hilarious, too, especially when poking fun at herself in Spanish interviews. Now, we’ve rounded up all her most inspiring, funniest moments — so prepare to love her even more!
1. Her interview in Spanish with Cristina Saragelui in 1994.
As someone who was born in Texas, and was proudly Mexican-American, Selena notoriously sang incredibly in Spanish — but lived most of her life speaking English (as so many of us Latinos in the U.S. do). The “Dreaming Of You” star always laughed at herself when getting Spanish words wrong — like in this “The Cristina Show” interview when she famously said “diez y cuatro” instead of “catorce” (minute 18:00!).
2. When she got her Grammy nomination, her first thought was taking pictures with celebrities.
In a rare unearthed interview with “Tejano USA” right before her performance at the Texas Live Music Festival in 1994, Selena gave insight into just how authentic she was. When asked about her Grammy win, she said, “when they first told us we were nominated we all freaked out, we couldn’t believe it.” Her first thought? “The first thing that came to my mind was… I have to take a camera so I can take a picture with all these stars.” She actually did bring a camera to the ceremony, but they didn’t let her bring it inside!
3. A 1995 post-Grammy interview showed she didn’t see herself as a “big” act.
When asked about her Grammy experience, she said, “just to be around all these artists that are heavyweight is an honor.” The interviewer questioned her about this, saying, “you say you got to meet a lot of big acts… we feel you’re pretty doggone big.” Selena laughs and replies, “well it’s different… I don’t see myself that way.”
4. She wanted to remembered as “a person that cared a lot.”
An interviewer in Lubbock, Texas asked Selena, “when you’re gone how do you want to be remembered?” In a moment that’s giving us all goosebumps, the singer replied: “As not only an entertainer, but as a person who cared a lot. And I gave the best that I could. And I tried to be the best role model that I possibly could, and the best person that I could. And I tried to help out.” Selena was The Queen of Tejano Music, and she also had a heart of gold.
5. She was always laughing and making fun of herself.
We can’t stop smiling watching this bloopers video of a Selena interview with Onda Max, where she starts laughing uncontrollably at gesturing with her hands while they were hidden under her shirt sleeves. She then laughs out loud with the man next to her when he says “que tal amigos” — and now we’re laughing (and crying a bit) too.
6. Selena didn’t shy away from speaking in a British accent — even at the Grammy’s.
While we recommend watching this video the whole way through for unearthed gems — we just can’t get over our queen speaking in a hilarious British accent. While at the Grammy’s (in that iconic gown), Selena says, “yes, dahlin” as if she was born in London — and then goes on to sing acapella in Spanish flawlessly.
7. The “No Me Queda Más” singer had a facial expression for everything.
This 1994 interview with “Puro Tejano” shows us just how much times have changed — thankfully. While the interviewer keeps pointing to Selena’s “sex symbol” status after shooting a Mexico-based magazine cover in a bikini, the singer keeps it extra professional (we love to see it). Even better? Her hilarious shriek and laugh when they tell her the magazine is being sold in the U.S., too. Always poderosa, always ahead of her time.