Since Jennifer Lopez played Selena Quintanilla in the 1997 hit movie about the artist’s life, their names have always been linked. 

The film launched the career of the Puerto Rican star, who has often expressed her pride and gratitude for being part of the legacy of the Queen of Tejano Music.

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Now, 26 years later, Selena’s brother, AB Quintanilla, has shared a story unknown to fans.

In a live broadcast on social media, rescued by users on TikTok, AB told a heartwarming anecdote from the 2015 edition of the Latin Billboard Music Awards.

At the celebration held in Miami, one of the most memorable performances was Jennifer Lopez’s tribute to Selena Quintanilla.

Joined by Selena’s band, Los Dinos, Lopez performed an emotional rendition of some of Selena’s biggest hits.

She shared the stage with Suzette and AB Quintanilla, as well as Chris Perez, who was Selena’s husband.

After the performance, JLo invited the parents of the Queen of Tejano Music, Abraham and Marcela Quintanilla, to come on stage.

JLo’s gesture to the Quintanilla family was more than an onstage moment

“What a lot of people don’t know is that it was J-Lo who paid for the whole thing. She paid for our plane tickets, for everything,” AB Quintanilla said in the video on social media.

JLo’s tribute was unforgettable for the Quintanilla family, who have fought to keep Selena alive since her tragic murder at age 23 in 1995.

In a statement released before the awards show, Suzette Quintanilla, Selena’s sister, expressed her gratitude to Lopez.

“I am grateful to have worked with Jennifer, who has always been a fervent admirer of my sister and has always honored her,” Selena’s sister wrote. “She is a great representation of our family and our music, and I know that Selena would be very proud to have Jennifer carry on her legacy.”

Lopez also spoke about the importance of representation in the entertainment industry

In her tribute to Selena at the Billboard Latin Music Awards, Lopez performed “Como La Flor,” “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” and “I Could Fall in Love.”

In addition, JLo wore a sparkly outfit reminiscent of Selena’s iconic wardrobe, and her performance thrilled fans around the world. Many viewers on social media praised Lopez for her ability to channel Selena’s energy and capture the essence of her music.

In an interview with Billboard after the performance, Lopez talked about the impact that Selena Quintanilla has had on her life and career. She said: “Selena was such a bright light in the world. She was so talented and beautiful. But what really made her special was her spirit. She had this energy that just radiated from her, and I think that’s why people still love her music so much today.”

“It’s so important for young girls, especially young girls of color, to see themselves represented in the media,” JLo said. “Selena was a trailblazer in that sense, and I hope that I can continue her legacy by inspiring young girls to believe in themselves and their dreams.”