Selena: 20 Years Later

Selena image via twitter

Selena image via twitter

Throughout the past decades there have been many artists and celebrities who have made an impact on the music industry. These musicians have also influenced people’s lives, even if their own lives have been cut short. An example of this is Selena Quintanilla. She influenced people after her death with her songs: Dreaming of You, I Could Fall in Love, Como la Flor and Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.

She was born in Lake Jackson, Texas, but her parents were Mexican, so she was a tejana, which is a Mexican-American. She started off singing in bars and restaurants at the age of 9 with a band after her father discovered her talent of singing. In 1987, she landed a record deal with her band Selena y los Dinos. Her music gained popularity all over the United States, even though it was in spanish. A most successful point in her career was when she won a Grammy for best Mexican-American album.  Another successful point in her career was when she opened up her own clothing line and store in Corpus Christi, Texas. Unfortunately, her life was cut short when she was shot and murdered on March 31st, 1995 by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar.

Many people may not have heard of her, but she made a huge impact on many people’s lives growing up, especially in the hispanic community.Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA) senior vocal major Janet Palaguachi said how if it wasn’t because of her, she would’ve never started to sing.

“She inspired me to sing because growing up, I listened to her music a lot,” says Janet.“My parents loved Selena so her music was always played.”

Selena is looked up to by many hispanic girls also simply because of her fashion tastes and due to the fact that she was never one of those celebrities who forgot where they came from.

“I think Selena’s legacy has lived on because she was a fashion icon and had good stage presence,” says FSSA senior vocal major Evelyn Becerril. “She was humble and down to earth, which helped her connect to her fans. Not once did fame get to her head.”

Evelyn, like many other Mexican-American girls, grew up having Selena as their idol, which led them to following their dreams, which is why she was very influential not only to the hispanic community, but also the country as a whole.

Every year, Selena’s death is celebrated, but this year was very special because it was the 20th anniversary of her death. At this year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards, she was honored with a tribute by Jennifer Lopez. Some of her most popular hits were sung and it was a very emotional tribute to many people who were watching.

On April of this year, it was announced that there was going to be an annual festival to celebrate her legacy called Fiesta de la Flor (Festival of the Flower) that took place on April 30th. This will continue to celebrate her music that has impacted not only the music industry, but also people’s lives and hearts. Selena influenced American culture through her charisma and way of captivating the audience. She will always be known as the Reina de la Technokumbia (Queen of the Technokumbia, a type of music genre.) Her legacy will always live especially in the hispanic community and her songs would never be forgotten. Selena Vive!

– Martha Paguay ’15

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