Chris Perez, born August 14, 1969, started his career as a guitarist for Shelly Lares’ band. He then went on to join as the lead guitarist for the Tejano band Selena y Los Dinos. He is also famously known to have married the late Selena, the frontwoman of the band. Perez has had a very successful career being a guitarist and has even won a Grammy award. Let’s celebrate his birthday today.
Chris Perez was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. His parents, Gilbert Pérez, a computer programmer, and Carmen Medina divorced in 1974 when he was four years old, and his mother remarried in 1978. He is of Mexican-American roots. Perez taught himself guitar in his younger years, and his musical inspirations range from Mötley Crüe, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, and Iron Maiden, to name a few. In 1986, Perez reluctantly joined Shelly Lares’ band, as he didn’t like Tejano music — which is described as “a mixture of traditional Mexican folk music, polkas and country music sung in Spanish or English.”
In 1989, Perez joined the band Selena y Los Dinos, and although this, too, was Tejano music, he liked the band as it was more “hip and sophisticated.” In 1992, after a rocky start to their relationship, Perez and Selena eloped in Nueces County, Texas, however, the relationship didn’t last long as Selena was killed in 1995 by one of her employees. By 2001, Perez had remarried a woman named Venessa Villanueva, and they have two children together — a boy named Noah and a girl named Cassie. They divorced in 2008.
By 2010, Perez had started a new group, called the Chris Perez Project with Puerto Rican singer Angel Ferrer, releasing the album “Todo es Diferente.” In March 2012, Perez published “To Selena, With Love,” which depicted their affinity and battles. Fast forward to 2021, and Perez’s new music label, Blue Mariachi Productions, signed its first entertainment act, ZEUS. El Mero Necio. The successful guitarist continues to work in the music industry, and he has no sign of slowing down.
He joins the Tejano-inspired band, Shelly Lares as a guitarist.
Perez joins the band Selena y Los Dinos as lead guitarist.
Perez starts his own group called the Chris Perez Project, with Puerto Rican singer Angel Ferrer.
Perez's new music label, Blue Mariachi Productions, signs its first entertainment act, ZEUS. El Mero Necio.
Why We Love Chris Perez
He is an animal lover
Perez and Selena had numerous pets, from snakes, mice, and fish, to their five dogs: Pebbles, Jax, Taylor, Winnie, and Andre. They adored their animals, even when the snake got loose — eek!
He is a humble guy
Perez has been very humble throughout his career and has even stated that he feels discomfort being an entertainer. He is a shy guy and keeps hush about her personal life.
He worked hard for success
Even in the face of heartbreak, Perez didn’t give up his love for music. He’s built a successful career over the years.
5 Surprising Facts
Many of Perez’s guitar solos are inspired by Carlos Santana.
Love at a Pizza Hut
Perez and Selena expressed their feelings for each other at a Pizza Hut and shortly after, became a couple.
He has won a Grammy Award
The Chris Perez Band won a Grammy Award for their album “Resurrection,” which was nominated for ‘Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album.’
Selena’s father didn't like Perez
Abraham Quintanilla, Jr., Selena’s father, didn’t like Perez’s “rocker” look initially.
He owns a hot sauce business
Perez and a business partner started the hot sauce business, Perez Pepper Sauce.
Chris Perez FAQs
How long were Selena and Chris Perez together?
They were in a relationship for around five years.
Who is Chris Perez’s new wife?
Perez married Venessa Villanueva in 2001 and they later divorced in 2008.
How old was Selena when she met Chris Perez?
Selena was around 18 years old when she met Perez.
Chris Perez’s birthday dates