Selena Quintanilla Perez, born on April 16, 1971, was an American singer. Her contribution to the music and fashion industries made her one of the most known Mexican-American entertainers. Her fans referred to her as ‘The Queen of Tejano Music.’ Media outlets at the time called her the ‘Tejano Madonna’ due to her choice of clothing. In 2020, she ranked number three on “Billboard” magazine’s list of ‘Greatest Latino Artists of All Time.’ We’ll help you celebrate her special day right here.
Selena Quintanilla Perez
La Reina de Tex-Mex
April 16, 1971
March 31, 1995 (age 23)
Selena Quintanilla Perez is considered one of the greatest Latino artists of all time and is credited for catapulting the Tejano genre into the mainstream music market. She was born on April 16, 1971. She was the last-born child of Abraham Quintanilla Jr., a Mexican musician, and Marcella Ofelia. Quintanilla Jr. noticed Perez’s musical abilities when she was six years old. According to him, her timing and pitch were perfect. In 1980, Perez’s father opened a restaurant, Papa Gayo’s, where she and her siblings would perform. They had to close the restaurant one year later following the 1980s recession. The family went bankrupt, lost their home, and were forced to relocate to Corpus Christi, Texas. They formed a band as a family, with their father as the manager, and would often perform on street corners, at weddings, and at fairs.
By the time Perez was in the eighth grade, she was already popular. Her lifestyle began to interfere with her education, and she often showed up to school tired. Nevertheless, she graduated with a diploma from the American School of Correspondence in Chicago. Quintanilla Jr., her father, refurbished an old bus that the family used for their tours. In the first few years, they barely had enough money for food and fuel. Several years later, Rudy Trevino, founder of the Tejano Music Awards, discovered Perez, and in 1987, she won the Female Vocalist of The Year award.
Perez was often criticized for performing Tejano music, a male-dominated music genre. However, her popularity continued to grow, with her fans labeling her ‘The Queen of Tejano Music.’
In May 1992, Perez releases her third album, “Entre a Mi Mundo,” which peaks at number one on the U.S. Billboard Regional Mexican Albums chart and sells more than 300,000 copies.
On September 17, 1993, she performs in Nuevo Leon, to an audience of more than 70,000 people.
At the start of 1994, she begins designing and manufacturing a line of clothing and opens two boutiques called Selena Etc.
Perez’s two singles, ‘Amor Prohibido’ and ‘No Me Queda Mas’ become the most successful U.S. Latin singles leading to a Grammy nomination for ‘Best Mexican/American Album.’
Why We Love Selena Quintanilla
She loved her fans
Perez never built a wall between herself and her fans. She signed all her fans’ autographs.
She was daring
Perez wouldn’t turn down a dare or a challenge. She tried bungee jumping once on a dare.
She was a fashion queen
Perez designed all her own costumes. Her fans nicknamed her the ‘Mexican Madonna.’
5 Surprising Facts
She was killed by her biggest fan
The star was shot dead on March 31, 1995, by Yolanda Saldivar, the founder of her fan club.
She was a designer
Perez designed all the outfits she wore while performing on stage.
The Grammy award
Perez was the first Tejano artist in history to win a Grammy award.
Shortly after her death, George Bush announced that April 16, the singer’s birthday, would be Selena Day.
Her biggest fear
According to Perez, her biggest fear was that no one would come to her live performances.
Selena Quintanilla FAQs
Did Selena Quintanilla have kids?
No. Perez and her husband didn’t have kids, although they were planning to.
What was Selena Quintanilla’s religion
She was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness.
How old was Selena Quintanilla when she got married?
Selena Quintanilla was 20 years old when she married Chris Perez.
Selena Quintanilla’s birthday dates