27 years ago today, we lost Selena Quintanilla, the 23-year-old Queen of Tejano music. Selena, a biopic about the late singers’ life, was released two years after her death. This month makes the film 25 years old. The biopic, chronicles the life story of the Mexican-American singer (and her family). We see Selena, played by Jennifer Lopez, from childhood to the height of her fame. She was on the verge of breaking into the English-speaking market when she was murdered by her fan club president, Yolanda Saldivar, in 1995. Before her tragic death, Selena had accomplished so much, not only for Latin artists but, for the entire world.
Throughout the film Selena’s impact on the music industry is evident. She was dubbed the “Queen of Tejano Music,” yet she was not hesitant to branch out into other genres. Because the Tejano genre was dominated by male artists, she felt compelled to continue pursuing this genre of music. Selena first won “Female Vocalist of the Year” at the Tejano Music Awards when she was 15 years old in 1986, and she proceeded to win as a vocalist and “Female Entertainer of the Year” from 1987 through 1996.
Her album, Ven Conmigo, was the first Tejano album to earn Gold status, selling over 500,000 copies. She even won a Grammy in 1994 for “Best Mexican-American Album.” Apart from her several charted singles on the Billboard 200 and Hot Latin Song Charts, she was also a fashion icon. She designed her own performance outfits and eventually opened a boutique called Selena Etc. To this day, her bejeweled bustiers, high-waisted pants, and iconic purple jumpsuit are recreated by celebrities and other supporters.
Selena’s music continues to be the connection that unites people of all ages, races, and cultures. Thanks to the classic biopic, we are able to understand why.