Selena Quintanilla Perez

singer
Born: 4/16/1971
Birthplace: Lake Jackson, Tex.

Selena was born into a musical family. Her father, Abraham Quintanilla, played in the band Los Dinos (The Boys) and taught his children to sing in Spanish. When she was eight, Selena began performing with other relatives at the family restaurant, Pappagallo, and at area weddings. Selena, who had attended Corpus Christi schools, began taking classes through the American School, a correspondence school for artists. She graduated in 1989 and enrolled at Pacific Western University as a correspondence student taking business classes.

Singing with Los Dinos in nightclubs in Corpus Christi, Selena became well known on the Tejano (Texans of Mexican ancestry) music scene. In 1987, Selena won the Tejano Music Award for Female Entertainer of the Year and was hailed as the “Queen of Tejano Music.” Selena y Los Dinos (Selena and the Boys) released a string of records in the late 1980s and early 1990s. With the 1992 album, Entre a Mi Mundo (Come Into My World), Selena became the first Tejana to sell more than 300,000 albums. The bilingual album, Dreaming of You, hit number one on the Billboard charts the week it was released in 1995.

In 1992 she married Christopher Perez, guitarist with the band. Also in 1992 she launched her own clothing line, and two years later she opened two boutiques called Selena Etc. In 1995 Yolanda Saldivar, manager of the Corpus Christi Selena boutique and founder of the first Selena fan club, shot and killed Selena. By the time of her death in 1995, Selena had sold 1.5 million records. Her death stunned the Hispanic music world. Some 30,000 people filed past her coffin when it was displayed at the Bayfront Plaza Convention Center in Corpus Christi. On Oct. 11, 2001, Selena's name was included on the Tejano Walk of Fame in Edinburg, Tex.

Died: 3/31/1995

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