Paulina Martinez, Staff Writer

Female musicians have always been incredibly impactful, inspiring others through their singing and songwriting. A notable mention is Selena Quintanilla, also known as the “Queen of Tejano music.”

Selena Quintanilla was born on April 16, 1971, to a mother of Cherokee ancestry and a Mexican-American father. Selena, alongside her two siblings, were born and raised in Texas. From a very young age, she had already begun to show her extraordinary singing abilities. Her father, Quintanilla Jr., who was a musician himself, was the first to see the potential she had to be a big star someday. Selena, her brother, and her sister performed at their family-owned restaurant.  Quintanilla Jr. formed a band that included the trio, they were known as “Selena y Los Dinos.”  Although the singing group was created because he saw talent in his kids, it was also because the Quintanilla family needed money, after losing their restaurant.  It wasn’t long before Selena began to gain recognition for her outstanding singing talent.

Selena’s popularity continued to grow.  Not only was she famous because of her music, but she was also well known because of her fashion style.  Selena began her own line of clothing, which she herself designed in 1994. Selena was very passionate about this, which ultimately led to her own fashion shows.  Not only did Selena have her own clothing line, but she also collaborated with MAC cosmetics. This collection of hers turned out to be the best-selling celebrity collection in cosmetic history. Due to her recognition in the fashion industry, she was given the name “Tejano Madonna.”

Selena made history in the music industry. She released several albums, some of the most popular ones being Selena, Ven Conmigo, and Entre a Mi Mundo. In her album Entre a Mi Mundo, she had one of her most popular songs ever, “Como La Flor.”  This song got her even more recognition, as it peaked at number 6 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Tracks in 1992.  Her albums Amor Prohibido and Dreaming of You made a significant impact on the Latino music industry. Amor Prohibido was one of her most successful albums ever, including songs like “Si Una Vez”, “No Me Queda Mas,” and “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.” This album earned her several awards, and it even peaked at number one on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart.

Selena, in her early 20’s, had already accomplished many achievements and she still had a brighter future ahead of her.  Selena was just beginning to change the world when her life was abruptly taken.  She was shot and killed on March 31, 1995, by Yolanda Saldivar, who happened to be president of Selena’s fan club.  Her sudden death shocked thousands of fans, leaving them to mourn the loss of an amazing and talented young woman.

Although Selena was just 23 when she passed away, she had already earned a remarkable place in music history. Selena achieved many things in her short life, leaving an impact on many people, and for that, she will always be one of the biggest role models. Selena broke many records and made history in the Latino music industry, specifically performing Tejano music. Selena’s legacy continues to inspire young Latina women to work hard to reach their goals. March 31, 2021, marked 26 years of her death, and yet, she remains a significant inspiration and a music icon.

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