Latin pop star Selena Quintanilla was shot to death on March 31, 1995. People are still remembering her 20 years later. Selena was at the top of her career when she was killed at the age of 23, by Yolanda Saldivar, president of Selena’s fan club. There was an argument between the two women at the Days Inn motel where Saldívar was staying. After being shot, Selena ran and collapsed in the motel lobby. Saldívar was given a life sentence with the possibility of parole in 2025.
Billboard magazine reports that people of Corpus Christi, Texas, speak of “the Queen of Tejano” as if she’s still alive today, and they remember her as if she passed just yesterday. That’s because her family makes sure Selena’s legacy continues. For example, Hi-Ho restaurant was Selen’s favorite place to eat. Since her death, all the walls have been covered with pictures of her. In the main dining room, there is a life-size painting of her holding a microphone as if she is getting ready to sing. Speaking of singing, it is interesting that even though Selena’s primary language was English, she sang in Spanish. She was determined to uphold her heritage by appealing to a Latino audience.
When the young popular singer was killed, she was enjoying a successful career. Selena was not only a singer and songwriter, but she was also a spokesperson, actress, and fashion designer. With contributions she made in those areas, she was one of the most celebrated Mexican-American entertainers around.
Since her death, many posthumous films and honors have been given. In 1997, Mexican actress Salma Hayek turned down the invitation to play Selena in a biopic film produced by her family, along with Warner Bros. Over 21,000 women auditioned to star as Selena, but it was Puerto Rican-American actress and singer Jennifer Lopez who got the starring role.
It is interesting that after 20 years, Selena’s estate filed a lawsuit in federal court against UMG Recordings Inc. for allegedly withholding royalties since the singer’s death. At the time of Selena’s death, she was married to Christopher Gilbert Pérez, a guitarist, songwriter, and author. Pérez grieved for a long time after Selena’s death, but he did remarry and had two children, but he later divorced.
Because the Quintanillas are Jehovah’s Witnesses, they do not celebrate birthdays or deaths, according to People magazine. Therefore, family members say they think about their love one every single day, and they don’t need a special day to remember her. However, fans from around the world remembered Selena on March 31. They posted pictures, videos, and their favorite Selena songs.
What are some of your memories of Selena Quintanilla?
[Image via Getty Images]