The Queen of Tejano MusicSelena Quintanilla won the "Female Vocalist of the Year" for eight consecutive years, at the Tejano Music Awards, from 1986-1994.
Selena Quintanilla was Mexican-American singer, songwriter, actress, and a fashion designer. She was born on April 16,1971. She died at the age of twenty three, on March 31, 1995. Her contributions to Tejano music and fashion were so huge that she is considered the Mexican equivalent of Madonna. She was deemed as the 'Top Latin Artist of the '90s', and was the 'Best Selling Latin Artist of the Decade'.
The beginning of this 'Queen of Tejano music' were not as glamorous; she had to drop out of school in eighth grade in order to support her family. But it did not stop this young lady, she obtained a high school diploma at seventeen and enrolled at the Pacific West University to pursue her education in business administration.
On October 17, 1989 Selena released her debut album and was later signed by Coca-Cola. On April 2, 1992 Selena married Chris Perez, a former member of her band despite the disapproval of her father, this was the inspiration her breakthrough album Entre a Mi Mundo
. She won a Grammy for her song Live!
In 1994, her album Amor Prohibido
no longer kept her confined to the Tejano music genre, an album whose success was unparalleled in the Latin music industry. Her style was described as a cross between Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson. Selena shied away from the epithet of being a sex icon as she believed in being a role model for her fans, that mostly consisted of young children.
Selena Quintanilla Quotes
Her Take on Her Success as a Mexican-American Artist
"All this is a dream to me. Everything, the applause, the fans asking for autographs, the trips, all that is a dream."
"Anywhere in the world you go, you find racism, discrimination. Not just in the United States, or in Texas. It's very sad for me, but that's the way it is."
"I have nothing bad to say about my job. I love the public, I love to talk, get to know people, everything."
"I'm always planning for my future. The public can support an artist or let them fall. Aside from music, I love designing. I have to put money in something I like. That is why I have been thinking of the boutiques."
"The life of an artist is not all glamorous. It's a lot of work. A lot of people think that it's very easy. They think you always stay in good hotels, you buy good things, but it is not like that. You have to work very hard like everybody."
"Well, when I am singing I am a completely different person. I could be very free, depending on the situation I could do what I want. I could have to deliver, as with many songs, a lot of emotion if a song is very sad as with a very happy and excited song. It depends, it depends. Compared to when I am in my, I am normal, like whomever, of the public."
"I can't believe what's happening. This is like a dream that I'm living in. It's incredible... indescribable."
"We never thought we would ever come this far but...we're here."
"Each person has their unique talent and I think to be in a group is an honor for me, because there aren't many of us [female lead singers]. It's very difficult at first because life on the road isn't glamorous but if it's a lot of hard work to reach your goal, the rest is easy."
"The reason I'm so appreciative of everything that's going on around me is cause I never expected it. Never dreamed...never in my wildest dreams thought I would come this far and I plan to keep that attitude."
"I'm spoiled in the sense that now I get what I want but it's because I work for it."
Her Message to the Youth
"Be at your best at all times."
"With a positive attitude, you can be anything you want to be."
"Be strong minded and always think that the impossible is possible."
"You get a lot farther in life without drugs."
"Music is not a very stable business. It comes and it goes, and so does money but your education stays with you for the rest of your life."
"If you have a dream, don't let anybody take it away and always believe that the impossible is possible."
Her Take on Her Childhood and Family
"I lost a lot out of my teenage hood but I gained a lot too. I can't really say that I lost because I got ahead of everyone as far as career and being more mature about business, even though I didn't know what the heck was going on."
"Though I was very young and lost a part of my childhood, it was for a good cause - to help my family."
"What's cool about our family is that we don't hold grudges and I think that's sort of been the key to the success. Ya know we have our disagreements but whether we're right or wrong we'll just go and apologize. That's just the way we are."
"The family that plays together stays together."
"I think I'm a very kindhearted person, I don't like to hurt people's feelings. If I do, it's not intentionally and I feel a lot of people nowadays have lost that."
Her Love for Tejano Music
"When dad first introduced us to it we were like, no you can't make us play it. There were times we would come in to practice and we would start crying, 'We don't wanna learn this music.' But we learned it and now that's all we listen to on the radio and we like to play it."
"Tejano music is a very relaxing style and it reminds me of home."
"Although my Spanish is a little week. I feel that I am Mexican. I am very proud of my roots. And since I was little we played Tejano music besides English music and country. It was something natural for us."
Her Love for Chris
"Ever since I was a little girl, I'd dreamed of having a big, wonderful wedding, with a long white gown and a bouquet of flowers. But my love for Chris was so strong. I couldn't wait any longer for us to be husband and wife. I couldn't even wear my nicest dress because that would have made my father suspicious."
"We were friends. I never thought I'd wanna marry a musician."
Her success is said to have paved the way for other Latin artists like Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, and Christina Aguilera into the mainstream music. We can't help but wonder where would she be today if she were with us.