Selena Quintanilla was born to Mexican-American parents in Lake Jackson, Texas. She began performing at the age of ten and used her father’s previous band to back her up on stage. Her recording debut took place in 1983 after her guest appearance on a popular radio show with Johnnie Canales.
Selena’s career was set to sky-rocket. In 1987, she won two awards at the Tejano Music Awards including Female Vocalist of the Year and Performer of the Year. In 1989, she signed with EMI Latin and with her band Los Dinos, they released a debut album in 1990. In 1991, Selena and Los Dinos crossed another career milestone when they realized success with the first Tejano record to capture the ultimate achievement by going gold.
Selena married her lead guitar player, Chris Perez in 1992 who played in Los Dinos along with her brother and sister. In 1993, Selena Quintanilla Perez won a Grammy for Selena Live. After her Grammy win, Selena’s list of accomplishments began to mount. She opened a clothing business and enjoyed a debut into the film industry with the film Don Juan DeMarco. In 1995, Selena was realizing phenomenal success and plans were underway for her to take her music into mainstream American pop markets.
In March of 1995, Selena made a fatal mistake when she agreed to meet her former fan club president and manager of her boutiques at a hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas. It was there where her former business associate Yolanda Saldivar shot the singer in the back. Fortunately, before dying, Selena was able to make it to the hotel lobby where she named her killer as the vindictive Yolanda Saldivar who had only recently been fired by the Quintanilla family.
Throughout the world, the gunshot was heard and the Latino community felt the pain of death. Selena Quintilla Perez’s life will never be forgotten and her death will forever be viewed as a tragic ending to a beautiful singer’s life.