Selena



could you Imagine what it would be like to grow up as a performer in a

world that didn’t even except female Tejano singers? Can you imagine how

much courage and work it would take to make it to the top? That’s was Selena

Quintanilla Perez had to go through.

Selena was born in Lake Jackson, Texas on April 6th, 1971 to Abraham

and Marcella Quintanilla. Abraham was a shipping clerk for a chemical company

and Marcella was a housewife.

Abraham being a well respected Mexican musician, who only sang

English songs, and had his career ruined because of that. American people

didn’t respect him because he was Mexican, and the Mexican people did not

respect them because they sang English songs.

By the time Selena reached age 10, it became very obvious that Selena was

a natural born performer and that she had a great amount of singing talent.

Abraham decided to start a band, he was afraid that the same thing would

happen to her, so he decided to teach her some Spanish songs, but one

problem, Selena only knew how to speak English, so Selena went on with most

of her life not even knowing what the words meant that she was singing.

Well in order to start the band they would need more then Selena so

Abraham made Abraham III (nicknamed A.B.) her older brother, and Suzette, her

older sister. A.B. already knowing the drums, Suzette already knowing the drum,

and Selena having an awesome voice started their band, “Selena Y Los Dinos”.

They started practicing together and performer a little.

In 1980, Abraham and Marcella opened up a Mexican restaurant. At first

business was booming, Abraham even had to quit his shipping clerk job to

devote his full time and attention to the restaurant. Unfortunatly after the Texas

Oil Bust of 1981, the restaurant went bankrupt and had to be shut down. So

Abraham bought a bus and “Selena Y Los Dinos” began to tour the Texas

countryside. At age 13 Selena had to leave 8th grade and start taking high school

correspondence courses by mail.

Selena sang almost exclusively Spanish. She sang a Tex-Mex pop called

Tejano. They made there first recording in 1984, slowly people started to notice

and love Selena, but by her being a female Tejano performer, no one thought she

would actually last, because the Tejano industry of music was ruled over by men,

and although many women had tried, they rarely made it to stardom. Little did

they know that “Selena Y Los Dinos” would climb the charts and end up being

the top Tejano band in the country.

It was in 1987, that they really started to make it to the top. All the

recording and touring throughout the 80’s finally paid off, because in 1987

“Selena y Los Dinos” came to national attention, when Selena won a Tejano

Music Award for Female Vocalist and Performer of the Year. It was a great

accomplishment for a 15 year old girl. Until then the two categories didn’t even

exist. Her fame was definitely being brought to the Latino communities, but

Selena wanted more.

In 1989, Selena and her band were signed to EMI, also known as Capitol

Records, releasing there album a year later. Over the next few years Selena

became one of the most popular Tejano Performers.

In 1992, Selena and her lead guitarist Chris Perez eloped, after her father

had forbid for them to see each other. Her family later welcomed him into the

family with open arms.

In 1994, Selena’s first mainstream exposure came in, she played a singer

in the 1993 film Don Juan DeMarco. Also in 1994 she won a Grammy for “Best

Mexican/American Album” for her album “Selena: Live”. It was her first time ever

being nominated for a Grammy. Also, later that year she opened “Selena Ect.”

Two fashion boutiques located in Texas. Her outstanding success, concerts, and

now boutiques attracted many fans, including Yolanda Salvidar, who would have

a big effect on Selenas life later on.

Toward the very end of 1994 Selena signed a major world wide English-

language crossover album recording contract. “Dreaming of You” was released in

February 1995. With sales booming and Selena holding a record breaking

concert at the Houston