Selena Perez Imagine what it would be like to grow up as a performer in a world that didnt even except female Tejano singers? Can you imagine how much courage and work it would take to make it to the top? Thats 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 didnt 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 80s 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 didnt 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, Selenas 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 Astrodome where over 61,000 fans attended, there was no thought in anyones head that anything could stop Selena. And then tragedy struck.. After the record-breaking concert, Selena and her father came to realize that Yolanda Salvidar, who was now her fan club president, had been embezzling funds from the boutiques.
On March 5th, 1995 Selena went to a hotel to meet up with Yolanda to recover the missing paperwork. It was said that the women argued loudly and then Yolanda pulled out a handgun and shot Selena as she was leaving.