Selena was a popular Tejano singer who won a Grammy Award for her album Selena Live and recorded numerous albums during her brief career. By the age of 19, she was a millionaire; by the age of 21, she could draw crowds of 20,000 at the fairgrounds at Pasadena, Texas. Music critics proclaimed she would be the next Madonna, i.e. a mega-star of music and movies. Tragically, however, Selena's career was cut short when she was murdered by the president of her fan club at age 23. Selena and her band performed Tejano music-Mexican ranchera style music mixed sounds owing influence to pop, country and western, and Caribbean music. Tejano traditionally meant music by Texans of Mexican descent. But Selena, among others, modernized the traditional accordion-based Tejano or Tex-Mex music with country twangs, techno-pop beats, dance mixes, and international influences. More than 70 radio stations playing the uniquely Latino-styled tunes form a corridor from south Texas through California. Selena Quintanilla was born April 16, 1971, in Lake Jackson, Texas, a small industrial town near Houston. Her father Abraham Quintanilla, Jr. worked as a shipping clerk at the Dow Chemical plant. Abraham and his wife Marcela had three children: Abraham III, Suzette, and Selena, the youngest. Seems Destined for Stardom In his own youth, Quintanilla had performed as a vocalist with Los Dinos ("the boys") a popular South Texas band. When Quintanilla heard his daughter sing at six years of age, he knew Selena was destined for a musical career and encouraged the musical talents that she revealed. In a 1995 People article, Quintanilla affirmed that Selena's "timing and [her] pitch were perfect. I could see it from day one." Selena practiced with the music she enjoyed, from the soul music of Little Anthony and the Imperials to country and western music and even the stylized R&B of Michael Jackson. Through her love of all different kinds of music and early jam sessions with her brother on bass and her sister on drums, Selena demonstrated her passion for the musical arts. After years of working for others, Abraham Quintanilla opened his own Tex-Mex restaurant in Lake Jackson. There Selena first performed in public with her brother and sister as members of her band. But the economic recession of the early 1980s delivered a knockout blow that closed the family restaurant, forcing them to leave their home and sell all their belongings. Selena's talent would save them. Takes Family Band on the Road While the rest of the Quintanilla clan relocated in Corpus Christi, Selena and her siblings hit the road, performing throughout southern Texas as Selena y Los Dinos ("Selena and the Boys"). They played at weddings and in cantinas and honky-tonks to very small audiences — oftentimes less than ten people. In a dilapidated van with one foldout bed in the back, the troupe traveled and performed. In 1979, eight-year-old Selena recorded her first tune — a country song sung in Spanish; her Tex-Mex band was in full swing by 1980. Selena left school in the eighth grade to spend more time travelling with the band and earning money for her family, but she eventually completed her high school equivalency requirements through a correspondence course. The band started playing larger venues, including ballrooms. They also recorded nearly one dozen albums for a small regional label. In 1987, Selena— then 15 years old — won Tejano Music Awards for best female vocalist and performer of the year. This was the big break that Selena and the band had worked for years to achieve. Two years later, the Latin division of the EMI Records Group signed the band to a record deal. Though Selena was the rising star of Hispanic pop, she was still very much a Texan. She could not speak Spanish and learned the Spanish lyrics for her lively songs and romantic ballads phonetically, coached by her brother, who wrote the songs. At the advice of her father, turned manager, she began taking Spanish lessons in the early 1990s, so that she could project a more genuine Hispanic image during interviews on Spanish-language radio. In 1992 Selena Quintanilla married the band's guitarist Chris Pérez. The union did not hamper Selena's sexy image. Rather, Selena became known as the "Tex-Mex Madonna" because of her sexy bustiers and provocative smiles on-stage, though off-stage she remained a wholesome, married woman who was devoted to her family. Hires Fan Club President Selena had repeatedly refused offers for fan clubs, keeping her career a family project, but a woman named Yolanda Saldivar expressed interest in founding and running Selena's fan club. She was an aunt of one of Selena's childhood friends, but beyond that she was a stranger to the singer. Saldivar lived near San Antonio, working as a registered nurse, and caring for three children abandoned by her brother. Despite Saldivar's remote connection to the Quintanillas, Selena and her family appointed Saldivar as the president of the Selena fan club, an unpaid position. In just four years, Selena's fan club attracted nine thousand members. When speaking of her desire to work for Selena, Saldivar told the Dallas Morning News in 1994 that she became a devoted Selena fan after seeing a San Antonio concert in 1989. "Selena just inspired me — with her talent, her motivation. She gives her whole to you." The two developed a close friendship. Though Saldivar did not receive an official salary, Selena often bestowed the woman with gifts. Selena indulged Saldivar's penchant for spotted cows with cow-patterned rugs and phones; Saldivar reciprocated by transforming her apartment into a Selena shrine, laden with Selena photos and memorabilia, including a life-size cardboard pop-up of the singer. Becomes Quick Success Selena lost no time in the recording studio. She recorded among others,Ven Conmigo, Entre a Mi Mundo, and Baile Esta Cumbia, between 1990 and 1993. In 1993 Selena Live received a Grammy Award for best Mexican American album. Selena's 1994 album, Amor Prohibido — recipient of a Grammy nomination — sold six hundred thousand copies in the United States. The fourth single from the album, "Fotos y Recuerdos," reached the top ten on Billboard magazine's Latino charts. By 1995, Selena's albums had sold a combined total of three million copies. Twice, she played to record crowds of sixty thousand at Houston's annual Livestock Show and Rodeo. Selena's "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" won the singer a song of the year award at the Tejano Music Awards in early 1995. She also won five more of the fifteen awards presented at the 1995 Tejano Music Awards ceremonies, including best female entertainer; best female vocalist; album of the year; Tejano crossover song; and record of the year. An amazed Selena was quoted as saying in Time magazine, "Never in my dreams would I have thought I would become this big. I am still freaking out." In 1994, Selena promoted Saldivar to a paid position as head of Selena Etc. Inc., a company devoted to overseeing two Selena boutiques/salons — one in Corpus Christi and one in San Antonio — and to marketing a line of Selena fashions to be sold in the boutiques as well as in other retail venues. But things began falling apart rapidly. First, fashion designer Martin Gomez quit, claiming that he could not work with Saldivar, who he accused of being "mean and manipulative." The problem escalated with reports of other lapses by Saldivar involving misuse of funds. Meanwhile, fans were not receiving t-shirts and other Selena items that they had paid for, and money was disappearing from one of the salons. Selena and her father both confronted Saldivar about the reported abuses. Saldivar protested, claiming that she had documentation to prove her innocence and offered to show Selena the alleged papers. Shooting Ends Life Selena and Saldivar were supposed to meet alone at the Days Inn where Saldivar was staying. Instead Selena brought her husband; Saldivar proved not to have the papers she had claimed to possess. The next day Selena went to the Days Inn sometime before noon to talk with Saldivar. At 11:50 a.m., the Corpus Christi police received a 911 call of a shooting at the motel. Police detailed that Saldivar met Selena at the door of her motel room with a .38-caliber revolver, shooting the singer in the back and shoulder. Selena staggered to the lobby before collapsing, though she remained conscious until paramedics arrived. Response teams rushed Selena to the hospital. Despite blood transfusions, Selena died a few hours after being shot, on March 31, 1995. Saldivar was charged with Selena's murder. But the ordeal did not end with Selena's death. Saldivar holed up with the revolver in the cab of a pickup truck in the Days Inn parking lot. For hours she threatened to shoot herself while negotiating with police via a cellular car phone. As the news of Selena's murder spread, the singer's fans stood vigil at the Days Inn. Saldivar finally surrendered at 9:30 p.m. Death Sparks Widespread Grief In the wake of Selena's murder, grieving fans swamped the Quintanilla family with remembrances, including bouquets, rosaries, and votives. Condolences were sent to the Quintanillas by Julio Iglesias, Gloria Estefan, Madonna, and La Mafia, a well-known Hispanic singing group. Local radio stations devoted their programming to Selena's music, and more than one thousand Selena tapes and compact discs were sold at a frenzied pace during the next couple of weeks. Fifteen hundred mourners attended a vigil for the singing star at the Bayfront Plaza and Convention Center prior to her funeral held at Corpus Christi's Memorial Coliseum, the arena where she had recorded her smash hit Selena Live. Ten thousand people flooded Corpus Christi to pass by Selena's coffin. In Los Angeles, four thousand people gathered at the Sports Arena Memorial to honor the slain singer. Mourners also gathered in San Antonio, the capital of Tejano music, at two separate sites. Selena was killed just as her career was about to skyrocket in new directions. She had recorded six songs for an English-language album, her first with EMI's SBK division, making her only the third Hispanic performer to ever cross from the Latin division to the more mainstream part of the record company. The album was released as Dreaming of You. In addition, she had made her film debut as herself in Dos Mujeres, Un Camino, a Latino Television soap. In 1995, she continued to advance her film career as a mariachi singer in the film Don Juan DeMarco, and she had collaborated with former Talking Heads leader David Bryne on the song "God's Child" for the film Blue in the Face. Cameron Randle, a recording industry executive specializing in Tex-Mex music, voiced his opinions of Selena in a retrospective of her career published in Entertainment Weekly in April of 1995. "Selena was not merely forging an exceptional career, she was defining a new genre as uniquely American as Delta blues or New Orleans jazz. There's every indication she would have been as enormously popular as [fellow Latinos] Jon Secada or Gloria Estefan. She was about to take center stage as the first Tejano performer to attempt a full-scale crossover, and she was robbed of that opportunity." Selena's posthumous release Dreaming of You entered the Billboard 200 at the top of the chart — the second-highest chart debut after Michael Jackson's HIStory — and entered the Billboard Latin 50 at the same position. The jump into the top pop slot made Selena one the fastest selling female artists of all time, second only to Janet Jackson. An amazing 175,000 copies of the compact disc were sold on the first day of release. In addition to Dreaming of You, several other posthumous recording of Selena's work have been released, including Siempre Selena, Selena: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, and Selena Anthology. Life Story Depicted in Top-Grossing Film Selena's life story was depicted in the movie Selena, which starred award-winning actors Jennifer Lopez, Edward James Olmos, Constance Marie, Jacob Vargas, and Jackie Guerra. Directed by Gregory Nava, who also directed such memorable films as El Norte and Mi Familia/My Family, the movie received rave reviews from critics and moviegoers alike and was one of the highest- grossing films of 1997.


Univision Announces 10th Anniversary Tribute Concert to be Held in Houston to Honor Tejano Music Superstar Selena ‘Selena ¡Vive!’ will air live on April 7, 2005 Houston, TX--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--February 3, 2005 During a press conference today at the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, the Univision Network officially announced its plans for an all-star tribute concert to celebrate the legacy of Selena, the enormously popular Tejano music superstar. A Univision Network exclusive, the tribute concert, “Selena ¡Vive!” (“Selena Lives!”), will air live on April 7, from 8-11pm ET (7-10pm Central), from Reliant Stadium, which neighbors the fabled Houston Astrodome, site of Selena’s last concert in 1995. On hand for today’s announcement were Houston Mayor Bill White, Selena’s parents, Abraham and Marcela Quintanilla, as well as her sister, Suzette Quintanilla. They were joined by award-winning actor and community leader Edward James Olmos (who portrayed Abraham in the film, Selena), who serves on the board of the Selena Foundation. Tejano music artist Bobby Pulido, and Reliant Park Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Nina Jackson, rounded out the speakers during today’s program, which was hosted by popular Univision personality Myrka Dellanos. “Selena, !Vive!” will celebrate the talent, music and life of the Tex-Mex Queen, whose life was cut short in Corpus Christi one decade ago. Univision has assembled an impressive roster of internationally-famous recording artists, including: Pepe Aguilar, Pete Astudillo, Banda el Recodo, Los Dinos, Gloria Estefan, Fey, Ana Gabriel, Alejandra Guzman, India, Lucero, Montez de Durango, Jay Perez, Bobby Pulido, A.B. Quintanilla & the Kumbia Kings, Aleks Syntek, Thalía, and Carlos Vives.


•Review: Modern, traditional mix in vibrant Selena tribute

The scene resembled Hollywood before the Academy Awards as thousands of fans swarmed the red carpet outside Reliant Stadium on Thursday. 'Selena ¡Vive!' concert, April 7, Reliant Stadium Before the curtains rose on the much-anticipated Selena ¡Vive! concert, the full-throttle fiesta atmosphere was already in full effect. Chants of "Selena!" broke out during the red-carpet arrivals. Spotlights towered over the proceedings, and bleachers filled with fans flanked the red-carpet area. It was fitting given the duality of the Tejano princess's career. Amid the clamor, lights and crush of bodies, those who spoke about Selena remembered her humble charm. One week ago, on the 10th anniversary of Selena's murder, the mood was one of mourning. Thursday, the crowd was there to celebrate. Thousands of fans jammed against barricades to catch glimpses of the high-wattage celebrities in attendance. The concert featured an all-star lineup that included Thalía, Gloria Estefan, Paulina Rubio and Ana Gabriel. Some musicians, like Johnny Arreola, accordionist for Tejano supergroup Los Palominos, came to hear the music rather than play it. "Selena pretty much opened the doors for everybody," said Arreola, who traveled from Uvalde with his girlfriend and mother to attend the show. "She was a real outgoing person. She was real down to earth. Era muy buena gente. (She was good people.) That's why she's stayed in everybody's hearts." Shrieks of excitement Popular TV talk-show host Cristina Saralegui was one of the first to arrive, in a sleek stretch limo, and her appearance elicited screams from the crowd. Latin pop artists Fey and Aleks Syntek, both of whom performed, also drew shrieks from fans. Multitasking diva Thalía stopped to sign a few autographs. Through all the spectacle, Selena's spirit remained front and center. "I love her music," said Rubio, a label mate at EMI Latin. "She was always happy. I admire her so much." Slogans of appreciation were scrawled on car windows in the Reliant parking lot. Admirers proudly waved framed Selena posters and homemade signs. There were also plenty of look-alikes, dressed in everything from black-and-red leather pants to corsets and berets — a favorite accessory of the Tejano singer. A pair of young fans even showed up in mini versions of the purple outfit Selena donned at the legendary 1995 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo performance that would be her last. Fans from near and far Some came from as far away as Hawaii to honor the late Tejano star. "This is a chance of a lifetime to see all these Latin artists on one stage," said Anthony Vigil, who traveled from Santa Fe, N.M., with his best friend. "Selena was really talented, a great singer and true to her fans." Jesus Hernandez and his wife, Monica Cano, made the trek from Denver with two friends. "Since she died, nobody has been like her," Cano said. "She was famous, but at the same time she was simple and down to earth." Houstonian Beatris Rodriguez was 9 when Selena was killed. She's 19 now and married. "I came because I just wanted to remember how she was," she said. Members of more than 400 media outlets from around the world attended. Some broadcast live remotes throughout the day. Photographers furiously snapped shots at every turn. Hundreds of reporters, all dressed in black — per strict red-carpet guidelines — furiously scribbled on pads and chattered into cell phones. "Selena has fans all across the Midwest," said Tricia Schwennesen, a reporter with Adelante magazine. "Her appeal is so universal," Schwennesen said, "that it brings people out from everywhere


Artists come together to pay tribute to the Queen of Tex-Mex HOUSTON, TEXAS- The concert and tribute Selena Vive! (Selena Lives!), united, for the first time in the history of Latino music, a list of artists so diverse and successful a decade after the loss of the singer Selena Quintanilla Pérez. Fans of the late "queen of tex-mex" came to the Reliant Stadium in Houston from all over Latin America and the United States on April 7 to pay tribute to the life and music of the late singer. More than 50 thousand people showed up at the anticipated event, in which artists like A.B. Quintanilla y Los Kumbia Kings, Gloria Estefan, Thalía, Pépe Aguilar, Alex Syntek, Banda El Recodo, Paulina Rubio, Fey, Alejandra Guzmán, Mariana Seoane, Montez de Durango, Ana Gabriel, Pablo Montero, Bobby Pulido, Alicia Villarreal, Graciela Beltrán, and Olga Tañón and others participated. Most of the artists showed up at the events' red carpet, which aired live on Univisión, and many of those artists with humbleness said hello to their fans and the media who were waiting for them with curiosity, since no one had mentioned which Selena song they would perform that night. Many artists were asked during the interviews on the red carpet about their encounters with Selena and many of them shared their moments with the singer. Alejandra Guzmán, the queen of rock, said that one time during an episode of the show 'Siempre en Domingo' (Always on Sunday), Selena's dress ripped and she helped her fix it before going on stage. During the whole time the multitude of fans outside the stadium kept yelling "Selena, Selena!" letting everyone know that their love for the star has not ended. THE CONCERT Thalía was the opening act for the concert with the song 'Amor Prohibido'(Forbidden Love), and even though the audience responded, it was too obvious that her voice was not apt for that song. That's exactly what happened to many of the artists, some of them did whatever possible to sing Selena's songs with dignity while others were disappointing because of their lack of a strong good voice. Some of the few favorites of the night were India with 'No Debes Jugar' (You Should Not Play), Graciela Beltrán with 'El Chico del Apartamento 512' (The Guy in Apartment 512), Alex Syntek y Fey with 'Donde Quiera Que Tu Estés' (Wherever You Are), and even Alejandra Guzmán with 'Bidi Bidi Bom Bom'. The artist who really was a disappointment was A.B. Quintanilla and Los Kumbia Kings for performing with a playback, it was expected for him to do something more emotional or special for being Selena's brother, but that was not the case. They dances to the song 'Baila esta Cumbia' (Dance this Cumbia), with Selena's voice and a chorus by the Kumbia Kings, but it was not a live performance like the rest of the artists had done that night. Throughout the transmission of the concert, there were messages from artists such as Jennifer López, who gained popularity thanks to her role as Selena in the movie by that same name, from Juanes and various program directors, reporters and Selena's family who shared some of their memories about her. One of the most emotional moments of the night was when Pete Astudillo, who was a member of Los Dinos along with Selena, sang 'Como Te Extraño' (How Much I Miss You), a song he dedicated to Selena when she died, causing the tears of everyone there and Marcela, Selena's mom, who was on the front row during the concert along with her husband, Abraham, and daughter Suzette. Before the end of the concert, they showed a personal home video of Selena sending a joking message to her fans, telling them how much they had misbehaved at her concert, later saying she was just kidding and then saying that she would see them real soon and she sent them lots of hugs. After that, all the artists and a children's chorus came on stage along with the members of Selena's old band Los Dinos, A.B., Suzette, Ricky, Joe, and Chris, who was Selena's husband, played the song 'Como la Flor' (Like a Flower), while Selena came on the screens singing this song during her very last concert at the Houston Astrodome. That is how the long awaited and commented concert "Selena Vive!" Selena Lives!, came to an end. --By OLIVIA RUIZ

Stars, fans show love for Selena Singer's videos play between performers at sold-out concert

By Cassandra Hinojosa Caller-Times April 8, 2005 HOUSTON - Univision's "Selena Vive!" Tribute Concert on Thursday at Houston's Reliant Stadium would have been befitting for the Queen of Tejano herself, the late Selena Quintanilla-Perez. The sold-out show had an attendance of 70,000-plus screaming fans who raised glow sticks shaped like Selena's white rose and homemade posters. After a heartfelt broadcast introduction by Jennifer Lopez, Thalia, who made her English crossover debut in 2003 with the song "I Want You," was the first to fire up the stage draped in sparkling silver. Thalia delivered the Selena hit "Amor Prohibido." During the tribute, popular Spanish-language talk-show host Cristina made a surprise appearance and said, "Selena was the woman that we want to be like." Many times during the event, the audience chanted the lyrics to Selena hits. anticipated performances included Paulina Rubio's heavy bass rendition of "Fotos y Recuerdos." Rubio, whose album "Paulina" won Billboard's Latin Album of the Year for 2001, is set to play American Bank Center on May 3. Between performers, the audience's attention was directed to a video montage of Selena's videos, concerts, memorable moments, achievements and interviews with her family. Pete Astudillo, who was a backup vocalist in his early career for Selena's band Los Dinos, sang "Como Te Extrano," (How I Miss You), which he wrote after Selena's passing. His song brought tears to the family and audience and received a standing ovation. A touching performance of "If I Could Fall In Love" was delivered by Cuban-born Gloria Estefan, who was dressed in a sleek black gown. Her latest album is 2004's "Amor y Suerte." Selena's brother A.B. Quintanilla and his group, the Kumbia Kings, shared a new re-recorded version of "Baila Esta Cumbia," which pipes in Selena's vocals. The track is at the top of local Tejano station charts. Other noteworthy performances were "Tu Solo Tu" delivered by Mexican singer Ana Gabriel with full mariachis; an emotional presentation of "No Me Queda Mas" by internationally-acclaimed artist Pepe Aguilar; Olga Tanon's seductively, smoky vocals on "La Llamada;" and 2002 Latin Grammy winner Alejandra Guzman's super-charged version of "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom." The star of the evening, Selena was able to participate through a past video of "Como La Flor" with a stage full of Latin artists and her band, Los Dinos, which included her widowor, Chris Perez; sister Suzette Q. Arriaga; and her brother A.B. Quintanilla accompanying her in the grand finale. -------------------------------------


Pepe Aguilar Pablo Montero and Mariana Soraya and Barrio Boyzz Pete Astudillo Graciela Beltran Alicia Villareal Alex Syntek and Fey Kumbia Kings Gloria Estefan Bobby Pulido and Jay Perez Ana Babara Alejandra Guzman Thalia Ana Gabriel Paulina Rubio Banda El Recodo Olga Tanon India -----attendance: 70.000