Selena Selena

26 years after Selena's goodbye: history, music and a crime scene

More than two decades have passed since the tragic incident that ended Selena's life. It was the morning of March 31st, 1995, and the singer was a victim of the revenge of the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar. Keep reading to learn more about one of the most remembered superstars in the music industry.   

  • Selena was 23 when she passed away.
  • Yolanda Saldivar is 60 years old and is in the Mountain View Unit, a maximum-security prison for women in Gatesville, Texas.
  • The criminal could request her parole in 2025.

  • The Queen of Tex-Mex continues adding fans of all ages.

The Selena phenomenon began in the early '90s. According to Pete Astudillo, a former member of the "Los Dinos" band, the singer changed Latin American music. It wasn't common for northern music to cross borders, but Abraham Quintanilla's daughter made history! 

Quintanilla's background

Selena was proud of her Latino roots.

Selena Quintanilla Pérez was born in a Mexican lineage family who followed the American dream, the young lady inherited her talent for music from her father. Abraham Quintanilla was born in the United States but his parents were Latino immigrants living in the USA.  The composer joined the Los Dinos band.

Abraham Quintanilla produced Selena's lives in a film starring Jennifer López in 1997.

Many businessmen refused to pay for Abraham's presentations because he came from a migrant family. Selena's father had to join the army, leaving his dream of becoming an artist. He found love in Washington when he met Marcella Samora, a woman who shared his same roots and become the mother of his three children: Marcella, Abraham, and Selena.

Religion was always present in the life of the composer's family. The Quintanilla clan left Catholicism to become Jehovah's Witnesses, something that undoubtedly marked Selena's education.  The childhood of the Tex-Mex Queen was governed by the strict rules of Abraham. Discipline was always present in the young woman's life, as she worked from her childhood to become a superstar. The singer discovered that his daughter, Selena, 9, had incredible vocal gifts and immediately taught her to speak Spanish!

Beginnings within music

The Mexican writer Pável Granados revealed in an interview for ABC that music became the best escape for Selena, the stage was the only place where she could be completely free. Selena and the Dinos started in the early '80s in Texas, the singer was 10 years old. Abraham Quintanilla tried to save his family from bankruptcy but was unsuccessful.

In 8th grade, Selena stopped attending school in-person to begin her singing career. After five years of work in 1984, the Quintanilla clan signed a contract with Freddie Records. But Abraham Quintanilla ended the contract to sign with another label, Cara Records.

The success of Selena y Los Dinos

" A Million to One" was the first song by Selena and Los Dinos.

In the 1980 end, Selena y got the victory in Texans Music Awards as the best vocal singer. Abraham Quintanilla's daughter was the first Latin music woman to breakthrough in a male-dominated musical genre. 

In 1989, "Contigo Quiero Estar" hit reached the eighth position on Latin Billboard's charts. Selena conquered the United States audience and achieved what no other foreign artist had been able to do, win the hearts of the Mexican public with the song "Baila Esta Cumbia" and "Carcacha"!

Her songComo la flor", 1992, was an anthem of the time and the first Texan album with more than a million copies sold. In 1993 her live album recorded at a concert in Corpus Christi which led her to win a Grammy. 

Selena's true love

Selena was 22 when she married Chris Pérez. Source: (People)

Chris Pérez was a young Heavy Metal guitarist who had his own band and was hired to be part of Los Dinos. Due to the rules of the Quintanilla Family, the singer and the musician kept their romance a secret and especially from Mr. Abraham, Selena's father. The couple had their wedding in 1992.

"I didn't know Christopher as well and saw him as a threat to everything that we had worked for years"

Selena's father tried to hide his daughter's marital status, but over time he ended up accepting Christopher Gilbert Pérez as part of his family. 

Abraham Quintanilla still crying about Selena's passing.

Last year of her life

Selena had a wonderful sense of fashion. Source: (Red Bubble)

Chris Pérez's wife made her own outfits and in 1994 she discovered her talent for business, creating her clothing firm “Selena Etc” in Corpus Christi and San Antonio, Texas, a brand that raised more than five million dollars!

Due to the singer's fame, her clothing line was a success and Selena decided to trust Yolanda Saldívar, the president of her fan club, with the administration of her franchises in Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Selena and Yolanda Saldívar. 

Selena earned two Gold and one Platinum Records, achieved a Grammy Award, and placed five songs on the "Billboard" charts. The singer is considered a pioneer of techno cumbia and one of the most beloved artists in Mexico and the United States.

Selena met businessman Ricardo Martínez, an investor and whom Yolanda pointed out as a very close friend of the Queen of Tx-Mx. The attitude of the singer's partner alarmed Abraham Quintanilla immediately.

Selena received her first Grammy in 1994. 

Saldívar stole the money from Selena's investment and Abraham Quintanilla discovered it before the tragic episode that condemned the life of the “Como la Flor” interpreter.

Crime scene background

Selena Quintanilla and Yolanda Saldívar were friends!

Yolanda is the youngest of eight siblings. She studied nursing, never married, and adopted 3 children. The one from San Antonio, Texas, became Selena's right hand. Saldívar had problems with the law in her past. The ex-nurse had been accused of theft by Faustino Gomez, a dermatologist she worked with; also for having a debt of more than seven thousand dollars for a student loan. 

Selena would be 50 years old in 2021.

The attitude of the singer's friend was suspicious and Selena decided to request some documents that revealed her financial statements. Yolanda, as a distracter, presented injuries and claimed that it had been caused by an incident,  that the singer suspected was a total lie.

Cris Pérez's wife and Yolanda began a discussion and at approximately 11:00 am. The tragic episode that occurred in Days Inn Motel ended the life of the Queen of TX-MX.  Selena received the impact of a projectile and tried to get to the hospital to save her life, but it had been too late. The singer arrived at Corpus Christi Memorial Hospital without vital signs.

Chris Pérez next to Selena's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Source: (Getty)

Selena Quintanilla Pérez passed away on March 31, 1995, at the age of 23, due to one of the worst betrayals in history.

Yolanda Saldívar 26 years after Selena's absence

Yolanda Saldivar still in prision.

Saldívar was sentenced to life imprisonment on October 24, 1995, but will be able to request her parole in 2025 for good behavior. In the Mountain View Unit prison, Yolanda reaffirms that it wasn't her intention to ends Selena's life.

The artist's career has inspired the filming of the biography directed by Abraham Quintanilla and a Netflix series.

The interpreter continues adding new followers and if you are one of them please share with us your favorite memory of her, the always Tex-Mex Queen!

Sindy Macero

Journalist with some Caribbean flavor. Curious and waiting for good stories.+ info

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