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The Life and Early Death of Selena Quintanilla

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Many people have influenced American pop culture, whether it’s in fashion, music, TV, dance, or many other products. Primarily with Tejano music, one person has opened doors for many women to sing this style of music, and her name is Selena Quintanilla-Perez, known to all as Selena. Tejano music is a blend of Mexican and American instruments (conjunto), an accordion-based style from the late nineteenth century, with a modern rhythm section of electric guitars, bass, keyboards and drums. Before Selena there were no other women who sang Tejano music it was mostly men.

Selena Quintanilla or the Queen of Tejano music got her name by breaking barriers in the Latinx music world. Quintanilla was born in Lake Jackson, Texas on April 16, 1971. She grew up speaking English but was taught how to sing and speak Spanish by her father, Abraham Quintanilla, so that she could also gain popularity and stay in touch with the Latinx community. She started off in a band, at 10 years old, with her siblings called Selena y Los Dinos singing in restaurants and being managed by her father. It took some time for the band to take off but by the late 1980s they gained popularity in some states. In 1986, the band gained more fame when Selena received awards at the Tejano music awards. Ever since then they were part of the top winners for years, while gaining fame and gratitude. Later on, Chris Perez came into the picture because the band needed a new guitarist. Chris and Selena were drawn to each other and started dating right away because they couldn’t ignore that attraction. Even though Abraham didn’t approve of the relationship Selena and Chris married on April 2, 1992. 

In 1993, Yolanda Saldívar became a part of Selena’s fan club organization and gained access to Selena’s personal life. Selena didn’t only want to become a singer she also wanted to become a fashion designer. So she opened her first boutique in Texas then later opened up two more boutiques, another in Texas and one in Mexico. Yolanda wanted to meet Selena in private on the 31st of March 1995, so that she can prove she was not stealing money from her. Selena agreed to meet but when they did Yolanda showed her sketchy documents so they started to argue. Selena did not want more trouble, so she basically kicked Yoland out of her life because she did not trust her anymore. After that, Selena walked away but at this moment Yolanda shot her in the back, putting an end to her life and career at only 23 years old. But she did leave a mark on the world that had an impact on a lot of people.

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