Selena, “Le Reina de Tejano”, was born on April 16, 1971, in Lake Jackson. She was the youngest of three children of Abraham Quintanilla Jr. and Marcela, his wife. At a young age, Abraham had a strong passion for music that he still has. During the 1950s and 1960s, him and his friends made a group called “Los Dinos” and played at nightclubs and restaurants. Even though his passion for music, he gave it up when he got married and earned a job at Dow Chemical as a shipping clerk.
From his experience, he taught his two oldest children, A.B. III and Suzette, how to play the instruments. A.B. III learned how to play the bass guitar and Suzette played the drums. As Selena saw how attached Abraham was with A.B. III and Suzette, she became jealous and asked her father why she couldn’t learn how to play an instrument. He told her she was too young, so she started to sing.
By the time she was 6, her father saw talent in her as she sang with purity and perfect pitch as he played his guitar. Then with enthusiasm, Abraham got a hold of instruments and formed a family band with A.B. III as the bass, Suzette as the drummer, and Selena the lead singer. Their family band was named Selena Y Los Dinos and they started playing at weddings, fairs, and clubs close by. When they barely formed, A.B. III and Suzette hated the rehearsals practice they had every night because they took time from their friends; on the contrary, Selena loved the rehearsals because she had the same passion as her father for music.
As a child, Selena was cheerful all the time and had the gift to bring everyone together at the playground. She was very athletic and did well in her classes. As athletic as she was, she loved playing with dolls, like dressing them up in customs and doing their hair. She even had the dream of opening a boutique one day.
Her father taught her how to sing in Spanish since she didn’t know any at all. Even though her parents are Mexicans, Selena’s first and only language was English until she learned how to sing in Spanish with perfection. It was still difficult for her to speak fluently in Spanish, so her way of talk was weird and awkward. Even with all that, her radiant smile and personality won the hearts of the Mexicans she would talk to.
In 1980, Abraham quit working at Dow Chemical and opened a family restaurant, Papa Gayo’s, with all their savings and the rest of the family pitched in. In that restaurant, Selena Y Los Dinos made their first real public exposure. As their band grew more famous, they were wanted at more events so it started to interfere with Selena’s education. With that, her father decided to take her out of school when she was just in 8th grade. Even though she was removed from school, she continued to have fun and enjoyed singing when she could. Though later she got her GED from an American School Program.
Just as things were going good with the restaurant, it went under, from the recession caused by the Texas oil bust, with debts and...