Selena is a very well known name in the Latin-American community. She started her music career while she was still a child with her dad’s group Los Dinos. Selena married her lead guitarist and ended up being killed by her “biggest fan.” After her death Selena became even more popular.
Selena Quintanilla Perez was born on April 16, 1971 in Lake Jackson, Texas. Selena grew up understanding Spanish, but English was her first language. At the age of five Selena saw her brother learning to play the guitar and became jealous of the attention he was getting. She picked up a songbook and began to sing. Her family quickly turned their attention to her strong and beautiful voice. In the first grade Selena excelled at a game called Jump the Brook, in which two ropes are placed side by side and each kid takes a turn jumping across.1 In middle school Selena was in honors classes and made A’s and B’s. Selena used her allowance to put clothes on layaway. As a teenager, Selena hung all of her awards on the wall next to the staircase in her family’s house. As an adult, Selena was very involved with kids. She was a spokeswoman for the D.A.R.E. Program.
Selena began performing at an early age. Selena’s father, Abraham, became her manager and Los Dinos became her backing band. In 1983 she made her recording debut after appearing on the popular radio show of L. A. deejay Johnnie Canales. Her first records were recorded in Spanish and she sang the words phonetically.2 After her music began to catch on, she began learning Spanish formally and by the time of her death, she was fluent in the language.
Selena started her career in 1984 by recording two records for a small independent label. One of the albums was released and later re-released in 1995. The other album was
sold to her father and never released. Selena was the Hot Latin Tracks artist of the year in 1995. Selena has had seven number one singles on the Billboard’s Hot Latin chart. Only three other Latin artists have had more. The “Dreaming of You” album was the second fastest selling album by a female artist in history next to Janet Jackson. Although Selena improvised and created her own dance moves on stage, she used to watch “Soul Train” to get ideas for her dance steps.3 Once a man brought his sister who was dying of cancer and also a huge Selena fan to one of Selena’s concerts. The girl was bald from her treatments, but Selena pulled her up on stage and teasingly draped her long hair over the girl’s head. Even though Selena became the star of the band Selena y Los Dinos, her band members and her family stood by her side throughout her career. Selena even married Los Dinos’ head guitarist Chris Perez. Because the had never had a real wedding, Selena and Chris planned on using their fifth year wedding anniversary to renew their vows and have a huge ceremony with lots of family and...