Dreaming of Selena 20 Years Later

Twenty years ago today marked the murder of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, best known simply as Selena. After being a part of a family-filled group called Selena y Los Dinos for most of the 1980s, Selena was signed as a solo artist in 1989 by Capitol EMI Latin and released her first album, called simply Selena, the same year.

At the Grammy Awards
At the Grammy Awards
The resonance of her music affected Mexicans in a way that no other artist before her had, particularly because it was the first time in music history that the Tejano style was being brought forth to the mainstream. Ven Conmigo, her second album, came out in 1990 and achieved gold status.
Selena's accessibility is part of what made her so alluring to fans--in her murderer's case, a little too alluring
Selena’s accessibility is part of what made her so alluring to fans–in her murderer’s case, a little too alluring
Following up with Entre a Mi Mundo and Amor Prohibido, Selena’s fame trajectory crossed over into the United States, an unprecedented feat by a Mexican American artist. This opened the floodgate for her crossover English album, Dreaming of You. Before she could enjoy the success of it, however, her longtime friend and former employee, Yolanda Saldívar, shot her in Corpus Christi after Selena attempted to meet up with her in order to retrieve essential tax documents for her boutique.
Yolanda with Selena
Yolanda with Selena
Previously, Saldívar had embezzled upwards of $60,000 worth of money from Selena’s fan club and clothing boutiques, leading Selena’s father to ban contact with her. Selena, unfortunately, was too willing to see the good in a person who possessed none. Saldívar’s eerie obsession with Selena quickly shifted from admiration to jealousy–almost as though she resented Selena for not being able to be her. Needless to say, the tragedy that resulted from this psychological instability is still being felt twenty years later.