Selena Quintanilla-Perez was known as the Queen of Tejano because she single-handedly revolutionized the genre, fusing her Mexican roots with bold new sounds. With her brother A.B. Quintanilla, who produced her biggest hits, and her band Los Dinos, they made music on their own terms, adding a hint of pop and rock to the classic cumbia, mariachi, rancheras, and tejano rhythms.
Born and raised in Texas, Selena was homegrown. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, she managed to keep it classy and real. With her bedazzled bustiers and high-waisted pants, she was sexy but approachable. Her music, including timeless hits such as “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” and “Amor Prohibido,” had a universal appeal, and when she won the Grammy for live in the best Mexican American album category in 1993, she became the first female Tejano artist to win that award.
Selena’s timeless appeal has continued well beyond her death at age 23 on March 31, 1995. Her legacy has shined on the charts, on social media, on street murals, in clothing lines, and makeup brands as an example of a Latin icon in pop culture.
Here are 28 ways Selena’s legacy has stayed alive throughout the years.
1995 – “Como Te Extraño” by Pete Astudillo
Seven months after her death, Los Dinos member and family friend Pete Astudillo, who wrote many of Selena’s songs, released a tribute called “Como Te Extraño.” “You live in my mind/ I want to see you and I can’t have you/ This goodbye burns inside/ Nothing comforts my heart/ I miss you,” go the heartfelt lyrics. The song was composed by Astudillo and former Los Dinos members A.B. Quintanilla and Joe Ojeda.
1995 to present – Murals
Painters and graffiti artists have kept Selena’s legacy alive after her death via beautiful tribute murals. Fans can spot different ones around Mexico, Texas, California, Chicago, and Miami, to name a few locations. In July 2019, a new mural located in her Corpus Christi neighborhood was unveiled.
2431 W. Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90018 pic.twitter.com/4xpvgt01yy
— Tony Alexander (@TheAnthonyAlex) January 11, 2021
1997 – Mirador de la Flor
In 1997, a life-size bronze statue of Selena, sculpted by H.W. “Buddy” Tatus, was unveiled in Corpus Christi, Texas, to honor the late singer and her contributions to music and the city. The monument, which is on the beach, is called “Mirador de la Flor.”
1997 – Selena
Many people first discovered Jennifer Lopez when she portrayed the late Mexican-American singer in the 1997 biographical drama Selena directed by Gregory Nava. The film follows the Queen of Tejano’s life story from her humble beginnings to gaining international fame to her tragic death. Earlier in March, J. Lo released a tribute video celebrating the 23rd anniversary of the movie’s release.
1998 – Selena Museum
The Quintanilla family opened the Selena Museum in Corpus Christi as an intimate memorial showcasing her awards, concert outfits, and memorabilia. According to the Q-Productions website, “The museum was built in response to the thousands of letters mailed to them by fans expressing their desire to have Selena’s memory shared with the public.”
Late ‘90s – Selena Dolls
According to the official Selena Instagram account, a set of Selena statues were launched in the late ’90s. Now, they are very hard to find and are considered a collector’s item.
2005 – Selena ¡VIVE! Benefit Concert
To mark the 10th anniversary of her passing, Univision presented Selena ¡VIVE!, a benefit concert held at the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, with tributes by artists such as Paulina Rubio, Thalia, Pepe Aguilar, Kumbia Kings, Gloria Estefan, Olga Tañon, and more.
2012 – To Selena, With Love by Chris Perez
Selena’s widower, Chris Perez, published a tribute book featuring never-before-seen photos. To Selena, With Love tells the story of his relationship with the late singer.
2013 – Kat Von D Eye Shadow
Mexican tattoo artist Kat Von D launched her Esperanza eye shadow palette which included a glitter purple called “Selena.” It was the first color of the set.
2014 – Selena Fan Gathering
Roger Gomez, a devoted fan and founder of LoveSelena.com, hosted the first-ever Selena Fan Gathering in Los Angeles. The annual event, held at Plaza de la Raza around the anniversary of her death, includes performances by tribute artists, washing-machine dance contests, giveaways, and more.
Last year, Gomez hosted an interactive tribute to Selena on Instagram Live. “I wanted to do something for the fans,” he told Billboard. “For us to unite and commemorate her, although it’s the day of her passing, I’m hoping we can make this day brighter by not honoring or celebrating her death, but who she was, who she touched, and what she means to us.
2014 – Selena Q Radio
The Quintanilla family launched the official Selena Radio, part of Q-Productions, which plays non-stop Selena music and commentaries by her family. It’s available 24/7 on www.selenaqradio.com.
2015 – J. Lo Tribute at the Billboard Latin Music Awards
At the 2015 Billboard Latin Music Awards, Jennifer Lopez and members of Los Dinos — including Chris Perez, A.B. and Suzette Quintanilla — paid a heartfelt tribute to Selena. Wearing a pale pink ensemble, Lopez sang a medley of songs such as “Como la Flor,” “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” “No Me Queda Mas,” and “I Could Fall in Love.”
“The electricity was there and even though she was singing Selena’s songs, she made them her own tonight,” A.B. told Billboard. “She did a beautiful job. From her heart — this is something that she really wanted to do.”
2015 – Fiesta de la Flor
The Quintanilla family inaugurated the annual Fiesta de la Flor music festival in Corpus Christi. The two-day event included artists such as Jackie Cruz, Leslie Grace and La Mafia. After hosting the event for five years in Corpus, the Quintanilla family announced they will be taking the event to another city.
“We truly appreciate the Selena Foundation and the Quintanilla family for allowing our community to celebrate Selena in such a special way for the past five years,” the organizers said in an October 2019 statement. “We will cherish the memories of this wonderful celebration and wish them luck in future endeavors.”
2015 – Selena Debit Card
A prepaid Visa debit card with Selena’s picture on it was made available in 2015. According to Caller Times, the card was available for $4.95 plus a $10 minimum to load for use. No credit history was needed to buy the card, which was available on Selenavisa.com.
2016 – MAC Cosmetics x Selena Collection
In 2016, fans were blessed with a makeup collection curated by Selena’s sister Suzette. The set embodied Selena’s style, including her signature red lipstick and an eye shadow palette named after some of her emblematic songs such as “Como La Flor,” “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” and “No Me Queda Mas.”
MAC also announced it was bringing a new Selena cosmetics line in 2020.
2016 – Selena Wax Figure
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum unveiled a wax figure of the late songstress after more than 10,000 people signed a Change.org petition. The sculpture of the Tejano music icon recreates the star’s look from her Feb. 7, 1993, performance at the Memorial Coliseum in Corpus Christi.
2017 – Google Doodle
On October 17, the release date of Selena’s debut self-titled studio album, Google launched an animated Doodle celebrating the legacy of the Mexican-American singer in 18 different countries, including the U.S. and Mexico. “Today we celebrate Selena Quintanilla: Mexican-American music & entertainment icon, fashion trendsetter, passionate entrepreneur, and community philanthropist,” read the official statement.
2017 – Demi Lovato Dressed Up As Selena
Demi Lovato honored the Queen of Tejano by dressing up as her for Halloween. Other artists who have dressed up as Selena for the holiday include Keke Palmer, America Ferrera, Kim Kardashian, and Victoria la Mala.
2017 – Hollywood Walk of Fame Star
Selena was posthumously honored with her very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Nov. 3, 2017. The star is located in front of Capitol Records building, where Selena would visit often after signing with EMI Latin.
2018 – Karol G’s Tattoo
Karol G surprised her fans with a new arm tattoo that she got in honor of three of her favorite singers: Selena Quintanilla, Rihanna — and herself. Watch a video of the day she got the ink.
2019 – Selena: The Series on Netflix
In 2018, the official Netflix U.S. news Twitter account revealed that the Quintanilla family, along with Jaime Dávila and Rico Martinez from Campanario Entertainment, Simran A. Singh, and Moisés Zamora, would executive produce Selena: The Series. In 2019, Netflix unveiled the first look of Christian Serratos, a California-based actress of Mexican-Italian descent known for her work in The Walking Dead and Twilight films, as Selena. Ricardo Chavira will co-star as Selena’s father Abraham, Gabriel Chavarria as her brother A.B., Noemi Gonzalez as her sister Suzette, Seidy Lopez as her mother Marcella, and Madison Taylor Baez as young Selena. The show premiered in December 2020, and a part 2 is on the way.
2019 – Selena Merchandise
Another way fans have been paying tribute to Selena throughout the years has been by rocking merch … because anything for Selenas! In May 2019, the Quintanilla family launched the official online store for all licensed Selena merch. Q Productions’ website also sells Selena apparel, albums, DVDs, posters, accessories, hats, and more.
2020 – Angela Aguilar’s Baila Esta Cumbia EP
Paying homage to the late Queen of Tejano music, Angela Aguilar dropped Baila Esta Cumbia in January 2020. The seven-track EP highlights some of Selena Quintanilla’s biggest hits. The set kicks off with the title track, giving it a cumbia-banda twist. “I present this EP as a tribute and in gratitude to Selena,” Aguilar wrote on Instagram at the time. “With an admiration of a Mexican / American woman who, along with her family, expressed her love for music and the stage through her dances and songs. I wish I could take your music to more girls who didn’t have the opportunity to listen to it.”
2020 – Star Trail of Fame
Selena Quintanilla was inducted into the Star Trail of Fame at the Rodeo Houston, making history as the first Latina artist and second female act overall. She was honored 25 years after Selena & Los Dinos took the stage for the last time at the Houston Astrodome in the Rodeo. The Queen of Tejano performed three years in a row (1993-1995), ultimately breaking her own record with the 1995 televised spectacle that drew nearly 67,000 attendees.
2020 – Library of Congress
Selena’s 1990 album Ven Conmigo was recently inducted to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. Her recording, which includes hits such as “Baila Esta Cumbia,” “Ya Ves,” and “No Quiero Saber,” is among 25 “aural treasures.”
2020 – Tribute at Premios Juventud
At the 2020 Premios Juventud, Karol G presented a special tribute, saying that Selena has marked her generation and that’s why she has a tattoo of her on her arm. “She continues to shine each day and that’s why she’s eternal,” she said. Danna Paola, Natti Natasha, Ally Brooke, and Greeicy all shared stages, dazzled in Selena-inspired outfits, and performed a medley of “Como La Flor,” “Carcacha,” “Techno Cumbia,” “Amor Prohibido,” Baila Esta Cumbia,” and “Fotos y Recuerdos.”
Karol G then presented A.B. Quintanilla with two Musical Legacy awards for him and his late sister. “I dedicate this award to my mom and dad,” he said, expressing that because of them he and his siblings fell in love with music.
2020 – Exclusive Funko Pop
Wrapping up 2020, Funko Pop unveiled two new Selena figurines: one with her iconic purple jumpsuit and one with her sparkly Grammys look. “Commemorate the greatest Latin female artist of all-time,” expressed the Quintanilla family on social media when they shared the news.
Bidi Bidi Bom Bom 🎵
Coming soon: Pop! Rocks: Selena.
Commemorate the Greatest Latin Female Artist of All-Time by pre-ordering Selena's iconic purple jumpsuit look today! Coming in 2021: The stunning Grammys look to FunkoShop. https://t.co/yplyh20X81 @OriginalFunko pic.twitter.com/DXZJ38EBTf
— Selena (@SelenaLaLeyenda) December 3, 2020
2021 – Lifetime Achievement Award
Selena was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 Grammys alongside Marilyn Horne, Salt-N-Pepa, Talking Heads, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, and Lionel Hampton. According to the Recording Academy’s description: “The Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates performers who have made outstanding contributions of artistic significance to the field of recording.” The late Queen of Tejano won the Grammy for best Mexican/Mexican American album for Live! in 1994, marking the first time a female Tejano artist had won in the category.
Thank you to the The Recording Academy in recognizing Selena for this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award and a special thank you to Selena’s fans for their love and support to her music and legacy. 💜 #Grammys @RecordingAcad pic.twitter.com/EwSeXtfkti
— Selena (@SelenaLaLeyenda) March 15, 2021