How Selena Quintanilla’s Star Power Is Stronger Than Ever 22 Years After Her Death

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It’s been exactly 22 years to the day since Selena Quintanilla-Pérez died.

That’s a hard number to wrap our head around; it is as every year passes. On this day, we remember the tragic end to the late singer’s life, and we suddenly start to imagine what would’ve been of her career and what she’d be like if she were here today. We go and revisit her timeless music videos and past interviews, and we find ourselves smiling as our hearts ache a bit. 

Selena was killed—shot dead by the founder of her first fan club—in her native Texas on March 31, 1995. The “Como la Flor” singer was 23. 

Although the world lost all that Selena had to give, her fans continue to celebrate and honor all that she was and what she left behind, most importantly they’ve kept her music alive. 

Here’s a look at how Selena’s legacy is as strong as ever.

Nominations: This year Selena is up for three Latin Billboard nominations: Top Latin Albums Artist of the Year, Female; Latin Pop Album of the Year; and Latin Pop Albums Artist of the Year, Solo. These nominations are testaments that Selena’s music continues to endure the test of time. 

The Star: The late singer will be receiving a star on the coveted Hollywood Walk of Fame. Also part of the same graduating class is Eva Longoria. The actress took to social media to explain why the Selena connection was so important to her.

Longoria then shared this touching post on Instagram, of herself and the Bidi Bidi Bom Bom singer, “I could never have dreamed that one day I would receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But even more ironic is that the same year I receive my star, so does my idol, my inspiration, my fellow Tejana, my fellow Corpus Christi native, Selena Quintanilla. She was the reason I even dared to dream that a better life was possible. And that that life didn’t have to distance you from where you came from,” she said. “So many people become famous and leave a place without ever crediting it with the role it played in shaping their lives. Selena was proud of being from Corpus Christi, Texas. And that made me proud to be from Corpus.”

She continued, “She blazed the way for all of us, and I will be forever grateful to her for not only that but for the pure joy I felt when I got to see her perform. Her smile, her charisma, her beauty put every single person who watched her under a spell. Thank you, Selena. I know I will receive my star on the Walk of Fame because you dared to dream it first.”

 

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Wax Figure: In 2016, we attended the unveiling of Selena’s wax figure at Madame Tussauds in Hollywood. It was an emotional moment to experience. Selena’s fans and family counted down until the purple draping fell to the ground and we saw the most lifelike statue of Selena. The entire area stayed quiet for a second and gasps filled the room. It was bittersweet for everyone there. Selena’s family, who worked directly with the sculptures to great the statue, said a few words to the crowd. 

“On behalf of our family, we would like to express a huge amount of gratitude to Madame Tussauds in creating such an amazing lifelike wax figure of our beloved Selena. This is yet another step in making sure that her legacy lives on and that her fans new and old can appreciate her as a person, an artist and one whom we can all identify with,” said Suzette Quintanilla, Selena’s sister.

 

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The Must-Have Makeup Collection: Just a year ago we all heard about MAC Selena. One of the biggest cosmetics company joined forced with Selena’s family to create every fan’s dream—a makeup collection inspired by Selena’s iconic style. We tested out all of the products, and they definitely lived up to our expectations! 

“I wanted the colors to be about her personality, what she wore on and offstage,” wrote Suzette, who helped in the creation of the line. “She has been gone for 21 years already, and for this collaboration to happen, it’s pretty much incredible. It just shows the love her fan base has even though she’s passed. It’s a great honor to have MAC collaborate with Selena’s name and her fans.” 

It should come as no surprise that the collection sold out twice. We must highlight, that Selena’s fans made this line happen, they petitioned for it, and thankfully MAC listened. 

“The talent and beauty, both physical and internal, of Selena, has caused a significant and colorful impact on the world that has continued to grow during the last two decades,” James Gager, Creative Director for MAC James Gager, told People en Español. “We have paid attention to the passion and enthusiasm of her fans and wholeheartedly recognize that her legacy personifies MAC’s philosophy.”

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Fiesta de la Flor: In January 2015, it was announced that a two-day annual event called Fiesta de la Flor would be held in Corpus Christi for Selena by The Corpus Cristi Vistors Bureau. In its first year, the event raised $13 million. This year, in the event’s third annual celebration, there were over 55,000 people in attendance. 

Orange Is the New Black‘s star, Jackie Cruz, joined a panel with Suzette and Jackie Guerra, who played Suzette in Selena. But then there was an impromptu moment where Cruz took the stage with Los Dinos and covered Selena’s “Como La Flor.” Once the song ended, the 30-year-old actress got emotional as she looked out into the ocean of fans.  

“I was so honored to jam with you guys and this moment will forever stay in my heart!” Cruz captioned the video. Days before she took the stage, the star had spent time bonding with Selena’s family and even visited some of the late singer’s favorite hangouts in Corpus Christi. 

“She always was what I imagined her to be. Just listening to her mom tell stories about her…it was just,” she said to E! News, “She made me cry, she always makes me cry.”

 

 

Celebrity Covers: Some of today’s biggest artists have covered Selena’s music. Many of them grew up around the same time as the “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” singer, and if not, they saw her legacy unfold over the years, maybe they also got to know her through the movie Selena. Selena’s family said that they’re always honored to see these huge names singing Selena’s music. They see it as a way to keep her music alive, and we couldn’t agree more.  

The one cover that paralyzed us was when Jennifer Lopez took the stage at the 2015 Latin Billboard Awards and paid tribute to Selena along with Suzette, Selena’s brother A.B. Quintanilla and her widower Chris Pérez. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. 

The 47-year-old singer gave a beautiful rendition of the late star’s biggest hits, the same woman that she played in Selena in 1995.

“The impact that she had on my life, on my career… It was a great thing for her to be my mentor. And it was a great thing to have her teach me so much about how to navigate this business, but also how to navigate through life,” Lopez said to The Today Show shortly after her performance.

 

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Selena Apparel: We feel all the feels when we see artists honoring the star’s legacy by rocking a t-shirt with her name or face on it. Drake paid homage to the singer two years ago during the 20th anniversary of her death.  Just like the “Fake Love” rapper did, countless other celebs like Big Sean and Lady Gagahave shown some serious Selena love.

 

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Hall of Fame: In October 2016, Suzette attended a bittersweet ceremony where they inducted Selena into The Texas Women’s Hall of Fame. 

“My sister once said that the goal isn’t to love forever but to create something that will. Today is a testament to those words. I stand up here today with so many emotions and all of these beautiful memories in my heart that I would love to share with you guys but that would take a long time,” Suzette said as she held back the tears. “As you all know Selena was such a unique person who embodied so much for being so young. Selena was a very kind and caring person that had an infectious smile and laughter.

Selena: Unfortunately, many of Selena’s younger fans weren’t around to see the rise of the star. But they’re left with her music, which crosses languages and generations. They’re also left with the movie Selena a biopic put together with the help of her family. Through it, they got to know who Selena was not only as an artist but as a daughter, sister, and wife. Jennifer Lopez‘s portrayal of Selena was impeccable. The film also served a different purpose, as it inspired and continues to inspire many of today’s biggest stars. 

Meghan Trainor revealed during an interview with ET that Selena played a huge role in her singing career. “Selena the movie was the reason I wanted to become a singer,” she said. 

While Katy Perrysaid during a press junket, “Someone asked me, ‘What did you think of when you were a little girl relating to the Grammy’s?’ I said, ‘I remember Selena! That’s all I remember! I remember that dress. I remember the whole movie about her… and I wanted to be in that world.” 

 

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The Fans: At the end of the day, It’s Selena’s amazing fans that have a lot to do with how strong her star power stands 22 years after her death. They petition for her to be remembered and honored in ways that they know Selena dreamt of one day achieving. 

It is mindblowing to think of the lifetime of inspiration and the powerful legacy that Selena left behind being only shy of 24.

You’ll never be forgotten, Selena. 

 

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