By: Mariposa Michaels (Contributor)
Selena Quintanilla was born April 16, 1971 in Lake Jackson, Texas. This Hispanic songstress would eventually become “the Tejano Queen”, completely changing the industry for Hispanic singers to come.
Selena got her start as lead singer of her family band, Selena y Los Dinos, who toured Texas throughout the 1980’s. They first started performing in their parent’s Mexican restaurant, covering English songs their dad grew up on. The group gained traction in south Texas, releasing several albums under the Selena y Los Dinos name.
This childhood experience prepped the young singer for stardom after the release of her self-titled debut album Selena was released in the fall of 1989. Selena released four more albums.
Selena had a thriving fan club throughout her career, and she even ventured into the clothing industry. Opening to branches of her Selena Etc. boutiques.
Selena also went on to win one Grammy, fourteen Billboard Latin Music Awards, 36 Tejano Music as well as many other accolades. She performed the most famous concert of her career in front of 60,000 people at the Houston Astrodome, on Feb. 26, 1995.
Sadly, just one month later Selena was killed by her former fan club president and manager of boutiques, Yolanda Saldivar. Selena was just 23 years old. A crossover album was released not long after her death, leaving many to mourn the loss of a great talent.
Selena was the Queen, and that’s why this week she deserves to sit at the top of her throne here at Vinyl.
TRACK 1: Baila Esta Cumbia
Baila Esta Cumbia made its debut in 1990 off Selena’s second studio album, Ven Conmigo. Like many of her songs, this one was penned by her big brother AB Quintanilla and Pete Astudillo. Baila Esta Cumbia ended up going six times platinum, becoming one of her most successful singles. It was covered in 2010 by artist Diana Reyes.
TRACK 2: Tu, Soló Tú
From the album Dreaming of You (1994), Tu, Soló Tú is liable to bring about the emotion felt in a Vicente Fernández song. It was the first Spanish single released after Selena's death. Originally written by Felipe Valdés Leal and recorded by Pedro Infante, Tu, Soló Tú started Selena's longest run on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks, lasting for ten weeks.
TRACK 3: El Chico del Apartamento 512
Everyone loves the boy next door, including Selena. From the 1994 album Amor Prohibido, El Chico Del Apartamento 512 was once labeled one of Selena’s most “memorable” songs. It was written as a cumbia and has Colombian and other South American influences. This song was performed at Selena’s last concert on March 19, 1995.
TRACK 4: Bidi Bidi Bom Bom
From the album Amor Prohibido, Bidi Bidi Bom Bom debuted on Billboard Hot Latin Tracks on Aug. 13, 1994. This song would eventually peak at number one, the second time for Selena as a solo artist. It’s upbeat melody is a staple at many Hispanic traditions like Quinceañeras, weddings, and Cinco de Mayo celebrations. It has been covered by many artists and was even recorded in Portuguese.
TRACK 5: Como la Flor
“Like the Flower” (Como la Flor) was a smash-hit for Selena, going nine times platinum. It was originally released in 1992 from the album, Entre A Mii Mundo, but was remixed and released on Selena’s posthumous album, Dreaming of You. Kacey Musgraves covered Como la Flor in February of 2019 at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, twenty-four years after Selena’s final performance.
TRACK 6: Amor Prohibido
Written by Ricky Vela, Pete Astudillo and AB Quintanilla, this Selena song was released on May 13, 1994. A song about forbidden love, Amor Prohibido was the most successful Latin single of 1994. In 2015, Jennifer Lopez performed a twentieth anniversary tribute to Selena and included this song in the line-up.
Dreaming of You was the lead single from Selena’s posthumous album, Dreaming of You. This album served as her first crossover, and this song lead the way to the album’s success. It sold 25,000 units in its first week of release. For many, Dreaming of You served as a goodbye to a beloved singer even closing out the 1997 film Selena.