Remembering Selena: A Pioneer of Tejano Music

Today we pause to observe the anniversary of the death of Selena, a musician whose charisma and rich, emotional vocal style helped transform Tejano music. On March 31, 1995, at the age of 23, Selena was shot and killed by the former head of her fan club. It was reported that 75,000 mourners gathered in Corpus Christi, Texas, to pay their final respects. Her posthumous album, Dreaming of You, was released that summer and hit number one on the Billboard 200. Its singles “I Could Fall In Love With You” and “Dreaming of You” were among her best known English-language songs, and two of my absolute favorites.

I bought as many cassettes of hers as I could find shortly after her death 17 years ago (like every other Texan at that time) and spent most of my childhood memorizing the lyrics and humming the rhythms of her songs. Her captivating energy and magnificent voice had me hooked. I still listen to her music when the mood strikes me and let that familiar, up-beat voice take me back in time.

Latin Music Legends Commemorative Print (set of 5) (click to order)

Selena’s legacy extends far beyond her tragically short life. Tributes to her work have included a biographical documentary, a popular film made of her life starring Jennifer Lopez, and a memorial and museum in Corpus Christi, Texas. Today, her spirit lives on in the work of the Selena Foundation, a nonprofit organization established in May 1995 to help children in crisis. Hers is a name that won’t soon be forgotten.

Selena licensed by Q Productions, Inc., Corpus Christi, Texas