Selena Quintanilla-Pérez (April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995), known simply as Selena, was a Mexican American singer-songwriter. She was named the "top Latin artist of the '90s" and "Best selling Latin artist of the decade" by Billboard, for her fourteen top-ten singles in the Top Latin Songs chart, including seven number-one hits. The singer also had the most successful singles of 1994 and 1995, "Amor Prohibido" and "No Me Queda Más". She was called "The Queen of Tejano music" and the Mexican equivalent of Madonna.
Selena's first "Freddie Records" album was “Selena Y Los Dinos,” from which three singles were released: "Se Acabo Aquel Amor", "Ya Se Va", and "Tres Veces No". In 1984, Selena moved on to Cara Records. Like Selena's first record label, "Cara Records" was a small Texas-based record company. For Cara Records, Selena's father Abraham Quintanilla Jr., collaborated on ten singles, some of which were previously recorded by other artists. The label then dropped Selena who at the time was with her family group called "Selena y Los Dinos" from the company.
In late 1985, Selena's second album in which she recorded was officially released under the title “The New Girl in Town,” despite legal actions. Selena's luck changed dramatically when the band signed to GP Records president "Manny Guerra" was in charged for the promotion.
Selena's 1986 album “Alpha” hit stores and became known as Selena's official first debut album “Dame Un Beso,” a song written by Selena's brother AB Quintanilla III became the first single, he would later received an award for his work later that same year during the Tejano Music Awards. “Con Esta Copa” which was originally recorded by Selena's father's band "Los Dinos" back in the 1960s. The track showcased Selena and helped to win her first award for "Female Vocalist of The Year" during the Tejano Music Awards in 1986, she won the award for nine times, consecutively.
Selena's fourth independent album called “Muñequito de Trapo” which released three singles, helped the band to begin releasing two solid studio albums per year. "A Million to One" was a cover song by The Five Satins and most notable Jimmy Charles in the 1960s. The song itself was featured on both the vinyl and cassette as a double album, the original press was seen as “Munequito de Trapo/A Million to One.” The song "Muñequito De Trapo" was also written by Selena's brother, the song was also showcased throughout Selena's contract with GP Records; she would sing the song in every concert until 1990. "Enamorada De Tí" was inspired by Selena to record the song with a more Tejano sound. The sounds included were "German Folk" and "Jazz" which blended into the basic Tejano sound.
In 1987, Selena released her fifth album, “And the Winner Is...,” which was originally aimed for the bigger record companies and it showcased ten songs. Only four songs were released.
In 1988, “Preciosa,” the album of Selena's nickname, was released. In the same year Selena released “Dulce Amo”r which became the singer's last album from GP Records and the album itself released five singles.
Jose Behar who founded EMI Latin signed Selena as the first artist. The self-titled album “Selena” was aimed as a solo act to boost Selena's fan based to begin her start for a crossover album. In 1990, “Ven Conmigo” was released and so did 8 out of 10 tracks that were promotionally released as singles. In 1992, Selena released “Entre A Mi Mundo.” The album included four #1 singles that charted on Billboard's Top Latin Songs chart, and Regional Mexican Albums chart.
In 1993, “Selena Live!” was released and won a Grammy Award, for "Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album". In 1994, “Amor Prohibido,” which was the last release during the life of Selena, produced four number-one singles (one posthumous) on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart. This album became the starting point in Selena's whole career; she began to work on her first major English Language album. Sadly this Latina was killed before she finished the album that was going to make her a household name and the album that was going to take Selena's music career a whole step further internationally.
Selena was murdered at the age of 23 by Yolanda Saldívar, the president of her fan club. On April 12, 1995, two weeks after her death, George W. Bush, governor of Texas at the time, declared her birthday "Selena Day" in Texas. Warner Bros. produced “Selena,” a film based on her life starring Jennifer Lopez, in 1997. Selena's life was also the basis of the musical “Selena Forever” starring Veronica Vazquez as Selena. In June 2006, Selena was commemorated with a museum and a bronze life-sized statue (Mirador de la Flor in Corpus Christi, Texas), which are visited by hundreds of fans each week.
In 1995, Selena's first (overall second) posthumous album “Dreaming of You” was released, several months after her death. She has sold over 21 million albums worldwide.