Late Tejano singer Selena is being remembered 20 years after her budding crossover musical career was cut short when she was gunned down by a fan club manager.
A Texas native, Selena Quintanilla Perez was already known as the "Queen of Tejano" with her first Grammy Award under her belt at 23 when she was killed in 1995, according to the Brownsville Herald
"I photographed her at Rio Fest in Harlingen. I photographed her everywhere," Ric Vasquez, a former photographer for the San Antonio Light, told the Herald. "Basically, wherever she played I would make it a point to go. I enjoyed the way she interacted with the fans. People would go crazy for her. She was just entertaining."
Mando San Roman of KBUC-FM, nicknamed "Super Tejano 102.1," told the Herald that Selena's music is as popular there as ever.
"It seems that her memory has never gone away," said San Roman. "Her music is absolutely still being requested."
Domino Renee Perez, director of the Center for Mexican-American Studies at the University Texas, wrote in the Houston Chronicle
that Selena's story helped him understand the transformation all Mexican-Americans come to understand and embrace in America.
"What I eventually came to understand about Selena is that she was telling us a story in Spanish and English about who she was and wanted to be as an American of Mexican descent," wrote Perez. "The initial self-titled album is an announcement of her arrival, 'Selena.'"
"'Ven Conmigo' asks us to come with her. The third, invites us into her world, 'Entre a Mi Mundo,' and serves as a gateway for her later works on forbidden love, 'Amor Prohibido' and 'Dreaming of You,' a bilingual album that was released after her death. Her efforts helped us come to terms with how we would think of ourselves as Mexicans and Americans. We could be one without losing the other," said Perez.
Perez said he wanted to play movie critic while watching her biopic, with Jennifer Lopez in the lead role, but he later saw the film as something more.
"We needed to celebrate the promise of her young life and remember the joy her music gave and continues to give us, rather than focus on her violent end," said Perez.
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