I was never a Selena fan and yet I still know all of the words to her music. Funny huh? I love Rock and Roll - Tejano music was not for me, or so I thought. But I still remember her rise to stardom and in my "older" age, I can certainly appreciate the hard work, sacrifices and emotion this Latina poured into her music, into her fans, her career not only as a Tejano Music Super Star but she was venturing into fashion and even acting. You have to admire that. I had an opportunity to write a very short read for The Messenger. The issue will be available tomorrow in the Delta Area of the Rio Grande Valley...it's called "Recordando Selena". I've gotta tell you, it really made me think, reflect, and recognize just what a phenomenal talent Selena Quintanilla Perez truly was. Here is my short write-up...
It seems like just yesterday I was headed home from school when the shocking news of the death of Selena Quintanilla Perez hit the radio waves. Radio, television, and other media outlets in the Rio Grande Valley were flooded with an out-pour of heartache and disbelief that on March 31, 1995, Selena was gunned down and murdered by Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her fan club and a dear friend to Selena.
The hours and days that followed the death of the Queen of Tejano music seemed endless. The outcry of Tejano fans and even non-Tejano fans was evident as the news of Selena’s untimely death dominated the media. Everyone was talking; the legacy of Selena was quickly unfurling as people of all ages shared stories of Selena’s tragic death in classrooms, churches, and beyond. News and radio stations, along with print media, provided full coverage of the slain Tejano singer. KRGV-TV News Icon, Cary Zayas, shares that “there was a tremendous sadness felt across the valley because Selena had performed there so many times and was obviously a favorite. She was a girl like so many of the girls from the Valley who had made it big. She was personable, talented, and Hispanic. She had a smile that captured so many hearts. She was a true talent whose star was shining brighter than ever. For her to have been killed by someone she trusted made this story even sadder for her fans. Even those who had never heard of Selena felt a loss because she was such a talented young woman whose future was taken from her.”
The sadness lingered for days as fans erected public memorials, gathered at prayer vigils, and even made the pilgrimage to the Corpus Christi Convention Center where they would pay their respects to Selena who lay in state in her black coffin, adorned with white roses. Cary Lizka was in attendance and recalls that “the funeral was heart wrenching. Watching her parents, siblings and her husband lay her to rest was just heartbreaking. Her fans were lined up and down the streets leading to the cemetery…they lined the fences to watch the service and catch one final glimpse of their beloved Selena.” It was evident to someone like me who did not listen to Tejano music that the very young starlet had made an impact on the lives of so many across South Texas and Latin America in her short life of twenty-three years.
16 years have passed since that tragic day in Corpus Christi, Texas however Selena’s legacy remains deeply rooted in the fabric of the Tejano culture. Her kindness, deep-seated beauty, immense talent, and ceaseless memory lives on in the hearts of so many, those that knew her personally and those that knew her as a Tejano sensation. We will never forget the Queen of Tejano Music, Selena Quintanilla Perez.