By Guest Blogger Amanda Adamez, Follow her on Twitter: @AmandaAdamez
Twenty years after her untimely death, fans of Selena are anticipating a bittersweet celebration of her life. Multiple news sources have reported “Fiesta de la Flor,” scheduled for April 17-18th, a day after Selena’s birthday, was given approval on Tuesday by Corpus Christi City Council to be held at Bayfront Park. Born in Lake Jackson, Texas, Selena’s father identified her singing talent when she was very young. Abraham Quintanilla was a former musician himself, and soon began to nurture his children’s musical talent. By the time she was 9, Selena, her brother, and sister were already performing at public venues. Not long after the formation of Selena y Los Dinos, her father booked his children in so many Tejano shows that Selena had to withdraw from school and she had to earn her high school diploma through correspondence. In addition to her music, Selena owned several clothing boutiques in South Texas. The family ultimately relocated to Corpus Christi Texas where her family still lives today.
The 1994 release of her album, Amor Prohibido, from the EMI Latin label, continues to be a favorite amongst Selena fans. A promotional tour for the album included her audience record-breaking performance at the Houston Astrodome, complete with Selena’s carriage ride around the stadium. The Houston performance also provided the inspiration for the opening scene of the 1997 Gregory Nava film, Selena, staring Jennifer Lopez. The Houston show was recorded on February 26, 1994 and it eventually became Selena’s last televised concert.
The Amor Prohibido album contains not only the title cut, but also the pitter-pattering hit “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” and “El Chico del Apartamento 512,” a fun dance tune weaved with disco-like four-on-the-floor beats. The album also features “Techno Cumbia,” which isn’t your average Mexican cumbia, but rather an amalgamation of a hip-hop sound and Spanish lyrics. The songs on this album were soon heard blaring nonstop from the car stereos all around South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley. Continuous radio play and album sales in 1994 were a foreshadowing of the album’s future; its immense popularity lead to Amor Prohibido earning certified 20x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in February of 2010.
From a beloved regional singer to a megastar after her death, the memory of the “Queen of Tejano,” the little girl from Texas who embodied the American dream, still lives on.