Today marks the 26th anniversary of legendary Selena Quintanilla-Perez.
Selena Quintanilla-Perez was known as the Queen of Tejano because she single-handedly revolutionized the genre, fusing her Mexican roots with bold new sounds. With her brother A.B. Quintanilla, who produced her biggest hits, and her band Los Dinos, they made music on their own terms, adding a hint of pop and rock to the classic cumbia, mariachi, rancheras, and tejano rhythms.
Born and raised in Texas, Selena was homegrown. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, she managed to keep it classy and real. With her bedazzled bustiers and high-waisted pants, she was sexy but approachable. Her music, including timeless hits such as “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” and “Amor Prohibido,” had a universal appeal, and when she won the Grammy for live in the best Mexican American album category in 1993, she became the first female Tejano artist to win that award.
Selena’s timeless appeal has continued well beyond her death at age 23 on March 31, 1995.
Her legacy has shined on the charts, on social media, on street murals, in clothing lines and makeup brands as an example of a Latin icon in pop culture.
Selena Quintanilla was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 Grammys Sunday night (March 14), alongside Marilyn Horne, Salt-N-Pepa, Talking Heads, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, and Lionel Hampton.
According to the Recording Academy’s description:
“The Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates performers who have made outstanding contributions of artistic significance to the field of recording.”
The late Queen of Tejano won the Grammy for best Mexican/Mexican American album for Live! in 1994, marking the first time a female Tejano artist had won in the category.