Happy birthday, Selena! 15 things about Selena that you probably do not know

(Universal Music Group)

Today is Selena’s birthday, and the Queen of Tejano would have been 51 years old.

Breaking barriers as a Mexican-American artist, she became widely known outside Texas and Mexico and her legacy lives on today thanks to her music.

Here are 15 things you may or may not know about Selena and her history-making legacy:

Selena Quintanilla performs for the crowd during a dance following the Feria de las Flores queen's contest at Memorial Coliseum Aug. 12, 1989, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Nine years after her death racked the emotions of Mexican-Americans across the country, albums by Tejano star Selena are still selling, with her ``Ones'' album ranked 70th on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart. (Corpus Christi Caller Times via AP)

1. Selena was working on her album “Dreaming of You,” her first crossover album with five English songs before she was killed.

2. Many Latin artists such as J Balvin, Bad Bunny, and Rosalia credit Selena for their inspiration and influence for crossover hits between U.S and Latin America.

3. There is still an online Selena official store where you can purchase official merchandise.

4. Selena was honored at Houston Rodeo’s Star Trail of Fame for her sold-out performance at the Rodeo 26 years ago.

5. “Selena,” the 1997 blockbuster movie that stars Jennifer Lopez, is one of the highest-grossing music biopics of all time.

6. You can take a course on Selena and her impact of Mexican-American culture at the University of Texas-San Antonio

7. She was born in Lake Jackson, just over an hour south from Houston.

7. George W. Bush, who was governor of Texas at the time, declared Selena’s birthday as “Selena Day” in Texas.

8. Selena was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2021 Grammys alongside artists Salt-N-Pepa and Talking Heads.

9. She was the first female to win a Grammy in Tejano music.

10. At 17 years old, she signed with Coca-Cola, changing the Hispanic advertising landscape.

11. About 40,000 fans attended the open-casket viewing of Selena in Corpus Christi, a day after her death.

12. Selena Etc, Selena’s boutique, remained opened even after her death, with her widower, Chris Perez, taking over the business until July 2009.

13. Growing up, Selena only knew English until her father, who was a former musician, taught her to sing in Spanish by learning the lyrics phonetically.

14. Aside being the “Queen of Tejano,” she was also referred to as the “Mexican Madonna” primarily due to her sexy outfits onstage.

15. A monument dedicated to Selena, called “Mirador de la Flor” (Lookout of the Flower) is visited by tourists all over the world today in Corpus Christi. It was unveiled in 1997 and was sculpted by H.W. “Buddy” Tatum.

Selena statue in Corpus Christi (KSAT)

What memories do you have of Selena? Share with us in the comments below.


About the Author:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 2, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.