Selena's Posthumous Triumph

When Selena, the 23-year-old Mexican-American superstar of Tejano music, was gunned down last March -- allegedly by her fan club's founder -- few gringos knew her name or her music. That's about to change, with the release last week of her crossover album, "Dreaming of You" (half the songs are in English). On its first day, the CD sold 175,000 copies, an all-time record for a female artist.

Selena left her closest rivals in the dust. Mariah Carey's 1998 "Music Box" sold 174,000 units in its first week; and Whitney Houston's 1992 "Bodyguard" soundtrack, 112,000. "Dreaming of You" could top 400,000 over seven days. And it will likely be the first album by a Latino artist to debut at No. 1 on Billboard's pop album chart.

Selena brings a blend of urban pop and Latin warmth to bet songs in English, which she spoke as a child in Texas before she learned Spanish. Originally intended as an all-English-language album, "Dreaming of You" acquired its bilingual split (and several past hits) after the singer's sudden death. She recorded six more songs in English and three in Spanish that haven't yet been released -- just about enough for another posthumous album.