Selena Was Killed 25 Years Ago, Here's a Look at Her Brief Life and Murder

Selena Quintanilla-Pére, known to her fans as Selena, was on her way to reaching superstardom when her life met an untimely and tragic end on March 31, 1995. The musical legacy of the Mexican-American artist, however, lives on 25 years later.

When listening to the music of the late singer, there is a striking voice of passion and joy. But then comes the sad realization that her life was cut short by someone she and her family trusted.

Selena's husband and bandmate, Chris Perez, wrote the 2012 book To Selena, With Love. Perez explained why her music still resonates with others. "We continue to place our hopes and dreams on this young woman who helped Mexican-Americans finally feel like we belong," wrote Vivian Cabrera in American Magazine.

Here is a look at Selena's brief life in the music industry, leading to her murder.

Newsweek subscription offers >

Her Early Life

Born on April 16, 1971, Selena's musical tastes came from her father, Abraham Quintanilla. The former musician had his family perform together as the band Selena Y Los Dinas. At the age of 10, Selena was its lead singer. Her brother and sister would play their own instruments.

With Selena's father managing Selena Y Los Dinas, the family would make ends meet by playing weddings and Texas clubs, according to Biography.

Selena
The MAC Selena Collection on display before the MAC Selena World Premiere on September 29, 2016 in Corpus Christi, Texas. The musical legacy of Selena lives on 25 years later. Matt Petit/Getty

Newsweek subscription offers >

Her First Album

Her first album, Selena, was released on October 17, 1989. Selena would end up landing on No. 7 on the Top 20 list for Regional Mexican Albums, according to American Magazine.

The Grammys

In 1994, Selena's fourth album, Amor Prohibido, landed on the 29 spot on the Billboard 200 chart list. Amor Prohibido then went double-platinum, selling 2 million copies. Amor Prohibido would also earn a Grammy nomination. Selena eventually won a Grammy award for Selena Live!: At the 36th Grammy Awards in 1994, she won for best Mexican-American album.

To a beautiful person who lives on...⁣ 𝗪𝐄 𝐋𝐎𝐕𝐄 𝐘𝐎𝐔 𝐀𝐍𝐃 𝐌𝐈𝐒𝐒 𝐘𝐎𝐔!⁣ 💜#SELENA25💜

Posted by Selena on Monday, March 30, 2020

In an April 1994 interview with Tejano USA, Selena described the Grammy-winning moment. "We went out there, and they didn't let me take my camera in—that's one of the things. I didn't get to take pictures until afterward. We were sitting there when they announced. I had this huge knot in my stomach, I was so nervous. And then they announced the winner. I mean, we all were so excited," she said to Tejano USA, according to Entertainment Tonight.

Her Death

In 1994, Yolanda Saldívar was in charge of the Selena Fan Club and the manager of two boutiques that belonged to the singer. According to the Los Angeles Times, Selena's father discovered that Saldívar had embezzled $30,000 from the two boutiques and the fan club.

On March 31, Saldívar allegedly told Selena that she had the missing financial records. Saldívar was supposedly going to hand over the documents at a Days Inn. Saldívar later claimed that she was planning to kill herself in front of the singer.

"She told me: 'Yolanda, I don't want you to kill yourself.' She opened the door. When I told her to close it, the gun went off," Saldívar said to the Times.

At the age of 23, Selena died from the gunshot wound.

Selena Was Killed 25 Years Ago, Here's a Look at Her Brief Life and Murder | Culture