Selena: The Archives
A look at some of the Caller-Times' coverage of Selena Quintanilla-Perez.
San Antonio hosts Tejano Music Awards | March 18, 1989
Tejano Music Awards Caravan of Stars will stop in coliseum | July 20, 1989
Caravan of Stars | August 4, 1989
Local girl makes good | March 10, 1990
Gold record to be awarded to local singer | October 26, 1991
Marez, Quintanilla perform this weekend | November 29, 1991
Selena tapes new album at Coliseum | February 5, 1993
Selena: Loss of a hometown hero
Superstar Selena, who took Tejano music from backyard weddings to 60,000-seat stadium concerts, was shot to death Friday, allegedly by a disgruntled ex-employee.
News of Selena's death shocked the community and international music industry. Thousands of cars drove by her house in Corpus Christi. Her husband, Chris Perez, could not be reached for comment.
Carlos Lopez, general manager of KMIQ-105.1 in Robstown, said, "Tejano music is dead for at least today. It's a sad day. Just like when the stock market crashed, this is Black Friday."
Neighbors, admirers are in mourning for their famous friend
For the past week, 9-year-old Jacob Avila had been eagerly anticipating a lunch date with his neighbor and favorite Tejano music star.
He and a friend had asked their idol, Selena, to lunch last week when she enlisted their help to find her missing dog. Selena, who neighbors say had a soft spot for children, had agreed to take the boys to McDonald's on Sunday.
Singer's followers express disbelief, share their grief
They came in droves. Hundreds of fans mingling with the simply curious to see the hotel where Selena, the Tejano star who needed no introduction beyond her first name, was slain Friday morning.
Selena Quintanilla-Perez was shot Friday morning in a room at the Days Inn Hotel, 901 Navigation Blvd., and died at Memorial Medical Center a little more than an hour later.
Selena's death leaves Tejano music world shocked, mournful
In the words of one of Corpus Christi's radio programmers, " Tejano music died some today."
The death of Selena Quintanilla-Perez left KMIQ-FM's Manuel Lopez and others in the music industry who worked with the singer during her seven-year rise to music stardom in shock and grief Friday.
"It's a tragedy and everybody here is very sad," said Lopez.
Selena worked hard for career and gave much to community
She had become Corpus Christi's rising star, the voice of a strong and energetic young woman who worked more than half her life to become a Tejano music superstar.
Selena, who worked to lift up the city just as she did her fans, had risen to the top of the glittery Tejano music industry, winning a Grammy in 1994 for her "Selena Live!" album, among many other awards.
Despite her achievements, some said her career had not peaked.
Shattered dreams: Selena was a source of pride, residents say
The music flowing from the jukebox in Rosita's Restaurant hit the customers cold.
"Selenaaaaa y Los Dinos," the enthusiastic voice on the recording boomed, as customers at the Westside restaurant stared silently at their plates of enchiladas and tacos.
"No more," a waitress said softly while wiping a table. "No more."
Music stores report selling out of musician's tapes, CDs
As news of Selena's death spread Friday, fans and collectors filed into music stores across the country, buying compact discs and cassettes made by the Grammy-winning Tejano star.
Hours after the 23-year-old's death, the Wal-Mart on U.S. Highway 77 sold out of more than 1,000 Selena tapes and compact discs.
"Some were taking $40, $50 worth," said Diana Cashman, a sales clerk in the music department at Wal-Mart. "Almost as soon as it happened, everybody was here - gente Americana, gente Mexicana. Everybody liked her. We keep getting a lot of calls."
Remembering Selena: Saying goodbye to a star
For Selena, they lined up for almost a mile, some waiting for almost 30 minutes and traveling hundreds of miles to get inside the Bayfront Plaza Convention Center.
They cruised by in cars blasting her music.
They wore black roses in their lapels.
And they remembered.
Thousands of fans pay homage to Selena
Jesse Leary drove from Victoria and stood across the street from the home of Selena, videotaping what was going on.
He filmed the mile-long stretch of cars slowly rolling in front the home. He filmed the hoards of people gathered on the sidewalk. And he filmed the dozens of colorful posters, flowers, letters and balloons that adorned a chain-link fence surrounding the singer's yard.
"I'm not surprised everyone is showing up," said Leary. "She was pretty popular. I wasn't related to her, but it feels like someone took something away from me."
Selena Quintanilla-Perez, 23, died at 1:05 p.m. Friday after being shot in the back before noon at the Days Inn Hotel, 901 Navigation Blvd. Police arrested a former employee of Selena's, Yolanda Saldivar, 34, of San Antonio after a 91/2-hour standoff.
Soon after word of Selena's death spread Friday and continuing all day Saturday, thousands of people either drove by or stopped at the Tejano music star's house at 709 Bloomington. Many said they came to pay their respects and leave a gift or note; many said they were still struggling to find answers to a crime that sent shock waves not only through Corpus Christi, but around the world.
Corpus Christi native helped local government reach children, communities
While fans throughout the world mourned the loss of Tejano music singer Selena, city officials in her hometown of Corpus Christi helped make arrangements for funeral services and remembered how she touched the community.
"So many people have been affected by her talent and life," said City Manager Juan Garza. "I think that her quick rise to stardom just stirs the imagination. It makes you believe that you can make it, no matter what your station in life. She was an inspiration for so many people."
Sorrow spreads to San Antonio
Cynthia Talamantez lit a yellow candle labeled "Virgen del Cober" and set it down to join a dozen other candles and mounds of flowers at the front door of the Selena Etc. boutique here.
"I'm doing this for my daughter," Talamantez said. "She's 13 and she saw Selena at the Alamodome.
Mourners in this city, which has evolved into a mecca for Tejano music, spent Saturday expressing their sorrow at the loss of one of the music style's stars.
Selena fans flood florists with orders
Selena's friends and fans crowded into flower shops Saturday with an outpouring of love for the Tejano star who was shot to death the day before.
Florists had requests for deliveries to the family, the funeral home and the Bayfront Plaza Convention Center, where throngs attended a public memorial service for the 23-year-old, Grammy Award-winning international star.
Orders from Selena Quintanilla-Perez's fans and friends were scattered from New York to Laredo, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston, shop workers said.
Selena: Her voice will never be silenced
Her time here was brief. But what Selena accomplished in a mere 23 years through her music is something many others spend a lifetime trying to achieve and perhaps never do.
Selena Quintanilla-Perez was a one-of-a-kind talent that was on the verge of breaking through the ethnic, cultural and language barriers that divide people.
Saying goodbye: Thousands bid Selena farewell
More than 50,000 people passed by Selena Quintanilla-Perez's casket at the Bayfront Plaza Convention Center Sunday, where only seven months ago the Tejano superstar, in her trademark black tights and bustier, charmed hundreds of fans with an energetic performance.
Thousands of adoring fans, many who had waited in line for hours, quietly passed by, some kneeling, some praying as they approached the body of the young woman who some said had brought Tejano music to national and international prominence.
"I didn't consider her just a star, she was a friend," said Irma G. Alvear, who arrived at the convention center at 4 a.m. Sunday.
"We all talk about what an angel singing would sound like... She's our angel. God sent her from above."
Mourners gather at Days Inn to trace Tejano star's last steps on Earth
A light breeze played with the piece of notebook paper attached to the door frame of Days Inn Hotel Room 158. On the paper was the shaky handwriting of a small child.
"To Selena, I love you and will miss you for-ever (sic) I will always remeber (sic) you In my hart (sic)," the note read.
It was signed, "Jessica."
Hundreds of pairs of watery eyes fixed on the candles and flowers on the concrete walkway in front of the door. Someone turned on a radio. Be-ribboned cars cruised by, with videocameras aimed from passenger windows.
The Days Inn on Navigation Boulevard is no longer a quiet roadside hotel.
Lawmakers Truan and Berlanga to honor star
With the words "En paz descanse, reina de la musica Tejana, " - Rest in peace, Queen of Tejano Music - state lawmakers are expected to wrap up today's legislative duties by honoring Selena.
Both the House and Senate are expected to break after their sessions to mourn the loss of the 23-year-old singer from Corpus Christi, who achieved international fame.
Sen. Carlos Truan, D-Corpus Christi, will present a resolution in the Senate today, commemorating her life.
"What Selena unprecedentedly accomplished in her tender age of 23 is something 'others spend a lifetime attempting to achieve, and perhaps never do,' " the resolution reads.
Selena's father urges opposition to gun bill
The death of Tejano superstar Selena spilled into the political arena Sunday as family members urged fans to oppose a legislative proposal allowing Texans to carry concealed handguns.
Top lawmakers said the shooting would intensify efforts to stop the weapons bill from passing in the state House where it is expected to be considered Tuesday by the Public Safety Committee.
Fans won't forget, but many will forgive
Vivian Cruz stood outside Corpus Christi Cathedral in the warm Sunday sun, remembering the day superstar Selena died.
"Friday was a gloomy day. It was a dark day," Cruz said. "We'll never forget."
But many fans said they will try to forgive.
Hispanic community leaders say Tejano singer filled a valuable niche in young people's lives
When Selena died, the Mexican American community lost a leader who showed how Hispanics can succeed and win attention on the world stage.
"Her death is of tremendous interest to this community," said Ricardo Romo, professor of history and Mexican American studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
"It's like Cesar Chavez dying," said Romo, referring to the California labor leader. "In a very short time, she had reached a height of fame that was phenomenal."
Followers travel from across country, Mexico to bid final farewell to young idol
Adan Lugo Jr. has never heard Selena's music, but it touched him so much that he joined thousands Sunday who paid tribute to the slain Tejano star at her Molina neighborhood home.
Lugo, his sister, Linda, and brother, Jaime, are deaf.
"We never heard her voice, but we could feel the beauty of her music," Lugo wrote on a sign he placed on the fence around the homes of Selena Quintanilla-Perez and her family.
"Just by watching her we know she had (a) beautiful voice and much talent," the sign said.
Selena was seeking spiritual meaning
Abe Quintanilla held up pretty well Sunday - until he talked about eternity.
His daughter, Tejano music star Selena Quintanilla-Perez, was shot to death Friday, allegedly by the woman who managed her boutiques.
Tens of thousands of her fans swarmed into Corpus Christi through the weekend while Quintanilla handled an international press corps.
He took condolence calls from crooner Julio Iglesias and salsa queen Celia Cruz, and a fax from Madonna. The Tejano group La Mafia canceled a gig in Guatemala City to attend Selena 's private funeral this morning in Corpus Christi.
That's when it hit him, talking about the funeral and the spiritual side of Selena 's short life - sobs poured unbidden from Abe Quintanilla.
"I know, I just know that she has eternal life," he said, each word gasped from his heaving chest.
Selena tragedy jars Tejano industry
Tejano musicians and industry executives from across the United States and Mexico are expected to converge on Corpus Christi to say goodbye to Selena.
According to sources at Q Productions, a large number of Tejano arists have contacted the office, expressing their wishes to be at today's funeral.
Those that have confirmed they will be in attendance at Selena 's funeral include Roberto Pulido, Bobby Pulido, David Lee Garza, Emilio Navaira, Laura Canales, Elsa Garcia, La Mafia, Ram Herrera, Imagen Latina, and Pete Astudillo.
A Family's Farewell
Husband recalls life with Selena
Being married to Tejano superstar Selena was a lesson in love - illustrated by the popular lead singer's passion for her family, fans and fast-rising musical career, said husband Chris Perez.
"She was just really, really alive. She was real passionate about everything she said and did," said Perez, 25, who played guitar in Selena y Los Dinos. "She cried as much as she laughed. I had never met a person like that. She got me to open up. I learned from her how to say, 'I love you,' to my mom and dad when they would call me up on the road."
Family, friends bid last farewell to slain singer
With a graveside service marred only by news media helicopters, the extended family of slain Tejano star Selena Quintanilla-Perez committed her body to the stubborn soil of the Coastal Bend.
They gathered to hear Jehovah's Witness reader Sam Wax of Lake Jackson compare their grief with the resilience of a flower after a rainstorm, an apt analogy for a gravesite strewn with Selena's favored white roses.
"The flower stood there, rooted, facing the weather's full fury," Wax said. "Now, here it is, still intact, bowed but unbroken, showing strength that belies the delicacy of its appearance."
Mourners gather: Crowd still, silent for most of hour before service
No one wanted to go home.
On the third day of grief since Friday's shooting death of Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, mourners at her graveside Monday stayed long after a brief burial service to weep and to praise the young performer.
"She was a complete star," said Johnny Canales of Corpus Christi, host of an internationally broadcast television variety show.
"If Selena sang in Japanese or Russian, she would be a star," Canales said. "I think she would have been universal. You could see that talent in her. They don't come around too often."
Fans stand outside cemetery, hoping for sight of grave
A single white rose emerged from the open window of a navy blue Cutlass. Crystal Rocha grabbed the stem, ignoring the thorns that pierced her palm, and exulted in the bliss of having just kissed her Tejano idol's favorite flower.
"This is from Selena, hija," the rose-wielding passenger in the funeral entourage said to 10-year-old Crystal. The girl and her family from Austin stood among hundreds pressed to the gates of Seaside Memorial Park Monday, hoping for a glimpse of dark suit-attired Tejano stars who filed slowly past them to bury one of their own.
City, county to consider memorial to slain star
Selena's memory will live on in more than her music.
Officials from the city and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi are in the early planning stages of creating memorials honoring the Tejano singer, who was shot and killed Friday at a local hotel.
Ideas from City Council members include naming a school after Selena or renaming The Center for Hispanic Arts or the Bayfront Plaza Convention Center in her honor.
Mayor Mary Rhodes said she will appoint a committee to research what the city can do as an appropriate memorial to the superstar who called Corpus Christi her home.
Selena's family isn't talking about where Dinos go from here
The name of the band, Los Dinos , has several decades of history behind it. It's the future that now remains uncertain.
No one is saying yet how and where the musicians who played and sang with Selena Quintanilla-Perez will go on from here.
"The band could go on, but it wouldn't be the same," Selena's father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., told reporters at the family 's Q Productions studio Saturday night. "You can't take a Madonna or a Michael Jackson away from their band and have it remain the same."
Selena's financial interests were diverse
Selena, already a veteran entertainer of more than 15 years at age 23, probably died a multimillionaire, according to entertainment industry officials and others.
Officials speaking for Selena Quintanilla-Perez's family said Monday that most of her wealth came from her record sales, but she also had commercial endorsements and, along with her husband, Chris Perez, owned Selena Etc. Inc., a boutique company with stores in Corpus Christi and San Antonio.
Selena's motion picture debut was step on path to success
The release of the new movie "Don Juan DeMarco" was to have been Selena Quintanilla-Perez' first step toward conquering yet another area of entertainment - major motion pictures.
And for a fledgling film appearance, she couldn't have asked for more famous co-stars.
South Texas lawmakers honor Selena with tribute
South Texas lawmakers honored Selena Quintanilla-Perez with a tribute on the House floor late Monday, saying that her influence would be long-lasting. U.S. Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi, said the Tejano star's life was "far too brief... and there is little doubt that her greatest years were on the horizon.
He suggested that lawmakers and others remember the singer on Easter, which would have been Selena's 24th birthday.
"Young people could look to Selena and know that she had come up out of the barrio and had made a huge success out of her life and her music," Ortiz said. "They believe that she spoke to them through both her music and her deeds, and they loved her for that.
Senate marks death with silence, resolution
State senators sat quietly Monday, in stark contrast to the normal bustle of activity, to commemorate the loss of Tejano superstar Selena.
Many pinned black ribbons to their jacket lapels. Several spoke on behalf of the 23-year-old singer from Corpus Christi who had achieved international fame.
A resolution honoring Selena's accomplishments, including her dedication to working with youths, was read and unanimously approved.
Remembering Selena: A Year Later
Selena's enduring image will be that of a charismatic performer, a fiercely independent Hispanic woman, an achiever, a role model and a down-to-Earth neighbor, say those who knew her and others who have studied her influence.
A year after her death, Selena's followers continue to view her not as a 23-year-old celebrity who had what they never could achieve, but as an inspiration who showed them what could be theirs. Many say they have set goals and are pursuing dreams because of her influence.
Admirers from across country, Mexico travel to mark anniversary of her death
They came from Houston, Mexico, Mission, Harlingen and Chicago for one reason that could be summed up in a single word - Selena.
They gathered at her grave Saturday, the eve of the first anniversary of her death, leaving messages of love talking of her smile and her voice. Their roses, dried flowers, cloth flowers or fresh ones of varied types joined a mound of white flowers dotted with purple that covered her fenced-in grave.
Culture Clash: Some Anglos find outpouring of grief hard to understand
Anglo and Hispanic cultures collide in the Rockport home of 12-year-old Loren Gimler, where snappy Spanish rhythms vie for decibel room with guitar-driven rock.
Loren, part Anglo, part Hispanic, loved Selena before the homegrown Tejano singer's death made her an international folk hero.
Selena's fatal shooting one year ago cinched the preteen-ager's bond in grief and boosted her pride in her Hispanic heritage, her mother says.
As Loren jacks the volume on her bedroom boombox, her Anglo father, a rock fan, shakes his head and covers his ears, not quite understanding what all the fuss is about.
The show must go on: The call for Selena items strong as ever
Shortly after a bullet ended the life of Selena Quintanilla-Perez, fans emptied stores of her music and clamored for any merchandise reminiscent of the Tejano singer.
A year after her death, the marketing blitz continues as fans hungry for Selena paraphernalia gobble up commemorative magazines, T-shirts and books and eagerly await the release of a movie about her life. Other items on the way include a doll and a line of perfume.
The outpouring from Selena fans may be more than a temporary craze, some say. She touched her audience with more than her music - she reached them with her kindness, her spark and her enthusiasm. Those qualities, and her success in a world with few Hispanic female role models, are likely to carry Selena's popularity far into the future, authors and Hispanic historians say.
In her memory: City plans to crank up efforts to build memorial after fans' fund-raiser fizzles
Plans for three memorials to honor Selena Quintanilla-Perez are moving at a slow pace as a nationwide radio fund-raising effort to pay for the memorials generated only about $2,000.
However, community leaders are preparing to put fund raising in high gear.
Rising tide of Tejano: Selena's death ushered in new audience for her music
Selena's death a year ago trained the mainstream spotlight on Tejano music like never before.
The death of the 23-year-old from Corpus Christi changed Americans' perceptions of Tejano music. Some had never heard the term, much less the accordion-laced music it defined. Others were amazed that the music they generally skimmed over, while surfing for their favorite radio station, could attract the nation's attention.
Strength Within: Quintanilla grapples daily with emotions
When Abraham Quintanilla Jr. talks about what has happened in the past year, he is a cauldron of conflicting emotions, from icy resolve to pained tears.
A year after the murder of his daughter, Tejano singer Selena, he is fed up with those he calls vultures and pirates - "making T-shirts and capitalizing on Selena's tragedy."
He is also vulnerable to continuing grief, feelings often compounded by anger at what he says are lies about his relationship with his daughter.
New musical is a different way to honor Selena the way she lived, through song and dance
A single rose floats in the center of the theater's lavender backdrop. The rose isn't just a rose - rather, it signifies something, or someone, more.
Walk down the aisle, have a seat and enjoy the stage musical " Selena Forever," the much-anticipated tribute to the singer where Tejano meets theater in the story that begs to be told on stage. " Selena Forever" incorporates the vastly separated worlds - Tejano music and theater - and it's a welcome contrast, mixing elements of one into the other and creating a product that is unique.
The musical is the latest tribute to the singer, and it's completely different from all the others. It has more than 30 songs, a majority of which are originals with music written by Fernando Rivas and lyrics by Edward Gallardo. A few of Selena 's favorites have been woven into the mix - "I Could Fall in Love," "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" and "Baila Esta Cumbia" are a few - adding a strong sense of familiarity for her fans.
Movie, friends, older relatives help fill in the gaps for those too young too young to remember
Debbie Toribio , a 10-year-old Robstown student, remembers when Selena was killed.
She was at a cousin's house in front of a television, the VCR on. On the screen, Debbie saw an ambulance, a ring drop from Selena's hand and a woman cry in a truck.
For the newest generation of grade-school admirers, memories of the Tejano singer's death on March 31, 1995, are framed in celluloid, with real-life cutaways to the lingering sadness of an older family member.
Chris Perez Now: Inspired by Selena, he has moved on, stepped out of the shadows
Life has become hectic for Chris Perez since he won a Grammy last month.
"It's one of those 'be careful what you wish for, you just might get it' things," he said of the award for Latin Rock/Alternative Performance won by his group, The Chris Perez Band.
Since the ceremony he has been planning videos, enjoying his baby daughter, wrestling with a bout of writer's block, fielding film soundtrack offers and preparing a second album. The award and praise for the band has opened some doors.
Abe Quintanilla sees reminders of his daughter daily, not only on anniversary
How do you feel about your daughter 's death? Would Selena have liked the movie and the play? Are you still sad? Are you healing?
Abraham Quintanilla was fielding phone call after phone call from the news media, sitting beneath pictures of his famous daughter , in the studio where he made her famous, as the fifth anniversary of her death approached.
"I am tired of these "preguntas necia (stupid questions)" he said. "Everyone is asking me all these off-the-wall questions.
"Don't try to probe my heart. People keep asking me how I feel. How do they think I feel?"
Swings of Tejano appeal: Music form experiences slumps, waits for next push
Tejano music is in a slump, though sales of Selena's music remain strong five years after her death.
The slump is just a cycle, with the music in a somewhat traditional phase that has failed to attract new fans, industry observers say. That slump will end with the next creative surge that injects new influences into the music, much like Selena did in the early 1990s, they say.
Selena's ability to draw visitors year-round influences city's marketing pitch
Each day, visitors can be seen at Selena's seawall statue, one of Corpus Christi's most prominent tourist attractions. And the city's marketing strategy has embraced her drawing power.
"Pause and reflect along the Bayfront," one brochure says. "Fans of Selena flock to Corpus Christi, the home town of the Tejano singer."
"I don't think Corpus Christi knew the magnitude of her celebrity, her fame," said Frank Espinoza, communications consultant for Central Power and Light Co. "I was in Chicago last week and while at the hotel one of the staff asked me where I was from. I said, 'Corpus Christi.' He couldn't identify it. Then I said, 'That's where Selena was from,' and he knew exactly where it was. I found it quite interesting he couldn't ID Corpus Christi until Selena was mentioned."
Different interpretations: Remembrances of Selena's life available in all forms of media
The story of Selena's life and tragic death has been told, retold, analyzed, re-enacted and illustrated in books, television documentaries and one successful Hollywood film during the past five years.
Among the thousands of words and images paying tribute to Selena in the mass media, the Warner Bros. film "Selena" remains the most widely seen and well-reviewed.