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Selena: 1971-1995: Vocalist

Confronted Fan Club President

Both the fan club and the Selena boutiques were financially mismanaged from the start, however; fan club members complained of undelivered merchandise, and record-keeping for the growing retail enterprises was lax. Selena and her family uncovered evidence of various abuses, and Selena moved to ease Saldivar out of her position. When she went to confront Saldivar in a room in a Corpus Christi Days Inn motel on March 31, 1995, Saldivar shot her in the back with a .38-caliber handgun. The singer survived for several hours, but massive transfusions failed to save her life.

Saldivar claimed that the shooting had been accidental and that she had planned to kill herself, not Selena, but police discovered that when Selena and her husband had come on a similar mission the previous day, Saldivar had postponed the meeting on the pretense of having forgotten to bring the needed documents; she seemed to be waiting to meet Selena alone. According to Texas Monthly she described Selena as "the only friend I ever had." As she staggered out of the motel room and called for help, Selena named Saldivar as the shooter, and at the trial, motel employees told of an argument followed by a gunshot and Selena's screams. Saldivar was convicted and given a life sentence.

The mourners at Selena's Corpus Christi funeral numbered more than 30,000, and fans gathered for services in several other cities as well. In San Antonio alone two separate memorials were held. One of many manifestations of grief that appeared within the Hispanic community was a campaign to discredit the controversial talk-show host Howard Stern, who had joked about Selena's murder.

Selena became one of the many figures in American entertainment whose career loomed larger in death than it had while she was alive. Dreaming of You sold 175,000 copies on its first day of release, making its debut at number one on Billboard magazine's pop chart and eventually selling over 2,000,000 copies. The 1997 film Selena grossed an estimated $35 million domestically; directed by Gregory Nava, it also elevated Latina actress Jennifer Lopez to a new level of recognition. The year 2000 brought a touring musical about Selena's life, Selena Forever.

Selected discography

Selena, EMI Latin, 1989.

Ven conmigo, EMI Latin, 1990.

Entre a mi mundo, EMI Latin, 1992.

Selena Live, EMI Latin, 1993.

Amor prohibido, EMI Latin, 1994.

Dreaming of You, 1995, EMI.

Mis primeras grabaciones, Freddie, 1995 (early recordings).

Anthology, EMI, 1998.

All My Hits, EMI, 1999.

All My Hits, Vol. 2, EMI, 2000.



Contemporary Musicians, volume 16, Gale, 1996.

Notable Hispanic American Women, Book 2, Gale, 1998.

Patoski, Joe Nick, Selena: Como la flor, Little, Brown, 1996.


Billboard, May 20, 2000, p. 117.

Broadcasting & Cable, October 2, 1995, p. 23.

Entertainment Weekly, August 18, 1995, p. 18; March 26, 1999, p. 96.

Interview, April 1997, p. 50.

People, April 1, 1996, p. 110.

Texas Monthly, September 1994, p. 122; May 1995, p. 110; December 1995, p. 102.


All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com

—James M. Manheim

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Paul Anthony Samuelson (1915– ) Biography to Bessie Smith (1895–1937) BiographySelena: 1971-1995: Vocalist Biography - Sang At Family Restaurant, Signed To Emi Latin, Confronted Fan Club President