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Selena: 1971-1995: Vocalist Biography

Sang At Family Restaurant, Signed To Emi Latin, Confronted Fan Club President

Selena: 1971-1995: Vocalist.

The violent death of beloved Tejano vocalist Selena on March 31, 1995, brought to an end more than just a promising musical career. Selena had become an icon in the Hispanic community, a beloved figure to whom Mexican-Americans attached their aspirations and their feelings about their cultural identities. Among them, her murder evoked an outpouring of grief comparable to that experienced by other Americans after the deaths of such major cultural figures as President John F. Kennedy.

Selena Quintanilla was born in Lake Jackson, Texas, near Houston, on April 16, 1971. Her father, Abraham Quintanilla, who worked in the shipping department of a chemical plant and later opened a restaurant, had fronted a moderately successful band called Los Dinos ("The Guys") as a young man. Selena was the youngest of three children. She grew up speaking English; although she understood her parents' Spanish, she had to learn Spanish songs phonetically when she first began to perform and record. Later she studied the language, and by the time she became a star she spoke it fluently.

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