Selena Quintanilla was born in Lake Jackson, Texas, on April 16, 1971. She was the daughter of Abraham Quintanilla Jr. and Marcella Ofelia Samora. She was mostly of Mexican ancestry, with some Cherokee heritage on her mother's side. She was a Jehovah's Witness.
Selena began her career as a singer around 1982. As her popularity as a singer grew, she was taken out of school by her father. Regardless, Selena earned a high school diploma from the American School of Correspondence in Chicago, and was accepted at Louisiana State University. She majored in business administration at Pacific Western University.
Selena's first record, Selena y los Dinos, was released in 1984. She then released other records by 1988. Her first album, Selena, was released on October 7, 1989. The lead single of this album, "Contigo Quiero Estar," was Selena's first single to make the charts.
Selena's second album, Ven Conmigo, was released on October 6, 1990. One of the biggest singles from the album was "Baila Esta Cumbia," which was more popular in Mexico. In 1991, Selena released a duet with Alvaro Torres, "Buenos Amigos." The song was her first number one single, having been aired by Mexican and Tejano radio stations.
Despite her father disapproving of her relationship with Chris Pérez, Selena still eloped with him on April 2, 1992. They never had any children.
On May 6, one month after her elopement, Selena released her third studio album, Entre a Mi Mundo, which sold 600,000 copies. After recording her live album, Live!, at a concert in Corpus Christi, she released the album, which sold 750,000.
Aside from being a singer, Selena was also a fashion designer and actress. After releasing Amor Prohibido on March 13, 1994, she made a cameo appearance in the 1995 film Don Juan DeMarco.
On March 31, 1995, 23-year old Selena had a meeting with Yolanda Saldívar at the hotel in Corpus Christi. Selena demanded the financial papers, but Yolanda said that she had been raped in Mexico. Selena took Yolanda to the hospital, where the doctors found no evidence of rape. At 11:48 a.m. CST, Selena was shot by Yolanda once on the right lower shoulder, and she suffered massive loss of blood. She died upon arrival at the hospital. Her funeral was held on April 3, and she is buried at the Seaside Memorial Park in Corpus Christi.
Selena's posthumous album, Dreaming of You, debuted at number one on the national charts, the first to do so.
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