New York :
The stardom of the Tejano music icon Selena quintanilla It does not seem to go off but quite the opposite.
Netflix just released “Selena: the series“, In what is one of the most recent and ambitious efforts to retell the life of the singer.
Selena’s rise in the difficult music market of the United States, her popularity in Mexico, her charisma and her tragic death have fueled at least three works of television fiction since she passed away 25 years ago.
The first part of the Netflix series, of nine episodes and starring the actress Christian serratos (originally from Los Angeles), begins with Selena’s childhood and the development of her career guided by her father, Abraham Quintanilla.
The long-awaited production, which according to one of its executive producers “tries to show Hollywood that there is a huge Latin market,” was received by critics with mixed reviews.
In several of them, the little development or deepening of the character of Selena is questioned, although some performances and the representation of references of Mexican-American culture are also held.
Regarding the series, we present you five aspects of Selena’s life and legacy that you may not have known.
1. A career that began at age 10
The Netflix series describes how Selena’s father discovered his singing talent when she was a child.
Abraham Quintanilla had had a band in his younger years and decided to replicate that aspect of his life but this time with his children.
“The dinos”, the group that made up mainly Selena, her sister Suzette and her brother AB, adopted the same name of the musical group that the father had years ago.
The band then became the main family business and demanded much of the time of the Selena’s childhood.
A tour bus in the United States replaced the classroom. Singer did not attend school high school in person and passed some exams that gave him the baccalaureate degree.
In 1989, at just 18 years old, Selena and the band signed a contract with the EMI Latin label.
Today, Selena’s music is among the most popular among Latin singers, with more than 65 million records sold, according to his label, Q-Productions.
2. He learned Spanish with his songs
Selena recognized in interviews in Spanish that she did not master this language perfectly and that, in fact, she still I was learning it, despite the fact that many of his greatest hits are in this language.
It is said that he learned by performing songs in Spanish for a very wide audience that was divided between Mexico and the United States.
Perhaps unknowingly or intentionally, the singer embodied in the public sphere a reality of millions of people in the United States, especially young people of the first, second or more generations born in the English-speaking country, but of Latin American or Mexican origin.
Twenty-five years after her death, Selena still represents “that bridge between cultures, of someone who changes between two languages and that we do not see so often in the media,” Professor Nathian told BBC Mundo in an interview last March. Shae Rodríguez, who teaches a lecture on the Texan idol at San Diego State University.
“Much of the research describes that she grew up speaking English but that she learned phonetic Spanish by listening and pronouncing her music,” explained Rodríguez.
3. Not just a singer
Some scenes from the Netflix series portray Selena’s passionate interest in fashion and attempts with her older sister to make costumes with little budget for the band.
That enthusiasm for design continued over the years, until the singer decided to open two boutiques between 1993 and 1994, in San Antonio and Corpus Christi, which at the same time functioned as hairdressers under the name of Selena inc.
A report on the opening of one of them available on YouTube shows an excited Selena taking a tour of her store and then images of long lines of people wanting to enter.
In collaboration with a designer, the singer ensured that the garments had their aesthetics and also included jewelry and other accessories.
Selena aspired to launch a clothing line in a formal way, according to local press reports.
After his death, the San Antonio store was closed and the Corpus Christi store closed in 2009.
4. A legacy that goes beyond music
Not only have millions of records been sold featuring her music, but Selena’s legacy has penetrated Tejano culture for generations.
“More than 600 babies born in Texas between April and September were named Selena,” describes a 1995 magazine article. Texas Monthly, the same year that Selena died.
Outside of Texas, Selena also significantly influenced the musical pop culture with hits like “Como la Flor”, “Amor Prohibido” and “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom”.
In an interview with the magazine People Last March, Abraham Quintanilla described what he was amazed at seeing international visitors at the Selena Museum (in his hometown of Corpus Christi).
“They come from different places, Europe, the Caribbean, Australia, and they bring girls dressed as Selena,” he said.
The rise of the singer to icon and legend has also represented opportunities for successful business.
One of the most illustrative examples was the launch in 2016 of a makeup line inspired by the singer, which was sold out in 24 hours.
Since that year, a clothing line has also been launched with a massive brand in the United States and a new makeup collection, which was also a bestseller.
And if it hadn’t been for the pandemic, a massive concert would have taken place last March at a stadium in San Antonio (Texas) with the capacity to hold 64,000 people.
In the musical field, the popularity of his music is undeniable. In 2018, Billboard reported that Selena held the third place in the lists of the most listened to Latin artists, after Shakira and Natti Natasha.
The representation of the singer’s life in television and film productions has gone through legal disputes between the own relatives of the artist.
When Selena passed away at age 23, she had been married to her for three years. Chris perez, the guitarist of his band.
The singer did not leave a will and the family and her husband were then in charge of deciphering what would happen to the management of his work and fortune.
According to the music publication Billboard, Selena’s father offered Pérez in 1995 25% of profits at the rate of the artist’s net income, in exchange for transferring the rights to her music, image and life.
The young guitarist accepted and, according to the investigation of Billboard, Quintanilla stated in a court document that Pérez had received around US $ 3 million throughout the 25 years since the agreement was signed.
But the legal clashes arose when Pérez announced in 2016 an agreement with a production company to create a television show based on a book he wrote about Selena.
Quintanilla demanded that same year arguing that he had broken the contract signed in 1995 and two years later Pérez lost the legal battle in an appeals court.
Pérez maintains that he signed the contract “under duress” and while he was mourning the death of Selena, as reported Forbes.
The Netflix series spends a lot of the time of some episodes on the love story between Pérez and Selena, who did not enjoy the approval of the singer’s father, who ended up firing the band’s guitarist.
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