By Andrea Waguespack, Houston Chronicle | March 31, 2014 | Updated: March 31, 2014 1:42pm
Selena, the beloved Tejano singer who on the verge of making it big, died 19 years ago today.
Selena, aka: Selena Quintanilla-Perez, is equally famous for both her life and her tragic death. Born on April 16, 1971 in Lake Jackson, Texas, the Tejano singer was quickly becoming the next "big thing" in pop music. She performed in Houston several times throughout 1994 and 1995, including a gig at the Livestock Show and Rodeo.
But that all changed on March 31, 1994. Just 16 days after playing her final Houston performance at the El Dorado Ranch Nightclub, Selena was gunned down by her former fan club president at just 23 years old. The shooter, Yolanda Saldivar, fatally shot the singer at a Corpus Christi motel after Saldivar had been accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from Selena.
Selena's father, Abraham Quintanilla, said his daughter was the "trusting victim of an obsessed, 'unbalanced' fan who stole thousands of dollars from the singer's businesses and then killed Selena after realizing she had been cut from her life," according to a 2001 article published by the Houston Chronicle.
Selena's combination English/Spanish album was released posthumously the summer after her death, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 list. As for Saldivar, she was tried and convicted in the Harris County Criminal Courts in October of that year. Saldivar will be eligible for parole on March 30, 2025.
While Saldivar remains behind bars, Selena remains a legend.