SELENA’S MUSICAL SUCCUSS
She was a sensation in the Tejano world with hits such as "Como la Flor," ''Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" and "El Chico del Apartamento 512." She was on the verge of crossing over into English language pop airplay until her murder.
She won Female Vocalist of the Year at the 1987 Tejano Music Awards (which she dominated for the next 7 years). Her fame grew throughout the early 1990s, especially in Spanish-speaking countries.
Selena released another hit album in 1992, Entre a Mi Mundo, which also achieved gold status. Songs from that album, such as “Como La Flor”, helped make Selena a star. Her 1993 Selena Live! album won a Grammy award for Best Mexican-American Performance.
Selena and her band continued to receive accolades; Billboard’s Premio Lo Nuestro awarded them six prestigious awards including Best Latin Artist and Song of the Year for “Como La Flor”. Coca-Cola released a commemorative bottle in her honor to celebrate their five-year relationship. Meanwhile, her duet with the Barrio Boyzz, “Dondequiera Que Estes”, raced to the top of the Latin charts. This prompted Selena to tour in New York City, Argentina, Puerto Rico and Central America where she was in growing demand. The duet with Salvadoran singer Alvaro Torres, “Buenos Amigos”, was also a hit.
By fall of 1994, Amor Prohibido was a commercial success in Mexico and made four number one Latin hits, replacing Gloria Estefan’s Mi Tierra on the chart’s number one spot. It sold over 400,000 copies by late 1994 in the U.S. and another 50,000 copies in Mexico, reaching gold status. At this point, Selena developed plans to record an English-language album, but continued to tour for Amor Prohibido while beginning preparations for the album. Her next album Selena Live! won Best Mexican-American Album at the 36th Grammy Awards.
In February 1995, Selena played a concert at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in the Houston Astrodome, which attracted over 65,000 fans—more than country stars such as George Strait, Vince Gill and Reba McEntire.
SELENA’S COMMUNITY WORK
Despite her busy schedule, Selena visited local schools to talk to students about the importance of education. She also donated her time to civic organizations such as D.A.R.E. and planned a fund raising concert to help AIDS patients.
CHRIS PEREZ BILLBOARD INTERVIEW
Billboard spoke to Perez about his new book – below is an excerpt from the interview:
How did Selena's family feel about the book?
I didn't say anything to anyone while writing it. It wasn't because I was afraid of the reaction, but I just wanted to be at peace when I was writing it. When I was done and talked to Abraham about it, he said, "Son, if it's something you feel you need to do, you have every right to do it."
Did writing help with your healing? Were you able to resolve any painful parts of your life?
It was something that I had to do in order to move forward. I was dealing with boxes and boxes of baggage that I had suppressed. So I went through, dusted them off, and then wrote the book.
How do you feel about posthumous Selena projects? Do you have anything to do with them?
The one misconception that bugs me is [about] all the different CDs that pop out. People don't understand that the family and I really don't have control over that. Capitol/EMI owns the masters and makes the plans for that stuff. People think that [our family is] sitting around trying to find different ways of releasing her music, but that's not the case at all.