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A Tribute To Tejano Music Icon Selena, Who Would Have Turned 50 This Year

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Fernando Ortiz Jr.
Texas Public Radio

Decades after her death, Tejano star Selena is still an icon. Her influence and lasting legacy has become almost mythic among communities that hold her most dear, especially in Texas.

Selena rose to stardom in the '90s and her tragic murder in 1995 shocked millions. She was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame that same year.

At the time of her death, the singer had released 11 albums — six with her band Selena y Los Dinos and five without — and was Billboard's top-selling Latin artist of the 1990s decade. The outlet also named her the top female artist of "Greatest of All Time Latin Artists" in 2020.

Selena's birthday is April 16. The "Queen of Tejano music" would have turned 50 years old this year.

What is the breadth of Selena's influence? How is her life and music celebrated today?


  • Hector Saldaña, Texas music curator for The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University
  • Sonya Alemán, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality Studies at UTSA; spearheaded the addition of a course titled "Selena: A Mexican American Identity & Experience" in 2020
  • Cat Cardenas, associate editor and "unofficial Selena correspondent" for Texas Monthly

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*This interview was recorded on Thursday, April 15.

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