HOLLYWOOD, California – The late Selena Quintanilla, the undisputed Queen of Tejano music, was memorialized with a much-anticipated star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday.
Though she has been gone for more than two decades, Selena remains one of the most popular and influential Latina music icons, and her enduring legacy was evident in the star-studded ceremony on Friday amid her family, celebrities and city officials, and legions of adoring fans.
“This star is for every Latina out there who has ever had a dream,” said actress Eva Longoria, who grew up in Selena’s hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas, in a moving speech. “Growing up there was no reflection of me – not in TV, not in movies, and not in music, it was as if someone like me didn’t exist in mainstream America. That all changed when a bright young singer named Selena changed the music landscape.”
At the ceremony, Suzette Quintanilla quoted her sister’s words, “Selena said, the goal isn’t to live forever, but to create something that will.”
And that Selena did; she rose to fame among Mexican Americans and in Latin America with her signature blend of Tejano ballads and contemporary pop. Some of her most popular songs include: Bidi, Bidi Bom Bom, Dreaming of You, No Me Queda Mas, Amor Prohibido and Como La Flor.
At 23, she was about to debut her much-anticipated crossover album when she was shot to death on March 31, 1995, in her hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas. Yolanda Saldívar, the founder of her fan club who had been fired for embezzlement, was convicted of first-degree murder.
For fans, Friday’s event was a necessary milestone for the Tejana legend.
“I’m always going to love her music and what she stood for, but this, as a fan, this is what I was waiting for to give her death closure,” said Joel Peña, 47, a 3rd grade teacher from Texas who traveled to L.A. for the ceremony.