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Selena Quintanilla’s Enduring Legacy and Influence on Various Industries

Selena photographed with her Grammy for Best Mexican-American Album. (Photo by

   Selena Quintanilla, often referred to as the “Queen of Tejano Music,” was not only a celebrated singer but a cultural icon. Her impact on various industries, including music, fashion, beauty, and culture, resonates even decades after her tragic passing when the president of her fan club murdered her at the age of 23. 


Who is Selena? 

   Junior Brieanne Aguirre described Selena as someone who had a beautiful young soul with lots of talent and whose music touched many individuals. 

   Junior Valarie Gaitan says, “Selena is one of the artists whose music I have never gotten bored of. I can listen to her on repeat, and I’d still enjoy every last second of her music.” 

   According to her Wikipedia page, Selena was born on April 16, 1971, in Lake Jackson, Texas. Her music career began at a very young age when she began singing for her family band, Selena y Los Dinos, alongside her brother AB and sister Suzette Quintanilla.  

   Selena’s talent became self-evident, when she released her first album in 1989 at the age of seventeen. Before that she’d recently won female entertainer of the year award at the Tejano Music Awards for the second consecutive year. She went on to release several successful albums, becoming a sensation. 

   Junior Abigail Giron says she was introduced to Selena’s music at a young age by her parents. “I’ve always believed she was incredibly talented and that she left a positive effect on the world with the music she made,” Abigail said.  

    Junior Melodysol Rivera says, “My parents would always play Selena music at parties, and they always talked about how she is an important figure in the music industry.” 

   Selena broke cultural and gender barriers by becoming a symbol of pride for the Latino community. According to an article titled “How Selena Broke Barriers to Become a Music Icon,” on CNN, Selena won a Grammy in 1994 for best Mexican-American album, which was a male dominated genre at the time. She also became the first Latin artist to debut in the Billboard 200. Selena is known for hit songs in both Spanish and English like “Como la Flor,” and “Dreaming of You.” 



Music Industry 

   Selena’s influence on the music industry is unparalleled. In a male-dominated industry, her dynamic stage presence and powerful voice propelled her to stardom.  

   Not only was she a big icon in the Hispanic community, but Selena was beginning to crossover into English-language music which opened the door for many future Latino artists who would go on to sing in Spanish and English.  

   Junior Melodysol Rivera says, “Selena paved a way for Hispanic music in the United States. Her bilingual combination in her songs attracted both Americans and Latinos. You can say that she connected two different communities together.”  

   Even after her death, Selena’s music endures, serving as a testament of her innovation and influence in inspiring many musicians. According to the article titled, “Selena’s English Crossover Album was Released After Her Death and Made History,” on the website, four months after Selena’s death, her album “Dreaming of You,” was released and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The album sold 3 million copies and went platinum 59 times. 



   Selena’s inimitable fashion sense is as legendary as her music. It blended traditional Mexican attire with contemporary trends. The bustier outfits she wore in performances became her trademark. Valarie Gaitan says she’s always seen Selena as a fierce woman based on the bright outfits she wore and the way she presented herself. 

   The “Selena Look” is still celebrated through fashion lines and dedicated collections that strive to capture her character and influence.  

   Through Selena: the Series, on Netflix, it shows that Selena designed and DIY’d many of her stage outfits. She even launched her own boutique, “Selena Etc.” which has hosted two fashion shows, showcasing many of Selena’s designs. 

   Now many of Selena’s outfits are displayed in the Selena Museum in Corpus Christi, Texas, and are frequently rotated throughout the year. 

   In my opinion, Selena was ahead of her time with her choices in fashion; she’d wear many things you would find people wearing nowadays, from her high-rise jeans to large hoop earrings. 

   Selena’s influence on the fashion industry extends to present-day; this year, Forever 21 released a collection of clothing inspired by Selena. According to the article titled, “Selena Quintanilla Lives on Through the Latest Exclusive Forever 21 Collection,” published on the website, Forever 21 CEO Winnie Park says the Selena collab is a way to share Selena’s artistry to new people and for longtime fans to continue celebrating her.  



   Selena’s beauty has been celebrated for her look which includes bold red lips and dramatic eyeliner. This was her signature look that had many people raving and even doing their makeup the same way.  

   Freshman Orfilia Guerrero, says Selena was a very beautiful woman who was effortless yet always looked amazing.  

   According to an article titled “How Selena Quinantilla’s Signature Beauty Style has Stood the Test of Time,” on Suzette, Selena’s sister, shared that Selena never had a makeup artist do her looks for events and red carpets. Selena liked to do all her own looks; the makeup artists would only touch up small bits.  

   Selena’s look became so popular that in 2016 MAC released the Selena collection. According to, the collection sold out almost instantly. Then a fan petitioned for there to be a restock and Suzette worked with MAC to come out with another collection. This collection consisted of four shades of lipstick, three shades of lipgloss, two lip pencils, three matte lip shades, an eight-pan eyeshadow palette, a highlighter, and a makeup bag. The total for the entire collection came out to $352, excluding taxes. 


Selena’s Overall Legacy 

   Selena’s influence across many different industries despite having passed 28 years ago, is a testament to her remarkable success and legacy. Even while dealing with people telling her she wouldn’t make it in her music genre or her crossover to English-language, Selena still persevered. 

  Junior Abigail Giron says, “I find it inspiring the way she was able to live her life and be the happiest.”  

    Melodysol adds, “Even though she was poor, she always persevered with her music. It reminds me of the many immigrants that come to America. Many have to give up their dreams due to their circumstances, but Selena showed that you shouldn’t let your circumstances stop you from chasing your dreams.” 

   One of Selena’s most known quotes is “Always believe that the impossible is possible,” which sums up her character. 

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