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Behind the Music: Exploring Selena Quintanilla’s Life and Legacy in the 90s

Selena Quintanilla was one of the most popular singers in the entire world. Dubbed by millions as the “Queen of Tejano Music”, Selena was born in April 1971. She was an American singer and songwriter that also worked many other professions during her short yet illustrious career. Outside of music, Selena Quintanilla-Perez Was also an actress, businesswoman, fashion designer, model, and spokesperson. She debuted on the music scene just when she was ten years old.

Over the course of her short and fantabulous career has released many best-selling recordings and has contributed to both music and fashion, which is why she’s considered one of the most celebrated Mexican-American entertainers of the century.

She’s also broken barriers and is credited for helping redefine Latin music, especially its well-known subgenres Cumbia, Latin pop, and Tejano. Even before the news of her death shocked the world, at the peak of her career, Selena became a very influential celebrity. She had a very specific “cult-like” following amongst the Hispanics and, besides many awards and praise from critics and fans, her success also helped her land. 

Selena Quintanilla career in the 90s

Selena’s career in music started in the late 80s, specifically in 1989, when she was just ten years old. She joined the band “Selena y Los Dinos,” where she spent several years until she gained attention and experience. In 1990, Selena signed a recording deal with EMI Latin nine years later and released her self-titled debut studio album. She continued to outsell other (competing) female Tejano artists with her sophomore album “Ves Conmigo.” Her breakthrough album was released in 1992 – “Entre a Mi Mundo.” The studio project helped launch her career in Mexico and Latin America, as it also became the first Tejano recording by a female artist to sell more than 300,000 copies.

In 1993, she released her first live album, earning her first Grammy Award. She released her final two albums in the next two years – “Amor Prohibido” and “Dreaming of You.” The former was considered her “biggest album” as it popularised the Tejano genre among a wider and younger audience than at any other time in its history. In March 1995, she was shot dead by her friend and former employee, Yolanda Saldivar, over some disputed embezzlement claims. Her last album, “Dreaming of You,” was published in July of that year. It sold millions of copies in its first month and became the first and only predominantly Spanish-speaking album to not only debut but also peak at the number one position on the US Billboard 200 chart. 

Selena's Quintanilla music started in the late 80s

Selena’s music recordings in the late 80s, and she began to dominate multiple international charts in the 90s, and she became a mainstream pop superstar. Just when her shocking death took part in 1995, her career took a huge turn. Her last recorded studio album, “Dreaming of You,” became a chart-topper and a best-seller. It sold more than 5 million copies by the mid 2010s and played an important role in the music career of Selena.

With that release alone, she became the fastest-selling female artist in music history and one of the most important acts during the 80s and 90s and the booming rock and roll music from these two decades. Ever since her death, there have been over twenty-three posthumous releases. The most recent is “Lo Mejor de Selena,” which came out in March 2015, marking the twentieth anniversary of the singer’s death.

Selena Quintanilla had a fashion line

Everyone familiar with Selena Quintanilla and her personal and professional career knows she’s a true fashion queen. Aside from music, she began working on her clothes. She designed and manufactured a clothing line before eventually opening two “Selena Inc” boutiques based in San Antonio and Corpus Christi. She was able to flourish with ease in fashion, just like she did in music. With that being said,

Here are some of Selena Quintanilla’s outfits 90s:

Black Bustier and Ornate Gold

The iconic fashionista was a huge fan of bustiers. What makes them so intriguing is that she bought most of them from luxurious brands such as Victoria’s Secret and then personally decorated them with crystals, fringe, and pearls, among other decorations. 

 90s Platform Sneakers and Navy Stripers

Another popular outfit of Selena’s is the navy stripes and 90s platform sneakers combination. She wore these outfits both on and off stage. They can give us a glimpse of her fabulous outfits and everyday life. To complete this look, she often added hoops and a silver bag.

Selena Quintanilla love of peals.

Another Selena specialty is wearing many pearls. Her style included a lot of customized accessories that she changed herself. She used items like sequins, trims, pearls, and rhinestones that she added on top of each other. These are best suited with oversized hoops and sleeveless collared shirts. 

Black leather corset

Apart from the bustiers, Selena also appreciated the mega stripes and rocked them many times. She usually combined a black or red leather corset-style on top with black leather pants. Among some of the most notable Selena outfits and looks from the 80s and 90s included black and leopard print, checkered motor jacket, hot pink bustier, and white T-shirt and overalls, to name a few.

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Selena's hairstyles from the 90s

Two more things that Selena was popular for are her diverse and eye-catching hairstyles plus her overall look. From classic updo, messy bun, half-up ponytail, and hair bands, the “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” singer did everything possible with her black hair. The classic hair bun, as seen in her movie, has been inspiring many wedding hairstyles. It was also the classic hairdo that she used for her “No Me Queda Was” music video.

Besides leaving her hair (naturally) straightened, Selena also had hairbands for most of her time. She took mainstream media recognition and used the hair buns style to create and produce her own debut label.