10 Ways Selena Quintanilla Continues to Make History

Selena Quintanilla-Perez continues to make a major impact on music, fashion, and pop culture 25 years after her death


Photo: Flickr/hellboy_93

Selena Quintanilla-Perez continues to make a major impact on music, fashion, and pop culture 25 years after her death. The Queen of Tejano music was just 23 when she died but her music lives on and her legacy continues to make an impact with new generations becoming fans of the icon. The 1997 biopic Selena cemented her status as a beloved singer and since then her image continues to be a staple in pop culture.  From Selena the Series to her MAC makeup collection to countless song covers and books including TKTK, Selena is ever-present and continues to enjoy historic moments like her posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys. In honor of what would’ve been her 51st birthday.


The Selena makeup collection with MAC

Video: YouTube/MAC Cosmetics

In 2016, MAC teamed up with the Quintanilla family and created a 90s-inspired makeup collection that celebrated Selena’s legacy. The beauty line consists of eyeshadows, lipsticks, eyeliners, and mascaras all of which reflect Selena’s personality and culture. The line sold out within hours after launching and remains to be one of the best-selling MAC celebrity collections of all time.


She remains an influential artist

Video: YouTube/Rock Pop Tunes

We might not have Jennifer Lopez the singer if it weren’t for Selena. The director of Selena, Gregory Nava, told People  that he believes Selena’s spirit paved the way for JLo’s great success in the entertainment industry. He said that Lopez’s portrayal of the late-singer was “an example of the fact that the light and the spirit of Selena” was with them during filming. Selena not only opened doors for Jennifer Lopez but she created a path of success and opportunity for young Latinas around the world who consider her a role model including Becky G and Selena Gomez.


Her music continues to top music charts

Video: YouTube/Recording Academy/GRAMMYs

Selena basically introduced Tejano music to the mainstream market. She made history in 1994 when she became the first Tejano artist to win a Grammy for Best Mexican-American album for her Live! Even after her death, her music continues to sell and top the charts. Most recently, her songs were streamed a total of 452.5 million times across 177 countries in 2021 on Spotify in 2021!


She’s on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Video: YouTube/Variety

Selena was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 3rd, 2017. Los Angeles officials also named that day as “Selena Day.” Actress Eva Longoria attended the ceremony and said “growing up there was no reflection of me on TV or in music and that all changed with Selena y Los Dinos.” The star on the Walk of Fame further proves the impact Selena had in the music industry. In 2016, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum debuted a wax figure of the late singer in Hollywood.


She has a Google Doodle

Video: YouTube/GoogleDoodles

On October 17, 2017, Google honored Selena with a Google Doodle. The video of the doodle is about a minute-and-a-half and features Selena in her iconic purple outfit that she wore during her performance at the Astrodome. The doodle was created by Google employee Perla Campos and illustrates how Selena continues to represent the Latinx community. The doodle actually made Engadget’s list of “Google’s best Doodles” over the past 20 years.


She inspired several bilingual children’s book

Photo: Instagram/@lil_libros

Lil’ Libros published “The Life of – La Vida de Selena,” a bilingual children’s book in 2018. The writers, Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein, told NBC News, “It’s a good way to keep her legacy alive and continue sharing her story with the newest generation.” The book allows adults to share their favorite memories of Selena with their children and shares fun facts about her, like that her favorite food was pizza and she loved her family. The book is an Amazon Best Seller in children’s Spanish books. Other children’s books about the singer include Queen of Tejano Music: Selena by Silvia López and Sing with Me: The Story of Selena Quintanilla by Diana López.


She’s the inspiration behind best-selling dolls


Photo: CelebrityDollMuseum.com

Selena was made into a doll and was put into the Celebrity Doll Museum in 1996. The doll was made by ARM Enterprise and was part of the Selena in Concert Series. The doll featured in the museum showcases Selena wearing her infamous purple jumpsuit from her Astrodome concert in 1995 but there are also two other dolls wearing different concert outfits. The dolls were so popular that one sold for over $1,000 on eBay!


She has received a Lifetime Achievement Award

Video: YouTube/Entertainment Tonight

She was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 Grammys, which, according to the Record Academy’s description, “celebrates performers who have made outstanding contributions of artistic significance to the field of recording.” Not only was the Quintanilla family overjoyed with excitement but Selena’s husband, Chris Perez, took to Facebook to express how proud he was of her accomplishments, “Special thanks to the Grammy organization and especially all of you (her fans) that continue to listen, watch, and support all the amazing things she left behind for us to treasure.”


She’s been inducted into the National Recording Registry

Photo: Facebook/The Library of Congress

In 2019, Selena’s album Ven Conmigo was inducted into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. Ven Conmigo debuted at number eight on the Billboard Regional Mexican Albums chart the week it was released and only one year later it became the first Tejano album by a woman to become certified gold, so no wonder it made it into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry.


She was inducted into the Star Trail of Fame

Photo: Instagram/@rodeohouston

In 2020, Selena was inducted into the Star Trail of Fame at the Rodeo Houston, making her the first Latina artist and second female act overall to receive this honor. Selena performed three concerts there in 1993, 1994, and 1995 and it’s where she wore her iconic purple jumpsuit. Her last concert brought in nearly180,000 fans and celebrities like Becky G continue to honor her legacy by singing  her songs when they perform at that same venue.

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