Selena Quintanilla, in her short 23 years on Earth, cemented her place in history as a pop music legend. The singer, who was born in Texas, established a new subgenre of Tejano music with her distinctive blend of song, dance, and spectacular flair.
According to her Biography, Quintanilla was born in Lake Jackson, Texas on April 16, 1971, to a family of musicians. Despite growing up in an English-speaking environment, she was encouraged to learn Spanish and eventually became fluent. By taking the lead in her family’s band, she was able to absorb a great deal of the Spanish language through song.
She decided she wanted to spend her life making beautiful music in a language she didn’t speak. Despite her many nicknames, including “Mexican Madonna” and “The Queen of Tejano Music,” Selena is the name by which she is most widely recognized and remembered.
If you’re familiar with her name, you’ve probably also heard some of her songs and know some of her backstories. Maybe you caught Jennifer Lopez and Edward James Olmos in the movie “Selena” from 1997. If so, you’re aware that a murder put a stop to her promising career.
Selina Quintanilla was brutally murdered by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar, on March 31, 1995. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice reports that Saldivar was found guilty of first-degree murder and given a life sentence. She’s currently serving time at Texas’s Mountain View jail, and she’ll be up for release in 2025.
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What Did the Autopsy on Selena Finally Reveal?
Selena was shot through the back right shoulder with a.38 caliber revolver, according to her detailed autopsy report (through autopsy files). Yolanda Saldivar shot her while she turned her back, and the bullet exited her upper chest. Her heart and lungs were hit hard enough by the bullet that she didn’t make it to the hospital before they pronounced her dead.
Her body was described as “slender, well-nourished, and normally developed,” which is perhaps the saddest detail in an otherwise upbeat assessment. Extensive testing of her endocrine, cardiovascular, digestive, and respiratory systems (among others) confirmed that this little lady had perfectly healthy organs and, barring any catastrophic injuries or unanticipated illnesses will live a long, happy life. The Tejano singer was only 23 when she passed away.
The tragic loss of Selena Quintanilla shocked and saddened music fans everywhere. A public funeral was held on April 3 at the Bayfront Auditorium, and an estimated 60,000 of her admirers showed up to pay their respects. According to Music Minnesota, the concert was also covered by local radio and TV stations.
“I want to be remembered not only as an entertainer but as a person who cared a lot, and I gave the best that I could,” Selena once said. “I tried to be the best role model that I possibly could” (via Good House Keeping).
Why Did Selena Get Killed by Yolanda Saldivar?
Yolanda Saldivar was in charge of many aspects of Selena’s career at the time of her death. Esquire reported that Saldivar, who had been a devoted fan of the artist, was hired to run the fan club and was responsible for thousands of dollars worth of clothing sales and other operations.
When Selena and her family discovered that the leader of her fan club had been stealing from her, they had no choice but to cut off contact with the person they had once considered a friend. Selena had multiple shops in southern Texas, and Saldivar oversaw all of them.
According to All That’s Fascinating, Yolanda Saldivar’s embezzlement and fraud were exposed after a flurry of complaints from the singer’s fan club led to concerns about her activities within the company structure.
After being declared unfit for work, Selena made arrangements with an old friend and business partner to meet at a Days Hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas. The two planned to get any outstanding business paperwork and finish up any other loose ends.
The Tejano singer would not survive the business conference. Yolanda Saldivar killed Selena in a fit of rage and then held police at bay for nine hours when they were called to the scene. At last, she was overcome, caught, and incarcerated (per Esquire).
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