Selena Quintanilla, the late Tejano singer who hailed from Corpus Christi, Texas, would have celebrated her 48th birthday today. She was murdered by the president of her fan club in 1995 at the age of 24.
But her memory has not been forgotten. Fiesta de la Flor, the two-day festival in her home city, draws tens of thousands of fans to celebrate her legacy each year. There was the 1997 biopic with Jennifer Lopez, the many collaborations with brands like MAC Cosmetics and Forever 21 that feature her visage and style, and essentially a whole city—Corpus Christi—dedicated to her legacy.
Her posthumously released album Dreaming of You is still No. 1 on Billboard’s list of best-selling Latin albums. A 1997 New York Times article once compared her to Marilyn Monroe or Elvis Presley to her audience of Latin Americans and Spanish speakers.
“I think she still represents the possibility of being a complete American, of having success, fame, being in the public realm—all while still being ‘Mexican enough’ and not losing touch with her family or her roots,” José Limón, professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, told NBC News. “This is the sort of contradiction that all Latinos live with, and she embodied it and navigated both worlds successfully.”
Her style was pure infectious pop à la Madonna, infused with Spanish influences. She wore lots of crop tops underneath embellished bolero jackets, ruffled blouses, and matching sets like no other. Then, there was the way she blended glamour—red lips and sparkles—with Texan and Tejano culture, often incorporating Western belt buckles and cowboy boots into her looks. Her, some of our favorite looks that remind us why style and her music still influence so many today.
The White Blouse
The Leather Jacket/Vest
The Purple Jumpsuit
The Western Buckle
The Red Lip
The Sparkly Bustier