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Selena Quintanilla-Pérez (Latin American Spanish pronunciation: [seˈlena kintaˈniʝa ˈpeɾes]; née Quintanilla; April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995), known mononymously as Selena, was an American singer. Referred to as the "Queen of Tejano Music", her contributions to music and fashion made her one of the most celebrated Mexican-American entertainers of the late 20th century. In 2020, Billboard magazine put her in third place on their list of "Greatest Latino Artists of All Time", based on both Latin albums and Latin songs chart. Media outlets called her the "Tejano Madonna" for her clothing choices. She also ranks among the most influential Latin artists of all time and is credited for catapulting the Tejano genre into the mainstream market.The youngest child of the Quintanilla family, she debuted on the music scene as a member of the band Selena y Los Dinos, which also included her elder siblings A.B. Quintanilla and Suzette Quintanilla. In the 1980s, she was often criticized and was refused bookings at venues across Texas for performing Tejano music—a male-dominated music genre. However, her popularity grew after she won the Tejano Music Award for Female Vocalist of the Year in 1987, which she won nine consecutive times. She signed with EMI Latin in 1989 and released her self-titled debut album the same year, while her brother became her principal music producer and songwriter. Selena released Entre a Mi Mundo (1992), which peaked at number one on the US Billboard Regional Mexican Albums chart for eight consecutive months. The album's commercial success led music critics to call it the "breakthrough" recording of her musical career. One of its singles, "Como la Flor", became one of her most popular signature songs. Live! (1993) won Best Mexican/American Album at the 1994 Grammy Awards, becoming the first recording by a female Tejano artist to do so. In 1994, she released Amor Prohibido, which became one of the best-selling Latin albums in the United States. It was critically acclaimed as being responsible for Tejano music's first marketable era as it became one of the most popular Latin music subgenres at the time. Selena was shot and killed on March 31, 1995, by Yolanda Saldívar, her friend and the former manager of her Selena Etc. boutiques. Saldívar was cornered by police when she attempted to flee and threatened to kill herself but was convinced to give herself up. She was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison with possible parole after 30 years. Two weeks later, George W. Bush, then-governor of Texas, declared April 16 as Selena Day in Texas. Her posthumous crossover album, Dreaming of You (1995), debuted atop the Billboard 200, making Selena the first Latin artist to accomplish this feat. In 1997, Warner Bros. released Selena, a film about her life and career, which starred a then-unknown Jennifer Lopez as Selena, catapulting Lopez into fame. In 2020, Netflix released Selena: The Series starring Christian Serratos. Selena has sold around 18 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling female artists in Latin music.
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