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"Selena's life was cut short, but her fans have carried her throughout the years and her legacy is being passed on from generation to generation," her father tells PEOPLE

By Darlene Aderoju
March 08, 2021 08:20 PM
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selena quintanilla
Credit: Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images

Selena Quintanilla-Perez's legacy will live on forever.

During this Sunday's 63rd Annual Grammy Awards the late Tejano icon will be honored posthumously with the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award. Selena was killed on March 31, 1995. She was 23.

Selena's father Abraham Quintanilla tells PEOPLE his daughter would have been honored to receive the achievement award.

"I was very happy to open the box up and see this important award honoring my daughter's work," Abraham, 82, says of the moment he received the Lifetime Achievement Award statuette ahead of Sunday's show. "Truly honored by this."

"Selena would have been very excited for this honor, just like she was when she won her Grammy back in 1994," he tells PEOPLE. At the time, the "Enamorada de Ti" star won the Grammy Award for best Mexican-American album for her work Live, wearing her now-iconic white gown.

selena quintanilla
Selena Quintanilla-Perez
| Credit: Arlene Richie/getty images

For the Quintanilla family, the honor goes beyond just recognizing the music of the late singer and her band Selena y Los Diños.

"This award represents all the hard work and more importantly, represents our Latin culture," says Abraham.

When asked whether Selena is more famous now than ever before, Abraham says proudly, "Yes. Over the years, the new generations have discovered her and have fallen in love with her."

"Selena's life was cut short, but her fans have carried her throughout the years and her legacy is being passed on from generation to generation," he tells PEOPLE. "That in itself is incredible."

selena quintanilla
Selena Quintanilla-Perez
| Credit: Barbara Laing/Getty Images

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Quintanilla-Perez has left her mark in music history. Last year, she ranked No. 3 on Billboard's Greatest of All Time Latin Artists chart. After her death in 1995, Selena's hit song "Dreaming of You" charted on the Billboard Hot 100 for 20 weeks. The Dreaming of You album peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and charted for 49 weeks.

"Her legacy is growing and crossing cultural boundaries," Abraham says. "That is not something that normally happens when an artist is no longer here."

"As a father I have always been proud of everything Selena and my kids have done in the music world," he tells PEOPLE of his children Suzette and Abraham, also known as A.B.