All of the Ways Selena Quintanilla Has Inspired Today's Stars
The music of Selena Quintanilla, the Tejano music superstar who was murdered on March 31, 1995, remains more relevant than ever. Check out all the stars — including Christian Serratos, Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez — who list the singer as one of their inspirations
Serratos — who embodies the late singer in the Netflix series, Selena — told PEOPLE that she has loved Quintanilla since she was a young girl.
"I’ve been listening to her since I was way below single digits. 'Baila Esta Kumbia’ (the second single released on Quintanilla’s 1990 'Ven Conmigo' album), that was my song as a baby. Then it became my karaoke song as a teenager. I’ve always looked up to and really admired her, but I never thought I would have the opportunity to play her.”
Serratos said of Quintanilla, “This woman was a pioneer. She was way before her time. Transitioning into mainstream pop music was not easy for a Mexican woman in the ‘80s, but she did it gracefully and with such strength. It’s something that I really look up to.”
Selena Gomez was named after the "Como La Flor" singer because her parents were huge fans. As a fellow Texan, she was marked by Selena in many ways. She once recalled visiting her grave and getting emotional when she met the Quintanilla family and has paid tribute to the singer via her clothing.
Jennifer Lopez played the late Mexican singer in the movie Selena and felt a special connection with the reina of Tex Mex. "I felt she had a sense to live in the moment, that you're not promised tomorrow," Lopez told Billboard. "For me, that was the biggest lesson. That affected me in my life far more profoundly than the movie did in career terms."
The Puerto Rican actress performed Selena's hits for a special tribute to the late singer at the 2015 Latin Billboard Awards. Lopez was accompanied by Selena's band, Los Dinos, and her brother, musician A.B. Quintanilla. "She is one of those very special types of artists that with her music, her spirit, her joy and her heart really touched people," she told the Today show.
Lovato, a longtime admirer of the Texan legend, wore a Selena-inspired purple jumpsuit on tour and dressed as the singer for Halloween. She listened to Selena's music as a girl, telling HuffPost: "I was really young when she passed, so I didn’t know much about her until I got a little older, and when I saw the movie there was just some sort of connection. There is something about the movie that was really inspiring to me.”
Victoria 'La Mala' Ortiz
Mexican singer Victoria 'La Mala' Ortiz has said: "If 2Pac and Selena had a child, it would be me. I have old school influences with a new spirit."
Musgraves made the Houston Rodeo crowd go wild by performing a cover of "Como La Flor" on the same stage where Quintanilla played her last show in 1995. “24 years ago Selena performed her last concert here,” Musgraves wrote in an Instagram Story. “It was a dream of mine to be able to pay my respects to her iconic legacy.”
Edward James Olmos
Olmos played the singer's father, Abraham, in the film Selena. “It was the saddest movie I've ever filmed, to be honest with you. I've never had a more difficult film to film,” Olmos told ET. “It was too close to the time when she was actually killed. It was only 13 months. Nobody wanted to film it. The parents didn't. We didn't. Nobody wanted to. We'd rather she be alive. But we had to."
When Longoria got her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame alongside her idol in 2016, she paid tribute to the singer on social media: "She was the reason I even dared to dream that a better life was possible ... Selena was proud of being from Corpus Christi, Texas. And that made me proud to be from Corpus. She blazed the way for all of us and I will be forever grateful to her for not only that but for the pure joy I felt when I got to see her perform. Her smile, her charisma, her beauty put every single person who watched her under a spell."
Reggaeton star Daddy Yankee was also spellbound by Selena. “Selena’s story is a great and sad story,” Yankee told Latina. “Because when you’re a Latin artist, and really know everything that she achieved in her career — it motivates you. She motivates me.”
In an Instagram post from 2015, Becky G paid homage to the Dreaming of You singer: "Selena is one of my biggest inspirations. Beyond just her music, her way of being with her family and fans was so special and so relatable. Every show, interview, and song had something special. Thankful for the path she had created for young women like myself to be ourselves."
Texas native Beyoncé also felt Selena's magic. “I did actually meet Selena in the Galleria Mall in Houston, but I didn’t say much to her because I wasn’t a celebrity,” she told MTV Tres. “I just saw her and said hello and kept it moving. Definitely growing up in Texas, I heard her on the radio. I think listening to her album — even though I didn’t know exactly what she was saying — it helped me in the studio with my pronunciation. I think she is a legend. I admire her. She was so talented.”
Orange Is the New Black star Cruz gave kudos to Google for its Selena Doodle. "Always believe that the impossible is always possible. Today the #SelenaDoodle honors Selena’s legacy and the music that made her a legend," she wrote on Instagram. The Dominican-American singer also paid homage to Selena with her own rendition of Selena's hit "Como La Flor."
Comedian Alonzo tweeted: "Let's talk the Selena Google Doodle because she represents SO MUCH of what is right in the ongoing #representationmatters convo...I'll speak for myself: Selena is a big icon in the Latino community, especially w/the Mexican-American community because she was one of us."