Chris Pérez: Selena's husband never got over her, but why did the Quintanillas hate him?
Chris Pérez and Selena Quintanilla were married in 1992 and had a blissful marriage until her death in 1995
The life-story and tragic death of legendary Tejana singer Selena Quintanilla is being adapted into a series on Netflix, titled 'Selena: The Series'. The cast is set, filming is well underway and the late Spanish singer's family is very involved in the development of the project, with her sister Suzette Quintanilla serving as executive producer. Christian Serratos of 'The Walking Dead' fame, portrays Selena in the series.
One person we were yet to hear from was Selena's widower, Chris Pérez, who has now come through and cleared the air, saying that he has no involvement in the new Netflix series based on his late wife. He took to Instagram to upload a picture of Jesse Posey, the actor cast to play him and captioned it: "Here is a pic I just saw of the actor playing me in the Netflix series. For the record, never met him, haven't seen the script, and I have NO idea what is going on... But, I'd love to find out."
Posey, who happens to be 'Teen Wolf' alum Tyler Posey's brother, is seen dressed in an ensemble similar to the younger Pérez with a guitar in hand.
The picture of Posey surfaced after the upcoming Netflix show's Instagram handle posted a series of shots last week, commemorating Selena's 25th death anniversary. "Selena's personal life has made an impact on how I perceive mine. Her love for her family, husband, fans, and her other passions, was one of a kind," Posey's words accompanied the post.
"She knew how to connect with her audience. She made her fans feel special and people knew her interactions with them were genuine. She was born an icon but always remained humble," he said.
Pérez was the guitarist for the Tejano queen's band Selena y Los Dinos and subsequently became her husband. Pérez and Selena dated for several months before eloping in 1992. The Quintanilla family, especially Selena's father, was against their relationship.
Their infamous love story has often been cited in popular culture as especially heartwarming and passionate and is always an honorable mention around Valentine's day. Several fans take to social media every year to talk about the endearing couple — how they make you believe in love and how they deserved the world.
25 years later, Pérez still fondly remembers his late wife and talks about her often. And although the details of their short and abruptly-ending love story are out in the open, not much is known about Selena's widower besides the fact that he was her guitarist.
So, here's everything you need to know about Chris Pérez.
Christopher Gilbert Pérez, as he was baptized, hails from San Antonio, Texas and is of Mexican-American ancestry. His parents divorced when he was four, and his mother later remarried. Growing up, he learned to play the French horn with his mother's support and also played in his school band. His heart, however, was set on the electric guitar. But because of the common misconception in those days about rock and roll being a bad influence on young kids, his mother did not encourage his wishes.
Pérez's passion to play the instrument refused to die, however, and so he learned to play the electric guitar. He indulged widely in rock music and cited Motley Crue, Van Halen, Def Leppard, Scorpion and Kiss as his influences. He also idolized Ozzy Osbourne, Ricky Martin, and his guitar solos are inspired by American-Mexican guitar sensation, Carlos Santana.
Pérez was hell-bent on making a career out of his love for music and so he moved out of home when he was 17. He shared an apartment with his father and worked at a library to make money on the side.
He kickstarted his career by joining Shelly Lares' band in 1986 after he was approached by her cousin Tony Lares. Pérez wasn't exactly big about the Tejano music Lares' band produced, but stayed on as it was a better source of income. When Tony left, Pérez took over the reins of the band as its musical director. Later, he also went on to write three songs for Shelly's debut album in 1998.
By then, Pérez had already managed to establish himself as a skilled guitarist and was admired by fans and his band members alike.
He was next approached by AB Quintanilla III, the bassist of Selena y Los Dinos. He joined them in 1989 because he thought that their music was more 'sophisticated and hip' and was part of the discography of many of their popular albums including ‘Entre a Mi Mundo’ (1992), ‘Amor Prohibido’ (1994), and ‘Dreaming of You’ (1995).
He has also performed as a lead guitarist for Kumbia Kings (2003- 2006) and AB Quintanilla (2001-2008).
Selena y Los Dinos and relationship with Selena
Pérez and Selena met when he joined the band and sparks flew. The two fell madly in love, much to the chagrin of the Quintanilla family and hence began a clandestine relationship. Soon after, they eloped and got married in April 1992. The Quintanillas, particularly Selena's father, had inexplicable resentment towards Pérez and were heavily against his relationship with the singer. Her father once told him that he "was like a cancer to his family".
Pérez began to harbor feelings for the 'Bidi Bidi Bom Bom' singer months after he joined the band, but thought he would be better off distancing himself from her. That proved wrong when he realized it was impossible to subdue his feelings for Selena and chose to pursue her. They confessed to each other at a local Pizza Hut and became exclusive shortly after, but kept it secret from her father.
Selena's father was against their courtship although her mother approved. Later, her father fired Pérez from the band, which prompted the two to elope and get married. Despite the disapproval, the two lovers made their marriage work and Selena's father came around sometime later and approved of their relationship. There was a time when thoughts of divorce caused a rift among the two but they worked through it when they realized they wouldn't want to be with anyone besides each other.
The two had a blissful marriage that was cut short by Selena's unfortunate and untimely death, three years later. The Tejana singer was fatally shot by her own boutique employee and fan club president Yolanda Saldivar who was later tried and sentenced to life in prison.
Life after Selena
Pérez mourned Selena's death for a long time and still does, often taking to his social media to post about his first love.
For years after the tragic passing of the 'My Love' singer, Pérez remained a widower. It was only in 1998 that he met Vanessa Villanueva and fell in love again. They got married in 2001 and had two children. Their marriage, however, didn't last long and they separated in 2008 citing Pérez's drinking problem and drug problem as the reason for divorce. He had to give up all his assets to Villanueva after the separation, as alimony.
It was rumored that the reason for the failure of their marriage was because Pérez never got over Selena and her death.
In 2008, Pérez formed his own band with Garza, Rudy Martinez, Joe Odeja and Jesse Esquivel called 'Chris Pérez Band', which is a recipient of Grammy. The band, however, disbanded after releasing their second album.
In 2010, Pérez formed another band called 'Chris Pérez Project', in collaboration with Puerto Rican singer 'Angel Ferrer', and released the album 'Todo es Diferente.'
In 2012, Pérez wrote the book 'To Selena, With Love', detailing their beautiful love story after he reached out to fans on social media who supported his endeavor. The book was in talks of being adapted into a series but the late singer's father sued Pérez in 2016 for the use of Selena's name and likeness as violating the agreement he signed after her death, promising not to use any of her entertainment properties.
Pérez still tirelessly works to keep his first and only greatest love's legacy alive.