Selena Day: Why George W Bush declared April 16 as a holiday after the murder of the Queen of Tejano music
Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was shot dead in 1995 by her fan and manager
As we draw near Selena Day (April 16), 25 years after the death of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, let's take a look at the life and death of the beloved Queen of Tejano music and the origin of the holiday.
In 1995, Selena was brutally shot dead by Yolanda Saldívar, her fan and later-turned fan club president, boutique manager, and agent. Saldivar's adoration for the 23-year-old 'I Could Fall in Love' singer had turned into an obsession. According to Selena's father Abraham Quintanilla Jr, who hired Saldívar as a manager for Selena's boutiques, Saldívar's obsession grew quickly and she had attempted to murder the singer four times.
Saldívar was sentenced to a maximum of life imprisonment with no eligibility for parole until March 2025, but Selena fans have neither forgotten or forgiven her. They still harbor much hatred for Selena's killer. Selena, apart from being a beloved singer, was a spokesperson, actress and fashion designer, and is said to have influenced highly renowned Latin artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Selena Gomez and Marc Anthony. Her legion of devoted fans has made it a mission to keep her name and legacy alive.
With Selena Day around the corner on April 16, it is a near-mandate to recognize the holiday's purpose and see why the day should not just be held highly exclusively by fans. Two weeks after Selena's death, in 1995, future US President George W Bush (who was governor of Texas at the time) declared Selena's birthday Selena Day in Texas in her honor as a way to celebrate her role in Texas culture.
Many Selena tribute concerts, documentaries, stage musicals, books, museum exhibitions, and even a scholarship have celebrated the legacy of the Tejano singer. With an unknown exact release date, a Netflix American biographical drama series based on the life of the Tejano superstar, titled 'Selena: The Series', is scheduled for release in 2020. The show will have one part, consisting of ten episodes.
For Selena's fans, honoring the influential singer with an official day would be to remember how she inspired a mix of cultures that uniquely shaped Texas. A fan recently posted a meaningful post on Twitter saying, "25 years ago today, Selena passed away. The queen of Cumbia made a huge impact in music & till this day is as loved & as relevant as she was in 1995. RIP to a legend".
Selena's culture, talents, and fashion sense have been an undeniable influential force on not only Texan culture but for the world and Selena Day will be celebrated for years to come with the enormous legacy she left behind.