'Selena: The Real Story' is a tale of Tejano music's greatest superstar and her friend and killer's ultimate revenge

The Queen of Tejano music, Selena was gunned down by Yolanda, the manager of her fanclub in 1995


                            'Selena: The Real Story' is a tale of Tejano music's greatest superstar and her friend and killer's ultimate revenge
(Getty Images)

'Selena Quintanilla-Pérez',  a name that evokes both joy and immense sadness. The ‘Queen of Tejano music’ is one of the top-selling and most influential Hispanic artists of all time and who is credited with making Tejano music popular all over the world.

As the best-selling female artist in Latin music history, her music continues to outsell releases put out by living artists despite her career being cut short when she was murdered at the young age of 23.

So just who is Selena? How did an artist so young rise to the top so quickly, and how has she managed to stay on top for over two decades after her death?

Jennifer Lopez in a still from the movie 'Selena' (Getty Images)

Selena began her music career at eight years old performing at her father’s restaurant before joining ‘Selena y Los Dinos’ (‘Selena and The Guys’), a band formed by her father Abraham Quintanilla that included her brother A.B. and sister Suzette, and eventually her future husband Chris Pérez. Selena initially did not want to pursue music but soon discovered a hidden love for it when she began playing. She would go on to record 7 albums with her band, and 6 more as a solo artist.

From their humble beginnings, that involved performing at smaller gigs to winning various awards at Hispanic and Tejano music award shows, Selena y Los Dinos’ rise to fame was unprecedented. Selena was soon discovered by José Behar during a performance at the Tejano Music Awards, and he signed her on as a solo artist with Latin division of EMI Records.

Houston Mayor Bill White speaks at the "Selena ?Vive!" press conference February 3, 2005 in Houston, Texas (Getty Images)

From here on till the end of her short-lived career, Selena won many more awards including the Grammy for Best Mexican-American Album in 1994 for Selena Live! At the height of her fame, Selena’s music was topping charts and her concerts were selling out. Her success put her on the path to creating a legacy unlike any that had been seen before. Sadly, this legacy would never come to pass.

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, the Tejano superstar whose fame and success was, and still is unmatched, was gunned down by the manager of her fanclub in an act that shocked Hispanic communities - and the world on March 31, 1995.

A view of Madame Tussauds Hollywood's unveiling of GRAMMY award winner and cultural icon Selena Quintanilla immortalized in wax at Madame Tussauds on August 30, 2016 in Hollywood, California (Getty Images)

Watch Selena’s tragic end unfold in the upcoming Reelz special ‘Selena: The Real Story’.

Here’s all you need to know about Selena: The Real Story

When does it air?
The Selena: The Real Story special premieres on Saturday, February 1 at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT.

What is it about?
Selena: The Real Story focuses specifically on the relationship between Selena and her killer, Yolanda, tracing their relationship from its sweeter beginnings all the way to its horrific end.

Who will be in it?
The special features music journalists Ramiro Burr, who knew Selena’s family and watched the star grow from a young singer to an American superstar, and Rene Cabrera, who worked closely with the band and took several behind-the-scenes photographs of them, district attorney Carlos Valdez, who prosecuted Yolanda, and criminal psychologist Louis Schlesinger, who gives us an in-depth look into Yolanda’s psyche.

Fans of Selena and the performers show their support at the "Selena Vive" tribute concert, April 7, 2005, Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas. Many of the stars of Latin music and television came to pay their respects and honor the memory of the pop star (Getty Images)

How is this special different from previous ones?
The story of Selena’s life and death was told in the 1997 movie starring Jennifer Lopez in her breakout role. But like most films that discuss Selena’s life, the depiction of the singer’s death is a brief affair that is obscured by a greater focus on the Tejano superstar’s rise to fame and relationship with her family.

Selena: The Real Story focuses specifically on Yolanda’s deep obsession with Selena and tries to understand just what triggered Yolanda to make the choices she made that eventually led to her murdering the Tejano star.

Where can I watch it?
Selena: The Real Story will air on the Reelz network.

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