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20 Years Later – Why the Memory of Selena Lives On

April 17, 2015

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The memory of Selena continues to live on in the hearts of her fans – even 20 years after her tragic death.

This weekend’s “Fiesta de la Flor (Festival of the Flower)” on April 17-18 will be held to honor slain Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Perez. Thousands of fans are expected to descend on Corpus Christi’s Bayfront Park for the event that is named for Selena’s 1992 hit single “Como la Flor.” Tickets for Saturday’s event have already sold out, and area hotels are booked.

Dr. Bilaye Benibo, Dr. Javier Villarreal, and Dr. Pamela Meyer, three Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Professors co-authored the article, “Anglo-and Mexican American Attitudes toward Selena’s Memorialization.” The article was published in the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences.

The study helps explain how the sudden and violent death of Selena was a major factor in memorializing her and expanding the event from a family to a community tragedy. A bronze statue designed in her likeness on Shoreline Boulevard, the re-naming of the Bayfront Auditorium to the Selena Auditorium, and the 1997 biographical musical drama, “Selena,” starring Jennifer Lopez and Edward James Olmos, are just some examples of how fans and the community have paid tribute to the reigning “Queen of Tejano.”

Selena’s music, much of what was sang in Spanish prior to her crossover into English pop music, also continues to connect and inspire fans of all ages beyond the borders of the Coastal Bend and the country, according to Villarreal, Professor of Spanish, who has studied Tejano music and culture.

“Even today, after more than 20 years, her music sounds fresh and vibrant and its impact has led the way for other musicians, particularly in the Tejano-music scene, to emulate,” he said.