Netflix will present its highly anticipated new show Selena: The Series on Friday, which will give viewers an intimate look at the rise of the late tejano singer Selena Quintanilla. Among the many details uncovered in the series about the Mexican-American singer’s life is her romance with her bandmate Chris Perez, who eventually became her husband.
Played by Jesse Posey, Perez will appear later in the series, after Quintanilla is already a somewhat established artist. Granted, Quintanilla’s father and band manager Abraham Quintanilla wasn’t a fan of the Texas-born rocker at first, but Perez’s skills as a guitarist and songwriter proved to be key to the band’s development as he worked with Quintanilla’s brother AB Quintanilla to write songs for the group. Perez even received a loan from AB Quintanilla for the jingle that Selena Quintanilla sang in her 1989 Coca-Cola commercial.
The first season of the series only covers Selena Quintanilla’s early days in the music industry; much of what happens on the show happened before AB Quintanilla wrote the band hit “Como la Flor” in 1992. In real life, Perez and Quintanilla were married in 1992, and Perez remained with the singer until her tragic death in 1995.
Perez is not closely involved in the Netflix series, but he recently spoke in an interview with Good Morning America about his late wife’s legacy, focusing on the 25th anniversary of Quintanilla’s death.
“What she became, especially for… Latin culture and women, and especially the positivity she spoke about and showed not only on stage but also backstage… I think it’s her fans that put her in the position she is in today,” Perez said during the October interview. “Of everyone I’ve known in my life, I don’t know anyone who deserves it more than she does.
Quintanilla was shot dead by her former fan club and boutique manager Yolanda Saldívar, who is currently serving a life sentence for first-degree murder.
Commenting on the day of Quintanilla’s death, Perez told the GMA, “I wish I had amnesia for that day.
“I wish that I could go back from the night before, which was amazing. I don’t even know,” he said.
Despite his grief, Perez and the rest of the Quintanilla family managed to complete the singer’s long-awaited English album Dreaming of You, which Selena Quintanilla had been working on before her death. It was released posthumously in July 1995 and climbed to #1 on the Billboard pop charts.
“One of the hardest things for me was to show up and continue working on it after her death,” Perez told the GMA. “But when I saw how it somehow got going, the work was worth it.”
He added, “I feel like the way the fans treated all things Selena, including the album, it was for me, it helped me a lot. She’s still out there inspiring people.”
In the years since Quintanilla’s death, Perez has achieved his own success with the Chris Perez Band, a rock group he formed with his friend John Garza, Rudy Martinez, Jesse Esquivel and former Selena y Los Dinos keyboardist Joe Ojeda. The band’s debut album, Resurrection, was released in May 1999 and won a Grammy for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album in 2000. He also released his memoirs “To Selena, With Love” in 2012, in which he documented his relationship with Quintanilla.
Perez remarried in 2001. He and Venessa Villanueva also welcomed two children, Noah and Cassie Perez, before they divorced in 2008.
The 51-year-old musician has also maintained contact with Quintanilla’s family over the years, although his relationship with the family of the late singer has not been entirely smooth lately.
In early 2020, Perez accused the Quintanilla family of trying to erase his contributions and his relationship with Selena Quintanilla by claiming that photos of him had been removed from the Selena Museum in Corpus Christi. Quintanilla’s sister, Suzette Quintanilla, who runs the museum, refuted the allegations, whereupon Perez published a public apology in the social media.
Good morning everyone. A few things to get off my chest… and these words come straight from my…
Posted by Chris Perez on Friday, September 4, 2020