It has been 25 years since the queen of Tejano music, Selena Quintanilla, tragically died at the age of only 23. But her legacy lives on not only through her music and her fans, but also through her family. It is thanks to them that a new show that follows the rise of Quintanilla’s career and influence will debut on Netflix.
Compiled by Moisés Zamora, Selena: The series will find its way onto the streaming platform on Friday. Christian Serratos plays the singer in the nine-part series, which offers a glimpse into Quintanilla’s earlier years, from the day she was born to the moments just before she became the pop star we remember today.
Family members – her father and manager Abraham Quintanilla Jr, her brother AB Quintanilla III, her sister Suzette Quintanilla and her mother Marcella Samora – also play a central role in the series. The series traces the influence and impact that each member of Quintanilla’s family had on her musical career, but their involvement did not stop there. They also played a first-hand role in the creation of the series, providing Zamora with diary entries of the late singer and family video footage to help the show’s executive producer and the lead actor of the series capture the essence of Selena Quintanilla.
Suzette Quintanilla, who also directs the Selena Museum in Texas, even acts as executive producer of the series. “It was a very emotional journey because she witnessed it,” Zamora Forbes said in an interview published on Tuesday.
“When we read the script and she cried because it brought her back to those special moments, it was an incredible experience for the writers, for everyone. That’s when we knew that this show was special,” he continued. “This is the story they wanted to tell, and this is the story I wanted to tell. The inspiring Mexican-American dream, which by definition is also an American dream and should be treated as such.
The Netflix series is just the latest tribute to the legacy of the award-winning singer. The story of Selena Quintanilla was of course already brought to the big screen in the 1997 film Selena, in which Jennifer Lopez appeared as a Mexican-American superstar. There have also been countless books written about Quintanilla’s influence on popular culture, and soon her father will publish his own memoirs in which he will tell about the life of his late daughter.
“Today I have finally completed the last chapter of the book I have been writing over the past months. Nancy De Los Santos was the ghostwriter who helped me write the book. Nancy was co-producer of the SELENA film and is from Los Angeles, California. Since my daughter Selena died, I wanted to write a book,” Abraham Quintanilla Jr. wrote in a Facebook post in February.
He added: “The public may not be aware that there are about 21 unauthorized books written about Selena, and none of the writers have ever interviewed Selena….My family and I and Chris Perez know exactly what happened… I will publish the book later this year.”
Today I finally finished the last chapter of the book I’ve been writing over the past few months, Nancy De Los…
Written by Abraham Quintanilla on Thursday, February 27, 2020
Shortly after Quintanilla’s death, her parents also established the Selena Foundation, which provides food and resources to needy people. Already in April, the charity presented the Coastal Bend Food Bank of Corpus Christi with a donation of US$25,000 to help low-income families in southern Texas.
Although the music group Selena y Los Dinos was disbanded after the shooting and murder of Quintanilla in 1995, music still plays an important role in the family’s life. Quintanilla’s older brother, who was largely responsible for the production and songwriting of the group’s greatest songs – such as “Como la Flor”, “Amor Prohibido” and “No Quero Mas” – continues to make music. After the death of his sister, AB Quintanilla III founded the band Kumbia Kings. He left this group in 2006 and founded Elektro Kumbia in 2016.