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Selena Quintanilla April 16, 1971 ‚Äď March 31, 1995 was an American singer, songwriter, spokesperson, actress, and fashion designer. Called theQueen of Tejano music, her contributions to music and fashion made her one of the most celebrated¬†Mexican-American¬†entertainers of the late 20th century.¬†Billboard¬†magazinenamed her the "top Latin artist of the '90s", the "best selling Latin artist of the decade". She was called the "Tejano¬†Madonna" for her clothing choices, by media outlets.[a]¬†She also ranks among the most influential Latin artists of all-time and is credited for catapulting a music genre into¬†mainstream. The youngest child of the Quintanilla family, she debuted on the music scene in 1980 as a member of the band¬†Selena y Los Dinos, which also included her elder siblings¬†A.B. Quintanilla¬†and¬†Suzette Quintanilla. Selena began recording professionally in 1982. In the 1980s, she was often criticized and was refused bookings at venues across Texas for performing¬†Tejano music‚ÄĒa male-dominated music genre. However, her popularity grew after she won the¬†Tejano Music Award¬†for Female Vocalist of the Year¬†in 1986, which she won nine consecutive times. Selena signed with¬†EMI Latin¬†in 1989 and released her¬†self-titled debut album¬†the same year, while her brother became her principal music producer and songwriter. Selena released¬†Entre a Mi Mundo¬†(1992), which peaked at number one on the U.S.Billboard¬†Regional Mexican Albums¬†chart for 19 nonconsecutive weeks. The album's commercial success led music critics to call the album the "breakthrough" recording of her musical career. One of its singles, "Como La Flor", became one of her most popularsignature songs.¬†Live!¬†(1993) won¬†Best Mexican/American Album¬†at the¬†1994 Grammy Awards, becoming the first recording by a Tejano artist to do so. In 1994, Selena released¬†Amor Prohibido, which became one of the¬†best-selling Latin albums in the United States. It was critically acclaimed as being responsible for Tejano music's first marketable era as it became one of the most popular¬†Latin music¬†subgenres at the time. Selena began recording English-language songs for her¬†crossover¬†album. Aside from music, Selena was active in her community and donated her time to civic causes. Coca-Cola appointed her its spokesperson in Texas. Selena became a sex icon; she was often criticized for wearing suggestive outfits in light of her comments about being a role model for young women. Selena and her guitarist,¬†Chris P√©rez, eloped in April 1992 after her father raised concerns over their relationship. On March 31, 1995, Selena was¬†shot dead¬†by¬†Yolanda Sald√≠var, her friend and former employee of her¬†Selena Etc. boutiques. Two weeks after her death,George W. Bush‚ÄĒgovernor of Texas at the time‚ÄĒdeclared her birthday Selena Day in Texas. Her posthumous crossover album,Dreaming of You¬†(1995), debuted atop theBillboard¬†200, making Selena the first Latin artist to accomplish this feat. In 1997,¬†Warner Bros.¬†released¬†Selena, a film about her life and career, which starred¬†Jennifer Lopez¬†as Selena. As of 2012, Selena has sold over 60 million albums worldwide.
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