Selena Quintanilla was always meant to be a star.
She was born in Jackson, Texas, on April 16, 1971. Her mother, Marcella Ofelia Quintanilla (née Samora), had Cherokee ancestry, and her father was a Mexican-American former singer named Abraham Quintanilla Jr.
Quintanilla Jr said he first noticed her musical abilities when she was just six years old.
“Her timing, her pitch were perfect, I could see it from day one,” he once told People magazine.
As the youngest member of the Quintanilla family, Selena began performing alongside her older siblings, A.B. Quintanilla and Suzette Quintanilla, in a band called Selena y Los Dinos.
They quickly rose to fame but it wasn’t long until Selena stole the show.
Selena began recording solo music in 1982 when she was just 11 years old. In 1987, she won the Tejano Music Award for Female Vocalist of the Year for the first time. She went on to win the award nine consecutive times.
She also became a fashion icon around the world.
In 1991, Selena’s father appointed a woman named Yolanda Saldívar as the president of Selena’s fan club, after she had repeatedly asked for permission to start one herself.
As Selena’s star rose, her fan base exploded and the demand for her merchandise and clothing line became too much for her family to handle. So, in 1994, Saldívar was promoted to manage the singer’s boutiques.
It wasn’t long until Selena’s staff and family members began complaining about Saldívar’s management style. Then, in January 1995, Selena’s dad started receiving calls and letters from fans who had paid for memberships for the fan club but had never received anything in return.
He soon discovered Saldívar had embezzled $60,000 from the fan club and the boutiques. When Quintanilla Jr, Selena, and Suzette confronted Saldívar she walked out of the meeting abruptly.
Quintanilla Jr then banned Saldívar from having any contact with Selena.
Selena, however, did not want to lose their friendship and thought Saldívar was essential for the success of her clothing line in Mexico. She kept Saldívar on the books and told her family she would fire her “soon”.