Today is not only a day of exams and homework assignments, but it is a day of remembering a beloved music artist that the world lost 20 years ago. I wrote this article for the Battalion (the school newspaper if you don’t know), but apparently they hate me (or at least the website does) and the article didn’t get published when it was supposed to. Therefor, I’m posting it here so it doesn’t end up just sitting around in a file on my already cluttered computer. It’s not properly edited but I think that’s okay, since it’s just staying on here. Turn on some Selena music (Como la flor is my personal favorite) and enjoy! As always bisoux.
“Anything for Selenas” -MSC CAMAC hosts 20th year tribute of Selena Quintanilla
“Ay, cómo me duele.” Texas A&M students and fans continue to remember late Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla Perez, after her sudden death 20 years ago. The event, hosted by MSC Committee for the Awareness of Mexican American Culture, occurred last Wednsday evening and paid tribute to her life, music, and the legacy she left behind.
Hosted in MSC 2400 6 days before the anniversary of her death, the event began with a dinner catered by Fuego and an educational portion given by Stephanie Bergara, lead singer of a 10-member tribute band based out of Austin, Texas called “Bidi Bidi Banda.”
Born and raised in Texas, Selena’s career began early as the lead singer of family band “Selena y Los Dinos” created by her father Abraham Quintanilla. Later in her life she would become considered la Reina de Tejano, the Queen of Tejano music. Not only did she shine on stage with her quick dance moves, rhythmic music, and distinctive bustiers, but she also became known as a successful businesswoman, a designer, a Grammy winner, and a wife.
“I think she showed that there is no glass ceiling- that there is no limit to where you want to go,” said Bergara.
The 20th Year Tribute continued with a Selena sing-a-long while music videos and live performance videos played on a big screen. Marissa Salazar, director of education within MSC CAMAC, wanted the experience to be as if guests were attending a Selena concert themselves. With lights dimmed, “Como la Flor” began and guests hit the dance floor “con tanto amor.”
Other songs on the playlist for the sing-a-long included “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom”, “Amor Prohibido”, “I Could Fall in Love”, and “No Me Queda Mas” amongst others.
The evening was meant to remember Selena and to commemorate the legacy she left behind and the barriers that she broke throughout her career. Not only was Selena a female in a male dominated music genre, but she was also a minority that gained stardom for Tejano music in Texas.
“Dreaming of you”, Selena’s first English album pushed her career even further. “She served as the perfect transition from the Spanish world to the English world,” said Salazar. The movie version of the song ended the sing-a-long, causing heartbreak amongst the crowd.
On March 31st, 1995, Fan club president Yolanda Salazar shot 23 year old Selena. “I always will say that I felt like the day Selena died, Tejano music kind of started to die with her,” said Stephanie Bergara.
The event continued past the sing-a-long with a video explaining how Selena influenced celebrities, such as Beyoncé and Daddy Yankee. The evening finished as students and Selena fans danced together to Tejano and Cumbia music, continuing to remember the impact Selena still has on life today.
José Ramirez, senior Sociology major said although only two years old when Selena passed away, he became a fan because of his parents who introduced him to her music. “I can like feel her in spirit here at the event,” said Ramirez. “It’s been a great performance overall. The sing-a-long and the dance made it a perfect performance.”
Selena Quintanilla’s life will continue to be remembered and the legacy she left behind felt in music, fashion, and Hispanic culture. As the two guys in the movie said, “Anything for Selenas!”
Future events for MSC CAMAC include their SCOLA conference and Fiesta 505. The conference will focus on the issue of identity politics. “It’s going to be about being able to identify yourself when all of these labels exist,” said Salazar. For more information, visit camac.tamu.edu