On March 31st, 1995, Selena Quintanilla — the Queen of TexMex, a singer-songwriter and a cultural icon — died. Selena, then 23 years old, left us very early on in her career. Still, beyond her music, Selena had become a reflection of cultural identity in the United States, mirroring the journey of Latinas in mainstream channels. Her death brought upon waves of grief — but the pain bloomed into celebrations of Selena’s life.
Selena died, but her legacy continues on. Since her death 22 years ago, fans around the world pay tribute by organizing festivals, throwing Selena-themed dance nights, petitioning for a wax figure at the iconic Madame Tussauds in Hollywood, and effectively mobilizing to conceive the MAC Selena makeup collection — and those are just a few examples.
Thanks to fans who have been meticulously searching for any and all moments from Selena’s too short career (also thanks to available social media platforms), we now can discover – or relive — rare moments from her career.
Because when it comes to Selena, we are never tired of seeing her smile.
1 David Byrne and Selena’s duet
Not necessarily rare, however it’s inadvertently an underrated moment in music history. Talking Heads’ leader David Byrne joined Selena for “God’s Child,” a duet featured on Selena’s fifth album, Dreaming of You. The album was released the same year that Selena was killed, and the promotion of the album derailed from the original plans.
In this rare interview, we see Selena speaking about her collaboration with David Byrne.
2Selena singing Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”
This Instagram account has archived many precious and rare moments from Selena’s career. Amongst the archives, we can see footage from late-’80s shows, rare interviews, and fan pictures. Here, we see her singing and dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” in an all denim look, with volumized big hair and mesmerizing dance moves.
3Selena teaching us about Mexican-American music
Yes, this is too much realness in one PSA. In this video, Selena teaches us about Mexican-American music. Beyond her music’s distinctive genre, Selena invites the audience to understand the socio-anthropological evolution of music, paralleled to the hybrid identity of the Mexican-American community. This video serves as an important document for understanding Selena and her cultural impact; moreover, it shows the bridge that Selena created between Anglo-centric media channels and communities of color.
Throughout the 15 minute video, Selena touches on the multi-layered identities in Mexican-American music, its roots, and the transcultural exchange of culture and sound.
4Selena doing a shampoo commercial
From her talent, unique style, and personality, Selena was a trendsetter – which, of course, includes beauty trends. It makes senses that she would sign with Agree to do a shampoo campaign.