A legend, even in death, and a legacy that has grown immensely since her tragic passing, Selena Quintanilla Perez is considered a household name in most Latino homes. A rising star in the exploding genre of Tejano music, Selena captivated and stole the hearts of all who heard her music and witnessed her performances.
There was a special vibe that she put off and entertaining was her talent. Genuine, humble, beautiful and talented; those four characteristics came together and complemented the artist she would grow into and the superstar she would become.
One tragic March 31, 1995 in Corpus Christi, TX and on the brink of a successful crossover into mainstream pop music, her life was selfishly and abruptly cut short by one Yolanda Saldivar, her manager and longtime friend. This tragic and untimely passing cemented the legend that was Selena. The country grieved, her fans wept, and those who had just started falling in love with her talent and potential were left to wonder what would have been of her if she had lived.
Selena became a legend, her songs became a staple in the Latino community and her voice, her music became iconic. Her legacy has been immortalized and her impact on not only Latinos but American pop culture in general is pronounced.
Omega Delta Phi’s history became intertwined with the Queen of Tejano in 1993, two years prior to her tragic murder. The Theta Chapter at West Texas A&M University was invited by Los Barrios de Amarillo, a civic organization which promotes higher education and awards scholarship money to local students, to assist as security detail for a concert being hosted as a fundraiser by the non-profit.
The Theta Chapter brothers were assigned to security detail and were tasked with escorting Mrs. Quintanilla Perez from her tour bus to her dressing room, to and from the stage, and also served as crowd control for the young superstar at the Amarillo Civic Center.
“After the show, she taped an interview for a TV station out of Lubbock, TX and took time to sign autographs as well as take a photo with us” said Brother Joe Sotelo, a Theta Chapter founder.
A big part of Selena’s success with her fans and the growing multitude of people who followed her music was attributed to her genuine interest in being an artist of the people. Her humble demeanor and kind hearted and dynamic spirit allowed her to captivate a market where she only sang Spanish but did not fluently speak it. Mexico had a history of turning their backs on artists who did not speak their language but for Selena, that was a non-factor. Selena won them over and became a record bre