Selena Quintanilla: Celebrate the singer’s birthday with her iconic songs
Happy birthday to the Queen of Cumbia, Selena Quintanilla! Today, this Tejano music songstress would have turned the big 5-0! Although her life was tragically cut short when she was murdered by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldívar, her legacy as one of the most influential Latin singers ever lives on today.
Selena’s career began at a young age when her father, Abraham, heard her sing and was impressed with her musical talent. He assembled a band with the rest of his kids, AB & Suzette, called Selena y Los Dinos. In 1989, Selena began recording solo, releasing her self-titled album to critical acclaim. This was a massive achievement at the time since Tejano was a male-dominated genre that Selena initially had a hard time breaking into.
In Selena Quintanilla’s career, she won several awards for her songs, starting with Female Vocalist of the Year at the Tejano Music Awards. She frequently won Female Vocalist and Female Entertainer of the Year at the TMAs. She also won two Grammys: Best Mexican-American Album in 1994 for Selena Live and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021.
Called “Queen of Cumbia”, “Queen of Tejano music”, “Tejano Madonna”, and many other accolades, let’s celebrate Selena Quintanilla’s legacy by looking back at some of her best songs.
“Como la Flor”
This is one of Selena Quintanilla’s most well-known songs. It was so well-known, it was the headlining song at Selena’s widely acclaimed performance at the Houston Astrodome, her final live concert before her tragic death.
From the wonderful instrumentation to the heartbreaking lyrics about moving on after the love of your life has found someone else, “Como La Flor” is a smooth listen that still holds up to this day. It was one of Selena Quintanilla’s first singles in the U.S., hitting number 6 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs in 1992, then shooting up to number 1 in 2013.
This Selena song also won big, earning Quintanilla Song of the Year at the ACE Awards in 1993.
“El Chico Del Apartamiento 512”
Ever had a crush on your hot neighbor but didn’t have the guts to go and borrow a cup of sugar? This Selena Quintanilla song feels your pain, as Selena serenades listeners with the tale of the young man in apartment 512.
The narrative in the middle of the song gives us a funny, relatable misunderstanding. Selena goes over to his apartment and finds another woman there, thinking her dreams of being with Mr. 512 are dashed, she’s soon relieved to discover the woman in the apartment is actually his sister.
“Bidi Bidi Bom Bom”
This is one of Selena Quintanilla’s livelier songs. For years though, fans were confused by the title. However, Hello Giggles reported on an unearthed interview where Selena Quintanilla cleared the air.
She revealed she was the one who wrote the song. Plus, the title was “the sound the heart makes when you see a man pass by. It sounds like, ‘Bidi bidi bom bom’.” We’ll remember that the next time our crus walks by!
“Si Una Vez”
With a strong beat, this is one of Selena’s songs that just makes you get up and dance (though we’d argue nearly every Selena Quintanilla song makes you dance)! It’s so beloved, it even got a reggaeton makeover from Play-N-Skillz, featuring Frankie J, Wisin, and Leslie Grace.
“Baila Esta Cumbia”
One of Selena Quintanilla’s first songs, “Baila Esta Cumbia” was a radio hit for Selena, peaking at number 10 on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Digital Songs chart. To this day, it’s considered a Selena staple and is often the first song that comes to mind when Selena Quintanilla is mentioned.
“Dreaming Of You”
One of Selena Quintanilla’s English crossover songs, this soft melody makes us miss Selena. One of the final singles Selena released – it was released posthumously – the music video for this song is a touching tribute to the singer. The album, Dreaming of You, debuted at the top of Billboard 200 in 1995 upon its release, over three months after Selena’s passing.
Fans all over the world still love Selena Quintanilla and her songs. Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!