New Selena Album Set for April 2022

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was the queen of Tejano music. Just as she left her first mark within Latin music and was even about to break into the American market, her life was cut short in 1995. Her final performance on Feb 26. 1995, less than a month before her death, was her biggest with a record-breaking 66,000 people packed inside the Houston Astrodome 

Now, nearly 27 years after her death, Selena’s father Abraham Quintanilla revealed that the family is releasing a new album of her music pulled from her catalog. To honor the singer’s legacy, the family is releasing a compilation album of 13 songs, including one never-before-released ballad Selena recorded when she was 13. Produced by Selena’s brother A.B. Quintanilla, the song was digitally mastered and modified to sound like an older Selena.

Essentially, the music is old but with some new arrangements and it features three new takes on the tracks switching up the musical genres. “If it was a cumbia,” said Abraham Quintanilla, “it could [now] be a ballad.”

He added, “What’s unique about it is not only the music, completely new arrangements, but my son worked on Selena’s voice with the computers. And if you listen to it, she sounds on this record like she did right before she passed away.”

Born Selena Quintanilla on April 16, 1971, in Lake Jackson, Texas, the singer rose to fame in Latin America and in the Southwest and became a more mainstream figure in pop by 1994. Her fourth album, the Grammy-nominated Amor Prohibido, reached No. 29 on the Billboard 200, and featured Hot Latin Songs No. 1 hits “No Me Queda Más,” “Fotos Y Recuerdos,” “Amor Prohibido,” and “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.” Selena won her first Grammy Award for Best Mexican-American Album for Live in 1994, marking the first time a female Tejano artist won the category.

Selena dreamed of entering the American music scene with an English language album and did with her hit and title track “Dreaming of You,” which was released several months after her death. Dreaming of You became the best-selling Latin album of all time. 

On March 31, 1995, Selena was shot and killed by Yolanda Saldívar, the then president of her fan club and a personal assistant; Saldívar is now serving a life sentence for Quintanilla’s murder. In 1997, a biopic of Selena’s life was made, starring Jennifer Lopez.

Marking what would have been Selena’s 50th birthday in 2021, the artist was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys. Continuing the tribute to the singer in 2021, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History added 18 photos of the Tejana singer, photographed by Al Rendon, in addition to an educational video spotlighting the images. Her family also gifted the museum one of her performance costumes in 1998.

“I said that right after she passed away, that I was going to try to keep her memory alive through her music, and I think we have done that,” said Quintanilla. “Almost 26 years later, Selena is very present in today’s music world.”

Photo: Smithsonian National Museum of American History

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