Selena Day honors the late Tejano icon on what would have been her 50th birthday

Selena sings into a microphone
Selena, who died in 1995, would have turned 50 today.
(Rick Corrales )

If Selena Day wasn’t marked on your calendar already, now is the time to do so. The celebration honors the late singer Selena Quintanilla’s birthday; she would have turned 50 today.

Selena, as she was simply known, rose to fame in the early 1990s as a driving force in Tejano music, a male-dominated genre that she helped launch into the mainstream. At age 23, she was murdered March 31, 1995, by Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her fan club.

Twenty-six years after her death, the Tejano icon is still remembered and revered for her legacy, especially for what she meant to the Latino community.

“Happy Birthday to Selena Quintanilla-Perez. The Queen of Tex-Mex music wouldve turned 50 years old today. Her legacy and the doors she opened for latino artists in the music industry will always be remembered!” one Twitter user wrote.


Admirers of the “Como la Flor” singer, who was immortalized in a 1997 film starring Jennifer Lopez and more recently in a new Netflix series, are looking for other ways to cement her legacy.

In Texas, the bipartisan House Bill 1250, which would officially designate April 16 as Selena Quintanilla-Pérez Day, was referred to the House Culture, Recreation and Tourism committee in March.

Tomorrow, Netflix releases the first nine episodes of “Selena: The Series,” chronicling the road to stardom for the Tejano queen and her family band Los Dinos. Retelling her iconic story is no easy task.

Dec. 3, 2020

“April 16 is Selena Quintanilla Perez Day in memory of the contributions to Tejano music of Selena Quintanilla Perez, an award-winning singer and recording artist,” the legislation reads. “Selena Quintanilla Perez Day may be regularly observed by appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

For those in L.A. who want to celebrate the singer’s birthday, there are many Instagram-worthy murals of Selena around the city.

Coinciding with Selena’s birthday, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History recently acquired 18 images of the singer that will be added to a collection of photographs taken by Texas-based photographer Al Rendon.

The museum also plans to release a video showcasing different objects and images from its Selena collection; it already has Selena’s leather outfit gifted by her family in 1998.

Selena was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award last month amid controversy surrounding the brief tribute shown during the telecast. Last year also marked the 25th anniversary of her hit crossover album, “Dreaming of You,” which a Times roundtable discussion recently deemed “an unfinished masterpiece.”


Four L.A. Times staffers discuss Selena’s tragically unfinished crossover album, ‘Dreaming of You,’ her love of American R&B and where all the ‘new Selenas’ are.

Dec. 10, 2020