More than two decades after her passing, Selena remains an icon for Latinas. Young girls throw parties inspired by the Queen of Tejano. She serves as inspiration for beauty and fashion bloggers. Our biggest stars were named after her. And “Si Una Vez” “La Llamada” and “No Debes Jugar” are the karaoke go-to tunes when we’re heartbroken.
While we will all carry our love for Sel till the day our hearts stop going bidi bidi bom bom, some fans have dedicated their lives and careers to maintaining the reina’s legacy. Here, 6 Latinas who are ensuring that every generation and every demographic knows the estrella, Selena Quintanilla.
1. Suzette Quintanilla
As her older sis, Suzette Quintanilla has played a pivotal role in keeping the memory of Selena alive. From helping to organize Fiesta de la Flor, being a part of a new ABC drama inspired by Selena and speaking about her at events across the country, Suzette remains her late hermanita’s biggest fan.
In Los Angeles, Nira is the lead singer of The Como la Flor Band, a tribute group for la reina. Whether dressed as Selena while performing one of her tunes at Latinx events across California or talking about how the Tejana inspired her love for music, she keeps Sel’s legacy alive with every note and cumbia step.
3. Patty Rodriguez
When Patty Rodriguez isn’t making fierce golden necklaces for her jewelry brand MALA by Patty Rodriguez or acting as the senior producer for “On-Air with Ryan Seacrest,” this Mexican-American is pushing for more representation of Selena. Not only did the mujer start the petition that led to MAC creating its Selena Quintanilla makeup line but she is also the co-creator of Lil’ Libros, a line of children’s books, with one dedicated to Selenas herself.
4. Deborah Paredez
Dr. Deborah Paredez is a Selena expert — literally. The San Antonio native is a scholar whose research centers on the megastar. Her book “Selenidad” looks at how Selena has been commemorated by the Latinx community following her death and how acts of remembering her parallel with Latina identity production.
5. Perla Campos
Perla Campos is the product marketing manager at Google Doodles. A long-time admirer of Selena, she’s the woman behind the Tex-Mex star’s doodle honor last year. “Aside from incredible dance moves and how to belt some serious notes, watching Selena taught me that being Latina was a powerful thing, and that with hard work and focus I could do whatever I set my mind to,” the mexicana said in a letter that accompanied the Google Doodle, which launched an online exhibit of Selena and an interview with Suzette Quintanilla.
6. Ana Guajardo
Ana Guajardo is the Latina behind Cha Cha Covers, a shop that sells nail wraps featuring Latina pop culture icons and moments. It’s no surprise then that Sel is a major hit. From Selena portraits to concert performances, the artist allows nails to act as icebreakers for people to talk about the legacy of our Latina estrella.