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Who was selena’s favorite artist?

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, known mononymously as Selena, was an American singer, songwriter, spokesperson, model, actress, and fashion designer. Called the Queen of Tejano music, her contributions to music and fashion made her one of the most celebrated Mexican-American entertainers of the late 20th century. Billboard magazine named her the top-selling Latin artist of the 1990s decade, while her posthumous collaboration with MAC cosmetics became the best-selling celebrity collection in cosmetics history.

Selena’s Musical Journey

Selena was born on April 16, 1971 in Lake Jackson, Texas. She began singing at a young age and made her musical debut at age 10 singing “Qué Creias” at a family restaurant. In the 1980s, Selena y Los Dinos was formed, comprised of Selena, her brother A.B. Quintanilla, and sister Suzette Quintanilla. The band recorded their first album, Selena y Los Dinos, in 1984 when Selena was just 13 years old. They went on to release several more albums like Alpha (1986), Muñequito de Trapo (1987), and Preciosa (1988) which blended Mexican cumbia with American pop music. Selena y Los Dinos gained popularity around the Texas music scene and performed at various venues and events.

In 1989, the band signed with EMI Latin and released their first commercial album Selena which contained their hit single “Sukiyaki”. This began Selena’s rise to fame as the album sold over 175,000 copies. Over the next several years, Selena released successful Spanish language albums Ven Conmigo (1990), Entre a Mi Mundo (1992), and Amor Prohibido (1994). She also began recording English songs like “Missing My Baby” and “God’s Child” as she set her sights on crossover pop music success. Selena won the Grammy Award for Best Mexican/American Album in 1994 for her album Live and became one of the most popular Latin musical acts of the 1990s.

Selena’s Fashion Brand

In addition to her music, Selena was known for her bold and trendsetting fashion choices. She opened two boutiques called Selena Etc in Texas which carried her own brand of clothing and accessories. Her stores sold a variety of apparel, fragrances, and beauty products designed by Selena herself. She brought Mexican fashion into the mainstream pop culture of America by pioneering crop tops, jogger pants, and bold colors and prints. Selena’s custom designer bustiers and bralette tops became one of her signature looks. Her stylistic influence can still be seen today in Latina fashion trends and cultural style.

Selena’s Favorite Music Artists

Although predominantly a Tejano music star, Selena herself listened to and was inspired by various pop artists. Some of her favorite musicians included Madonna, Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Michael Jackson. Selena admired Madonna’s constant reinvention and cutting-edge style which often pushed boundaries. Janet Jackson served as an African American pop star role model for Selena as she aimed at crossover success. Paula Abdul’s energetic choreography and dance-pop music also influenced Selena’s stage performances. And Michael Jackson’s Thriller was the first album Selena purchased growing up, helping shape her musical tastes.

Here is a summary of some of Selena’s favorite pop music artists:

Artist Selena’s Thoughts
Madonna Selena admired her bold style and chameleon-like reinventions
Janet Jackson Selena saw her as an African American pop star role model
Paula Abdul Selena loved her energetic dance-pop music and choreography
Michael Jackson His Thriller album heavily influenced Selena’s early musical tastes

Selena’s Crossover Attempts

By the mid 1990s, Selena had dominated the Latin music charts and was ready to cross over into mainstream American pop. Her goal was to be the first Tejano superstar to achieve massive commercial success in English. She began recording English language albums and songs with producers like Keith Thomas who had worked with legendary pop acts like The Supremes. Tragically, just as Selena was poised for her much anticipated mainstream breakthrough, she was shot and killed by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldívar, on March 31, 1995 in Texas.

Selena’s English crossover album Dreaming of You was released posthumously in July 1995. It contained a mixture of new English songs Selena had been working on along with some Spanish material. Popular singles included “I Could Fall in Love” and “Dreaming of You” which Selena did not live to see become hits. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 charts, a first for a Hispanic singer. Selena’s tragic death at the peak of her fame cut short her crossover dreams, but the popularity of her posthumous album gave a glimpse into the pop success she could have achieved.

Legacy and Influence

Although her life was tragically cut short at 23 years old, Selena left behind an impressive musical legacy and influence. She broke barriers for female Tejano singers in a male-dominated genre and brought a fresh sound fusing Mexican and American pop music. Selena paved the way for other Latin crossover artists like Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, and Becky G. She showed that artists of Latino heritage could achieve massive commercial success in America singing in both Spanish and English. Selena became a Latina icon and role model whose fashion style and music are still emulated today.

Selena’s legacy continues through various media about her life. Lifetime produced a biopic Selena in 1997 starring Jennifer Lopez which introduced her story to wider audiences. A Broadway-style musical Selena Forever opened in Texas in 2019. Numerous documentaries about Selena have also been created over the years. Mac Cosmetics’ limited edition Selena makeup line in 2016 broke sales records. Clearly Selena’s cultural impact and musical talent resonate strongly even decades after her passing.


Although predominantly known for her Tejano music, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was actually inspired by many American pop artists. Her favorite musicians included Madonna, Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Michael Jackson. Their styles, songs, and barrier-breaking success helped shape Selena as she aimed for her own English crossover pop career. Though tragically cut short, Selena’s immense talent and charisma brought Mexican-American music into the mainstream and paved the way for future Latin pop artists. She remains one of the most influential Latino musicians in American pop culture history.