Anniversary of Selena's murder marked

Updated: 2015-04-01 07:49

By Associated Press in San Antonio, Texas(China Daily)

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Family views events with ambivalence

Twenty years after Selena's murder, the Latin world still remembers "The Queen of Tejano" with concerts, look-alike contests, dances and a massive festival. But her father has mixed feelings about the celebrations.

"Of course I'm happy that, today, people remember Selena more than ever," Abraham Quintanilla Jr said by phone from his office in Corpus Christi, Texas. "But, as Jehovah's Witnesses, we don't celebrate deaths or birthdays, and we don't want people to think we're behind all the festivities.

"It's crazy. It grows every day with events everywhere, but we're not organizing them. Our family never got together every year on the day of her murder because there's nothing to celebrate, and this year won't be the exception," he added. "We remember our daughter every single day. We don't need a special day to remember her."

Selena began performing as a child, singing in Los Dinos, a band formed by her father that featured her brother A.B. on bass and sister Suzette on drums. She won a Best Mexican-American Album Grammy for Live, had several hits in the US and was about to cross over to the English-language pop market.

But on March 31, 1995, she was murdered by Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her fan club.

Her posthumous album, Dreaming of You, which was mostly recorded in English, topped the Billboard 200 chart and stayed atop the Latin charts for nine months.

Saldivar, the killer, is serving a life sentence.

Despite his reservations, Quintanilla has given his blessing to one event - Festival de la Flor, featuring A.B. Quintanilla and the Kumbia King All Starz; Selena's widower and former Los Dinos guitarist Chris Pez; Little Joe & La Familia; Los Lobos; and others. Corpus Christi's Convention and Visitors Bureau will host the festival April 17-18.

Selena was born on April 16, 1971.

Tickets will cost no more than $5, and the city expects attendance to hit 50,000.

"It will be the first edition of an annual festival that will grow every year," Quintanilla said. In addition, Corpus Christi hosted a Selena Tribute at Molina Veterans Park on Tuesday.

But Selena's celebrations don't stop there. The Historical Museum of Lake Jackson - the city where Selena lived until age 9 - is showing an exhibition of Frank Herring photographs of the star, through April 18.

California, Arizona, New York, Illinois, Colorado, Nevada and other states will play host to a variety of Selena commemorations, including concerts, look-alike contests, an exhibition, karaoke nights and a drag tribute show. The two main Spanish-language TV networks in the US will air special Selena programming this weekend.

(China Daily 04/01/2015 page10)