It’s as hard today as it was yesteryear to fathom that Selena Quintanilla was ripped from us far too soon. Even at the time of her death Selena hadn’t reached the height of her greatest potential, and that’s perhaps the toughest pill to swallow for any fan of the Queen of Tejano. There’s no telling if the Tex-Mex virtuoso would have eclipsed the likes of Gloria Estefan, for instance. There’s also no telling if Selena would have been officially crowned one of the greatest
Latin female artists of all time. But let a fervent disciple of the late singer tell it—legends never die.
While her cumbia-influenced ballads are arguably some of her best work, Selena began to make records in English because she was well aware of a fan base that had long yearned for her music but grappled with a language barrier. From the funky “Captive Heart” to the tender “I Could Fall in Love” to the poppy “Disco Medley,” Selena’s crossover appeal – with a tinge of R&B, à la a young Paula Abdul – was a poignant glimpse of the road her musical career may have taken had she lived.
Today marks 20 years of the biographical music drama, Selena, in which Jennifer Lopez stars in her breakout role as Quintanilla herself. In honor of the anniversary, here are eight songs that prove Selena could record and perform in her first tongue all the same.
Dreaming Of You
I Could Fall In Love
Missing My Baby
Don’t Throw My Love Away
I’m Getting Used To You