My Selena

Mar 12, 2018 by Nick Staff on The Nickelodeon Blog

In advance of the Nickelodeon’s Selena screening, staffer Alycia Guevara reflects on her introduction to and undying love of Selena. Join Alycia on March 14 at 8:30pm to do the washing machine, play trivia, listen to Pedro LDV’s live musical tribute, and enjoy a special Bidi Bidi Popcorn combo.

While I was growing up during the 90s, my dad always called me his Selena. He was the first person to introduce me to the magic of Selena, a Mexican-American pop star, and she inspired and hypnotized me all at once.

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, born in Corpus Christi, Texas, was first handed a microphone by her father, Abraham, when he created a family band. For a while, Selena y Los Dinos, as they came to be known, performed only in English. However, after becoming more aware of her heritage, Selena told Abraham that she wanted to start singing in Spanish and was ready for her first crossover album. She was right. Selena soared on the music charts and won multiple Grammys.

My father traveled for work and the days that passed while he was away felt agonizingly long. I would go days, sometimes weeks, without seeing him and it was hard. When he finally came home, we’d sit up on the porch and I’d tell him about my week and he’d tell me about the new city he was working in. Then we’d go inside and I’d dig out my favorite videotape, Selena. As far I was concerned, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was the epitome of class, beauty, talent, and humility. She was who I wanted to grow up to be. She was a ray of light on stage. However, my 5-year-old mind couldn’t fathom the tragic, horrifying end that my idol had come to meet.

Yolanda Saldívar murdered Selena Quintanilla-Pérez on March 31, 1995. My dad can still tell you exactly where he was when Selena was killed. He was driving through downtown Atlanta on 285 to Nashville, TN. The news came screeching across the airwaves and he had to pull over to gather himself. His heart, like the hearts of millions around the world, was shattered by the bullet that killed Selena.

Selena’s beauty and devotion to her fans was unparalleled. Her artistry and everlasting soul will outlive us all and inspire generations to come. I’ll do the “washing machine” until my hips are too fragile to allow it, then I’ll teach my grandchildren how to do it, too. No matter how old I get, I’ll always come back to Selena.