25 Latinx Artists Remember Selena

25 Latinx Artists Remember Selena

It’s a pretty tough task to encapsulate all that Selena meant to the Latinx community. She was everything and anything to us — an American-born Latina who was raised on Donna Summer and rancheras and came of age during new jack swing and the moment hip-hop became a profitable genre. Who better to honor her legacy than the artists she influenced and continues to inspire?

To commemorate her life and impact, present-day superstars (J Balvin), promising up-and-comers (Paloma Mami) and even legends (Ednita Nazario) share their thoughts on Selena’s wide-reaching influence and impact on a community that could finally claim a superstar as their own. — Jesús Triviño Alarcón, TIDAL’s Senior Director of Global Latin, Culture & Content

“Her most beautiful legacy she left behind is the example she left for future generations. She left fashion, music and a great example. My dearest Selena, we will always remember you.” — Cheli Madrid

“The first Selena song I remember hearing was ‘Amor Prohibido.’ Actually, when I was younger, I had a cumbia band and we always sang ‘Amor Prohibido.’ I loved it. It’s one of my favorite songs.” — Emilia

“Selena is a big inspiration to a lot of women and for us as Latinas to do something with our culture on a global stage. For me she was also synonymous with discipline and perfection — from her clothes to her stage presence. Selena is an icon to many women in the world, and for Latinas she’s our pride.” — ChocQuibTown’s Goyo

“I think Selena’s music has transcended time, and it has influenced a lot of the Latina artists we see today.” — Ivy Queen

“Selena is a legend. Her music will forever be cherished and played throughout the world.” — Mariah

“Apart from Selena’s music inspiring me, her personality inspired me a lot too. When I was little, I would always watch interviews and she was so funny and likable. And she was super, super humble all the time, and that inspired me to be true to myself.” — Paloma Mami

“She inspired me to sing at a young age. I used to sit in my room with my CD player and try to sing along to all her songs. She is also a fashion icon — her style inspired my style as well. She was a pioneer in making Latin [bicultural] culture mainstream. From her music, the Selena Mac Collection, merchandise, Fiesta de la Flor — people still can’t get enough of her!” — Victoria La Mala

“Selena was always one of my role models. I grew up listening to her, but her story is what resonates with me personally. Her music influenced me in many ways, from her sound to her impact on style and culture. Selena has fans from different backgrounds and her music joins people together, which is something I also wish to do. Selena is still so popular because she was one of one. Her style, her poise and her talent can’t be duplicated, so generations to come forever appreciate what she brought to the world and what she did for Latinas.” — BIA

“Selena is and will always be a worldwide legacy for Latin music culture. Her music and career are a huge inspiration and example for me and many others.” — Sofia Reyes

“Man, Selena means … everything! Selena forever! She’s the first artist that I really identified with; I remember watching her on Siempre en Domingo, and watching her play with her band and how she had this very R&B kind of voice but she was singing cumbias and Tejano music. And then when I heard her accent and realized that she was from Texas, that she was Mexican American, it made me connect with her even more. Because here was this Mexican American girl singing in Spanish even though she spoke very broken Spanish. I felt very proud of that. I discovered her when I was living in Mexico, and she made it. She made it out there in Mexico [and] she made it in the States, and that made me feel like maybe I could have the possibility of one day [making it too], with my sueños of being a singer. I remember playing her tapes and singing at home con la escoba trapiando and pretending that I was Selena. She is a big influence.” — La Santa Cecilia’s La Marisoul

“She is one of our biggest icons and represents the word ‘Latino.’” — J Balvin

“Selena means hope. [I come] from the same city [Corpus Christi] as her, [and] she showed that someone like myself can make it in this industry no matter where you are from. Her being a Hispanic woman, facing many obstacles and still winning is inspiring! Her music has always inspired me to use my cultural roots, as well as what I am into now, and mix the styles together to make my own sound! Kumbia!” — El Dusty

“For me, Selena is everything that as a woman I want to achieve in my career. I identify closely with her story: a girl who started small, a family of musicians, with the support of her father and entering a genre led by men; it’s my same journey. Beyond good music, good image, Selena created a brand. [She’s] a true artist, an idol, and has managed to be a legend that lives on even though she is no longer with us.” — Karol G

“When I think of Selena I can’t help but to smile. She really made my childhood so much better. Her swag, her story, her personality, all of it just captivated me until this very day. She gives me hope in so many ways and for so many reasons. Selena’s music has influenced me in my own career, because just like her I’m also a Mexican American trying to make it in the Spanish world of music. She made it big in Mexico, and that’s not easy to do when you’re not born in Mexico, but she accomplished that and so much more.” — Chiquis

“Being an artist that feels 100-percent American and 100-percent Hispanic can be tricky at times, especially in the era we are living in today. Selena gave me a sense of belonging and created an opening in this industry and a market in the U.S. and the rest of the world for bicultural artists like myself. I will forever thank my immortal goddess Selena for not being afraid to be herself, and in doing so inspiring others to do the same. It’s one thing to be a powerful, brave and outspoken Latin American woman in today’s world, but to do it when she did it took a special type of person and we are all indebted to her for it.” — Jencarlos Canela

“I met Selena when she was starting out, at an EMI showcase when she was just signed. She was full of life and dreams. Her music was fresh and her voice was very distinctive. We talked about music and what she wanted to accomplish in the industry. At that point, her dream was to be recognized in Mexico. I saw the beginning of that dream come true, and then some! I loved her energy and that amazing smile that won so many hearts, including mine. Her music will always be a reference for a time when Latinos were beginning to break barriers in the U.S. and the Hispanic American market. Too young to leave us, too soon! But what an amazing legacy in such a short span of life. She will never be forgotten. And I’m lucky to have met her. Selena Vive!” — Ednita Nazario

“Selena was an artist full of talent, dreams and passion. Her music has definitely influenced many female vocalists and still remains very relevant in the industry. We need more powerful female vocalists in our market like her.” — Natalia Jiménez

“Selena was pure passion, pure character. Her rhythm and musical feeling is present in Mexico, Colombia and many other Latin countries. She is undoubtedly one of the real Latin divas.” — Cabas  

“I would listen to her music in my abuela’s house and I watched her last concert with my abuela. It really changed my life. She gave me the courage to want to sing and act. I was blessed with the opportunity to get up on stage and jam out with Los Dinos this month and perform my favorite song, ‘Como La Flor’ — it all came full circle. My dream did come true! She’d been through heartbreak when she recorded that track and I went through a break-up, when my boyfriend at the time fell in love with someone else. I felt like she went through this heartbreak with me. She has influenced me as a Latina, as a singer and as a human being.” — Jackie Cruz

“Selena means the world to me, as she was one of my biggest influences in music growing up. I started singing when I was 8, and her music was a big part of my upbringing and was the main source of my daily vocal rehearsals. Her voice was a powerhouse with such a unique sound, and I was absolutely obsessed with it. I can’t wait to have a daughter and one day play Selena’s music for her. It’s timeless.” — Helen Ochoa

“I used to sing and dance her songs in every talent show that I can remember. I fell in love with performing through her music because it was fun, and she told stories and she made us feel. Those three elements are the ones I seek the most when writing songs. I aspire to transmit these things to other people the same way she did to me. This is how her music continues to influence me.” — Sharlene

“Selena means Queen of Queens, world icon, magic, talent, feeling, beauty and inspiration. Her lyrics have influenced my lyrics in an unimaginable way. Songs like ‘Techno Cumbia’ allowed me to fall in love with the urban genre. ‘Como La Flor’ and ‘Si Una Vez’ allowed me to fall in love with love and falling out of love. Her voice and interpretation taught me to live what I am singing and not to be afraid to push forward.” — Farina

“She was an incredibly strong woman who was in an industry that doesn’t always have room for women with different body shapes or skin color, and she was always proud of who she was, of her heritage and her body. She was a border artist, a feminist and an inspiration to many children of color, especially girls. She helped them believe they could do anything if they set their minds to it.” — Ceci Bastida

“She influenced me through my sister. My sister used to listen to her and I got to listen to her too. I remember when she died it was a sad day in Puerto Rico. Her voice was very important for immigrants as well. She is important because she proved that when you have a goal and you are determined you can make it. She started from nothing to have everything.” — Residente

“People [have] embraced her music [so much that we have] movies, books and so many things about Selena. She has influenced so many artists like J. Lo, the late Jenni Rivera. She is a huge icon even though she’s not with us. May she rest in peace. Her music still lives on and [makes] you realize how music is endless.” — Messiah

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