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42 Reasons Selena Was Awesome

In honor of what would’ve been the late singer’s 42nd birthday.

1. Selena was only 9 when she formed “Selena y Los Dinos” with her siblings.

When her father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., heard Selena’s voice, he encouraged the rest of his children to ignite their musical talents and form the band.

2. She never took singing lessons.

That voice is just pure talent.

3. Before being signed by EMI Latin, Selena y Los Dinos sold 80,000 copies of her albums in Texas alone.

hellboy_93 / Via Flickr: 31568848@N05

This was the point at which Selena was forced to drop “Los Dinos” and go solo. The logo title was simply “Selena,” but her siblings still served as her band throughout the years.

4. Selena won Best Female Vocalist at the Tejano Music Awards for nine consecutive years.

hellboy_93 / Via Flickr: 31568848@N05

Ten in total.

5. She was often referred to as the “Mexican Madonna.”

Courtesy Everett Collection

6. Selena designed all her stage outfits.

Arlene Richie/Media Sources/Media Sources/Time Life Pictures / Getty Images

7. She had the best collection of bustiers.

Dave Einsel / AP

8. In 1992, she secretly married her guitarist, Chris Perez.

Her father disapproved of their relationship and went as far as threatening to fire Chris. Luckily, Abraham came to accept their romance.

9. In that same year, her career got a big boost with the song “Como La Flor.”

Courtesy Everett Collection

10. In 1993, Selena opened her own clothing boutique equipped with an in-house beauty salon.

Courtesy of Capitol Latin / Via zimbio.com

Her family used to joke that she only opened a salon to get pampered for free.

11. Her album Selena Live! won Best Mexican-American Album at the 36th Grammy Awards.

Vinnie Zuffante / Getty Images

12. Twelve days after the win, she released Amor Prohibido, which became the best-selling Latin album of all time.

This title has since been surpassed by her posthumous album, Dreaming of You.

13. Her signature song “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” was originally not on the album.

Barbara Laing//Time Life Pictures / Getty Images

But she played it at shows and everyone loved it. Obviously.

14. Amor Prohibido was nominated for Best Mexican-American Album at the 37th Grammy Awards.

George Gongora / AP

15. Even with all her success and stardom, she never forgot her roots.

Her family always came first. She also loved to shop at Wal-Mart and Payless. She was just like us!

16. In addition to her singing chops, she had some pretty great dance moves.

17. She knew how to work those hips.

18. And she twirled like a pro.

19. Selena was a fun and carefree person.

hellboy_93 / Via Flickr: 31568848@N05

She once went bungee jumping on a dare.

20. She ate junk food with no regrets.

Her favorite food was pizza, which apparently had no effect on her bod. Probably because she was perfect.

21. At the peak of her career, she visited schools to talk to students about the importance of education.

Courtesy Everett Collection

22. She was a great role model and encouraged her fans to follow their dreams.

23. She was a genuine performer and loved the audience.

24. She never refused to sign an autograph.

25. She read her fan letters with gratitude.

26. And she even sang for airplane passengers on a flight once.

And passed out food to passengers because she was bored and wanted to help out.

27. Selena also loved to play jokes.

She once filled the middle of Oreo cookies with mint toothpaste to play a joke on a fellow singer, but her father ate it. Oops.

28. And she didn’t mind being goofy.

29. After her unfortunate passing on March 31, 1995, she got her own Texan holiday known as “Selena Day.”

Pam Francis//Time Life Pictures / Getty Images

30. Her Dreaming of You album debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200, making her the first Hispanic singer to accomplish this feat.

Courtesy Everett Collection

31. Overall, she has had 14 top-10 singles on the Top Latin Songs chart.

hellboy_93 / Via Flickr: 31568848@N05

33. She is the only female artist to have five albums in the U.S. Billboard 200 at the same time.

34. Selena has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide.

hellboy_93 / Via Flickr: 31568848@N05

35. Which qualified her as Billboard’s Best-Selling Latin Artist of the Decade (’90s).

hellboy_93 / Via Flickr: 31568848@N05

36. In 1995, she was inducted to the Latin Music Hall of Fame.

hellboy_93 / Via Flickr: 31568848@N05

And rightly so.

37. Two years later, Jennifer Lopez starred in a biopic film about the late singer’s life.

JLo’s best role ever.

38. In 1998, the Quintanilla family opened the Selena Museum in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Broken Piggy Bank / Via Flickr: jremigio

39. She also received a star at the South Texas Music Hall of Fame.

Liza Lagman Sperl / Via Flickr: kodamakitty

40. Selena was a beautiful person, inside and out.

41. And she remains an idol, years after her death.

42. Here’s to a wonderful artist and a beautiful soul.

Feliz cumpleaños, Selena!

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