October 17, 2017
Celebrating Selena Quintanilla
Born in Lake Jackson, Texas on April 16, 1971, Selena's talent shone from an early age. Strumming Nat King Cole's "I'm in the Mood for Love" on guitar, Selena's Father listened to his daughter sing along, and immediately knew the bright future before her.
With encouragement from their father, nine year old Selena and her older siblings A.B. (guitar) and Suzette (drums) formed the beginnings of the Tejano sensation Selena y Los Dinos. Born in Texas, Tejano music (or "Tex-Mex") blends Mexican and American sub-genres like pop, polka, ranchera, and cumbia. Widely popular across the TX/Mexico border since the 1800s, Selena y Los Dinos’ infectious brand of Tejano music popularized the genre to audiences globally.
First playing at the family restaurant, quiceaneras, and fairs, the band's humble beginnings - including sitting on equipment due to the lack of formal seating in their inaugural tour bus “Big Bertha - eventually led to high profile touring. But they also fought through hard times and adversity. In fact, Selena was frequently discriminated against in the male-dominated music genre, and some venues even refused to book the band for shows.
Despite all this, Selena's talent, energy, and perseverance easily won the hearts of a rapidly growing fan base. In 1986 she was awarded the Tejano Music award for "Female Vocalist of the Year," catapulting Selena y los Dinos to Tejano stardom. Other milestones followed, solidifying Selena’s legacy as "The Queen of Tejano." She released her first studio album with Capitol EMI (self-titled "Selena") on this day in 1989, consistently straddled the top of the billboard charts, and won a Grammy for best Mexican/American album of 1993 -- the first female and youngest Tejano artist to win the award.
Selena was also much more than a talented musician. A fashionista and trendsetter, she often designed and created entire outfits for her performance wardrobe. In her free time, she was also active in community service, including being a strong advocate for education.
Most importantly, Selena became a beacon of inspiration and hope for the Latinx, immigrant, and bicultural communities around the globe. Her story of embracing and celebrating all parts of her cultural heritage and persevering in the face of adversity forged an emotional connection with millions.
As the daughter of a Mexican immigrant single mom living in a small (primarily white) town in rural Texas, I was one of the people Selena and her legacy profoundly influenced. My love of music started with her. One of my dearest childhood memories is of my mom and I belting Bidi Bidi Bom Bom and Techno Cumbia in the family van during our annual road trips to Mexico. I even sang Selena classics in talent shows across northeast Texas.
Aside from incredible dance moves and how to belt some serious notes, watching Selena taught me that being Latina was a powerful thing, and that with hard work and focus I could do whatever I set my mind to. Watching her showed me that this hybrid cultural identity of mine was a valuable gift I should embrace. Watching her made me proud of being Mexicana.
It's incredible that Selena's legacy grows even larger with time. She continues to show Latinx, immigrants, and bicultural communities around the world to be proud of who they are and to embrace their differences. Also, to work hard for your dreams because doing so makes your achievements that much more meaningful.
So the best thing I can say is thank you, Selena. Thank you for being a role model and a hero to a little Latina girl in Granbury, Texas. Thank you for teaching her that she could dream big and make it. And thank you for all the inspiration and joy your music and legacy continues to bring to the world.
-Perla Campos, Google Doodles Global Marketing Lead
Published on Oct 16, 2017
on Google Arts & Culture, curated by The Selena Museum.
Special thanks to the Quintanilla family who played an integral role in making every part of this project possible. Below, Suzette shares some thoughts about Selena and the Doodle:
To hear even more about Selena's life, legacy, and the process of today’s Doodle, check out this Talk at Google with Suzette, hosted at the offices of Google San Francisco.
For two years, The Google team worked tirelessly with their designers, animators, and most importantly, Quintanilla's family, to ensure the Doodle told the iconic singer's story in a way that reflected the spirit of being a cross-over star.
The Selena doodle will be on the Google homepage in the United States as well as Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba, Paraguay, Uruguay and India.
All the work put into Selen's Google doodle won't entirely disappear after October 17.
Google Doodles debuted in 1998 as "spontaneous changes" to the Google logo used to to celebrate holidays, anniversaries and the lives of famous artists, pioneers and scientists.
Selena Doodle Team
Art Lead - Kevin Laughlin
Art Support - Alyssa Winans, Olivia Huynh, Juliana Chen
Marketing, Partnerships, & Licensing Lead - Perla Campos
Engineering support - Jacob Howcroft
Music licensing support - Jennifer Rosen, Jay Komas, Joy Edgar
PR - Susan Cadrecha, Jesus Garcia-Valadez
Selena exhibit support - The Selena Museum
Translation support - Patricia Romero, Birgitte Rasine, Carina Jimenez, Mariella Sanchez-Vargas
Content licensing & Legal support - Madeline Belliveau, Ethan Bodenstein
Music support - Kevin Burke
Amor Prohibido album photo - courtesy of Maurice Rinaldi
Posts and Mentions
Source: Google, Google Doodles, YouTube