From Selena to millenials, Latinos continue to shape the American marketing landscape|
As the Smithsonian enshrines the singer's artifacts, a look at how the industry has changed.
Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez is an icon of the highest order, still beloved by millions of fans across the world more than 20 years after an estranged friend murdered her in 1995. She is less remembered for having forever changed the Latino advertising market. But like her lasting influence on music and Latino culture, her status as one of the first Latino spokespeople for a major American brand—Coca-Cola—and her impact on how advertisers treated Latinos remain strong parts of her legacy.
"Selena was a unique, massive talent who wanted to help people, and was very proud to be Mexican-American, and having a spokesperson like that was a big deal for a brand," said Jeff Beck, senior director of culture and strategy at cross-cultural agency the community. "At that time, brands wanted to identify specific groups and plant a flag to say, 'We back these people, we know these people are incredibly important.'"
So, Coca-Cola hired a beloved star whose prominent Latino identity was instantly recognizable and relatable. Selena represented the brand from 1989 until her death, solidifying Latinos as major players in the U.S. consumer market. But, said Beck, things have changed a lot since then. If Selena ushered in the second wave of Latino marketing—the one where Latinos started to really run things—we're now in a third wave, and it's a lot more complex.
There will likely never be another Selena, both because she was a unique talent, but also because Latino influence on American culture is so deep and diffuse that a single person can no longer represent all of it in a marketing campaign.
Show your Love for Selena with our new Facebook Frames!
3 to choose from: 'Anything For Selenas', 'I'm A Selena Fan' and our Classic 'Love Selena'.
Vote for Selena! MTV Music Charts Award: Legendary Artists Of Music
Yo Te Sigo Queriendo (I Still Love You): Memories of Selena
From the 1950s to 1970s, U.S. advertising started to shift from mass marketing to recognizing and defining distinct target markets. A unique example of this includes the rise of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez (1971–1995), whose hard-won fame spoke to a large cross-section of fans in the United States, in Latin American markets, and across the world. A new display opening September 12, 2017, in our American Enterprise exhibition explores marketing history and this pop icon.
Selena's family donated one of her performance costumes to the museum in 1999, shortly after I arrived as the director of public affairs. This outfit, with its leather boots, spandex pants, satin bustier, and motorcycle jacket, was iconic of what our then curator of Latino history and culture Marvette Perez described as Selena's idiosyncratic style, "wavering between sexy rebel and Mexican American good girl." We placed the costume on view in 2001 as part of Moda y Musica: Stage, Fashion, and Style, a display of four showcases featuring Hispanic performers and designers. Raised speaking English, Selena had to learn to sing Spanish phonetically. Ironically, her "cross-over" material for English-language radio was not released until the end of her career.
In life, and in death, Selena meant many things to many people. Her significance to Tejano music and the efforts for her to "cross-over" to English music are not lost on anyone, but it is her impact as a businessperson that we are now able to get a sense of as we look back. If her life had not been cut tragically short, there is no telling what she could have accomplished, but her ongoing popularity is a testament to her significance in American culture.
Despite the passage of time, Selena still has a huge impact on her original fans and on new generations of fans.
In the American Enterprise exhibition, the objects that will highlight Selena's contributions to Hispanic advertising history include her leather motorcycle jacket and beaded bra, photographs from the Coca-Cola advertising campaign, and Selena memorabilia that help to illustrate her personality, style, impact, and powerful fandom. The exhibit will give the public a chance to see pieces of who she was and the gorgeous music that she created.
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Also Read: Still dreaming of you: Selena's outfit at the Smithsonian from September 18, 2014
Rare Selena Interview Surfaces from 'Tejano USA'
RARE Selena video, not seen in more than 20 years was found and digitized by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. This footage of Selena on the program "Tejano USA" was found in a TV camera donated to the museum's Spanish-language television project by Univision, the parent company of San Antonio's KWEX-TV, Channel 41. The station's production manager put an unlabeled ¾ inch tape in the camera to show what format that camera used.
When the museum digitized the video this summer, the Selena footage was discovered. The production manager, who actually directed the segment with Selena, tells the museum that after Selena passed away in 1995, he had looked everywhere for the video with no luck. The video resurfaced just as the museum planned to open a display on Hispanic Advertising that includes the Tejana artists' work as a spokesperson for Coca-Cola.
Suzette Reunites With Jennifer Lopez at Vegas Show
Jennifer and Suzette posed together with their men at the pop star's Las Vegas residency show at Planet Hollywood.
"Its always feels good to see Jennifer and seems like old times when we hung out during the making of the Selena movie. I don't get to see her much. It always makes me feel good inside when I hear her speak of what my sister means to her. How Jennifer looks up to her not only as an artist but as a person. Jennifer has accomplished so much in her life, and to know that Selena and our family’s story is a part of her road to success is humbling."
Selena Wax Figure 1 Year Anniverary
Today marks the one year anniversary since #MadameTussauds unveiled the first #SelenaWaxFigure in Hollywood!
*Celebrate by renewing your #SelenaPass/Annual Pass for only $10!
*Buy a commemorative #Selena Shirt and keychain at the @TussaudsLA gift shop while supplies last.
*And today only, a special photo opportunity with the #SelenaQuintanilla #WaxFigure!
Visit Selena at Madame Tussauds
6933 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028
New Selena Mural In Los Angeles
A mural created by a 15-year-old girl depicting 16 inspirational women throughout history was unveiled Saturday in Boyle Heights.
Isabel Peinado spent about 600 hours preparing and painting "Empowerment." Her work earned her a Girl Scouts Gold Award, the organization's highest honor, according to the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, which praised Isabel for demonstrating exemplary vision and leadership.
"I hope this mural inspires little girls to choose any profession or calling they decide," the artist said.
No damages were reported to the Selena Statue or The Selena Museum during or after Hurricane Harvey.
Celebrating 20 years of 'Selena' The Movie
Photos from this past weekend with Chris Perez at the screening of the Selena Movie in Los...Posted by LoveSelena.com on Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Fans showed up for an outdoor screening of "Selena" the movie at the Los Angeles State Historic Park with special Guest; Chris Perez and music by Karol Posadas and the Dreaming Of You Band.
Chris Peres Shares Memory
Just heard this song again tonight from one of my favorite bands #Extreme...and I had a memory...late night in our Los...Posted by Chris Perez on Tuesday, July 25, 2017
'Dreaming Of You' Released 22 Years Ago
Selena's 'Dreaming Of You' was released posthumously on July 18, 1995; 22 years ago today.
Recorded between December 1994 - March 1995.
It was an immediate success, debuting atop the United States Billboard 200—the first predominately Spanish-language album to do so.
It sold 175,000 copies on its first day of release in the U.S.—a then-record for a female vocalist. With first week sales of 331,000 units, it became the second-highest first-week sales for a female musician since Nielsen Soundscan began monitoring album sales in 1991.
Billboard magazine declared it a "historic" event, while Time said the recording elevated Selena's music to a wider audience.
It won Album of the Year at the 1996 Tejano Music Awards and Female Pop Album of the Year at the 2nd annual Billboard Latin Music Awards.
New Selena Mural
Artist Mauricio Ramirez and the Walker's Point neighborhood honored the life and career of Quintanilla-Pérez with the installation of a new conceptual mural, "Anything for Selena."
Located at 625 S. 5th St. in Milwaukee, the 20-by-50-foot conceptual piece was completed on Sunday evening. Ramirez spent more than 25 hours working on the mural using spray paint and tape, creating a tribute to Walker's Point history and culture as well as Selena's musical themes, which include acceptance and love.
22 Years Later, Selena's Last Performance Is Still Considered One of Her Best
Selena's last concert will always be remembered as one of her very best. Her last performance, just a little less than a month before her untimely death, took place on February 26, 1995 at the Houston Astrodome in Texas in front of thousands of people.
During the concert, televised live, the Tejano singer performed some of her biggest hits from her "Amor Prohíbido" album and even had a medley mashup of covers, like Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive," Lipps Inc.'s "Funkytown," Donna Summer's "Last Dance," and more. The now-iconic concert also marks the first (and last) time, Selena wore the purple jumpsuit that still serves as one of her most identifying looks.
After her death, fans were able to relive Selena's last concert through Live! The Last Concert, a recording of her vocals from that night, released as an album by her family in 2001. The performance was also famously brought to life by Jennifer Lopez in the 1997 movie Selena.
Watch official videos on Selena Vevo
Austin Tejano music scene strives to create speace for female artists
Widely referred to as the queen of Tejano music, Selena Quintanilla broke into the Tejano music industry with her lively music and vibrant image, proving that females too could achieve success in this genre.
Today, women are using idols such as the late Selena as a role model in the Tejano industry. In the Austin area — capital of the state that gave birth to the Tejano genre — female lead singers, composers and independent artists are following in her footsteps as they strive for a more gender-mixed industry.
"We do have one woman who paved the way for us and that was Selena," local Tejano singer Nikki Lopez said. "Before her I don't think women were truly respected in the Tejano industry. Ever since Selena, women have been trying to come out with their own style."
The Meaning Behind Selena's Name Could Not Be More Fitting
The name Selena is one that needs no last name — Selena Gomez might be famous now, but if you say Selena to any Latinx, they'll know you're referring to the original: Selena Quintanilla.
While Selena G. was named after Selena Q., the meaning of the Tejano singer's moniker is one that might surprise you. The name derives from the Greek word Selene, which means "moon goddess" — yes, Selena's name literally means goddess. Tell us that's not incredibly fitting considering the Mexican-American singer was basically born to be a star.
While Selena's parents haven't revealed the inspiration for naming their youngest daughter, the name has only grown in popularity in the past few years. The year Selena passed away, her name was number 91 on the list of most popular baby names. It's now in the 285th spot.
Visit our new page dedicated to those named after Selena: The Selenas