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Selena Quintanilla-Pérez Portrait by Al Rendón

Imani Lee-Hector

In this video Assistant Curator of Photographs for Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Leslie Ureña shares some history about Selena Quintanilla-Pérez' background, music and style as well as her work with portrait photographer Al Rendón

Collection Object: 
Selena Quintanilla Perez: Female
Selena Quintanilla Perez: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer
Selena Quintanilla Perez: Performing Arts\Performer
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
©1993 Al Rendon
Al Rendón, born 1957
Selena Quintanilla Perez, 16 Apr 1971 - 31 Mar 1995
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Alfred and Elizabeth Rendon
Gelatin silver print
Image: 33.2 x 25.9 cm (13 1/16 x 10 3/16")
Sheet: 33.9 x 26.6 cm (13 3/8 x 10 1/2")
Mat: 50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 16")
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
United States\Texas\Nueces\Corpus Christi
Exhibition Label
Known as the "queen of Tejano music," Selena Quintanilla-Pérez brought wide recognition to this South Texas blend of Mexican and American musical styles. Her powerful voice made her the idol of fans on both sides of the border. Wearing a bustier, tight pants, and a pouting smile, Selena set a new standard for Latin beauty, and her self-confidence on stage brought comparisons with Madonna. In 1990 she released Ven Conmigo, the first Tejano album by a female artist to go gold, and soon she had her own clothing line and national product endorsements. She won a Grammy Award in 1993, but her life ended tragically two years later, when a former president of her fan club shot and killed her. Selena’s death at age twenty-three caused a huge outpouring of grief, and her legend then converged with the rising stardom of fellow Latina singer Jennifer Lopez, who gave a strong performance in her first leading role in Selena (1997).
Object number
Selena Quintanilla Perez: Native American\American Indian\Southeastern\Cherokee
Selena Quintanilla Perez: American\Hispanic American\Mexican American
Selena Quintanilla Perez: Latina