Here’s what Selena’s family and friends are doing now
Try this: Selena Quintanilla inspired margarita for a hot summer day
Vianney Rodriguez from SweetLifeBake.com joined us in the Caller-Times newsroom and shared her Selena-inspired cantaloupe margarita recipe.
Meagan Falcon and Courtney Sacco, Wochit
Netflix released the second part of “Selena: The Series” on Tuesday with nine episodes featuring the life of the late singer.
While many have seen the 1997 film, the series gives a more detailed look at the family and friends of the Queen of Tejano.
We’ve compiled a list of characters from the show who were from the show and real-life Selena to provide an update on what they are so far. From Selena y Los Dinos’ band members to family and fans, Selena has left a lasting impact that has inspired many.
Abraham Quintanilla Jr. and Marcella Quintanilla are the parents of AB Quintanilla III, Suzette Quintanilla and Selena Quintanilla-Pérez. When they were children, Abraham heard Selena’s voice and was inspired to form a group with his children. AB learned to play bass and Suzette played on drums. Growing up, they traveled by performing at shows and recording albums as a family.
Abraham announced in February 2020 he had finished writing a book about his late daughter. He said it would be released that year, but no update was provided. Marcella still keeps Selena’s legacy alive and helped set up the Selena Foundation that helps children in crisis. Suzette is CEO and President of Q Productions, the family’s record label, manages the Selena Museum and coordinates her sister’s products. Selena’s brother and producer, AB, still makes music and will be performing at the Fiesta de Mayo Fest at the Humble Civic Arena in Humble on Sunday, May 30.
Pérez met Selena in 1989 when he became guitarist for Selena y Los Dinos. As the two performed together, their relationship began to blossom. His father disapproved of the relationship, ultimately firing Pérez from the group. He and Selena kept in touch secretly and eventually ran away in 1992 in their early 20s. Two days before their third wedding anniversary, Selena was shot dead by her fan club president Yolanda Saldivar for alleged embezzlement.
Pérez remarried in 2001, but divorced seven years later. He is still a musician and has been part of four different groups, including his own Chris Pérez Band. Pérez even won a Grammy in 1999 for best Latin / alternative rock performance for the song “Resurrection”. In 2012, Pérez published his book “To Selena, With Love” chronicling their struggles and relationships. He also released his own hot sauce, Pérez Pepper Sauce, in 2020 exclusively at HEB.
Vela was songwriter and keyboardist for Selena y Los Dinos, creating hits such as “El Chico del Apartamento 512” and “No Me Queda Más”. The latter became one of Selena’s most iconic ballads and topped the US Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart for seven non-consecutive weeks. Due to Selena’s sudden death, the group disbanded.
Since then, Vela has not joined any band but collaborated with AB Quintanilla III in 2015 by co-writing “Esperandote” sung by Quintanilla and Tejano singer Ricky Valenz. That same year, Vela was at the Billboard Latin Music Awards in Miami where singer Jennifer Lopez paid a tribute to Selena.
Pete Astudillo and Joe Ojeda
The two were originally in their group called The Bad Boyz, but joined Selena y Los Dinos as the group’s opening act. They eventually became full members, with Astudillo providing supporting vocals and Ojeda on keyboard. Astudillo has co-written several hits for the band such as “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” and “Amor Prohibido”. Singing with Selena on stage, Astudillo became a solo artist releasing several albums.
Ojeda remains close to Astudillo and Chris Pérez. Astudillo and Ojeda are still in the music business with Ojeda releasing a new single on Saturday. The two are also part of a group called Tekno-Mex. Astudillo recently co-wrote a song with AB Quintanilla III called “Pelon” which peaked at number 38 on Billboard’s Réginonal Mexican Airplay charts in April.
Behar was the head of EMI Latin, a brand of Universal Music Latin Entertainment, established in 1989. That same year, the Cuban-American music manager watched Selena perform at the Tejano Music Awards and made her the first artist to sign the label. Months after his death, his posthumous album “Dreaming of You” became the first album by a Hispanic artist to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
Behar was eventually named president and CEO of Univision Music Group, but due to a breakup he left the company. He started his own business, 641 Meridian Entertainment Management Group. According to his social media, he resides in Los Angeles and strives to continue bringing Latin artists into the limelight of the music scene.
Thomas is a songwriter with six Grammy nominations and two wins. Before meeting Selena in Franklin, Tennessee in 1995 to discuss a song, he had written songs for Vanessa Williams and Whitney Houston. Thomas performed a first cut of “I Could Fall in Love” to Selena, neither of them knowing how successful the song would be. The hit remained as the highest song for two years until the release of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” in 1998.
Thomas went on to write and produce music such as Disney’s Oscar winning song “Colors of the Wind” “Pocahontas”. It has since had over 40 No.1 singles across multiple genres and has generated over 30 million album sales. Thomas has since written and produced for Heather Headley, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, 98 ° and Chris Mann.
Gomez met Selena while working at Dillard in Corpus Christi. The two talked about fashion and a connection clicked instantly. He went on to design many of Selena’s dresses, working together on designs for her red carpet and concert outfits. When Selena’s boutique opened in 1994, Gomez led the manufacturing process for the products, but quit the following year, due to head shots with Yolanda Saldivar.
Gomez currently lives in Duluth, Minnesota with his wife and two children. He has since worked with global companies in product development, merchandising and more. Gomez announced in March 2020 that he had write a book about his friendship with Selena, but it has yet to be released.
After: #TBT: Journalist reflects on 1995 death of Selena Quintanilla and crushing grief from fans
After: ‘Anything for Selena’ podcast examines the late singer’s legacy and its impact on culture
John Oliva covers education and community information in South Texas. Consider supporting local journalism with a Caller-Times subscription.