My love of music started with Selena Quintanilla. One of my dearest childhood memories is of my mom and I belting her classics like “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” and “Techno Cumbia” in the family van during our annual road trips to Mexico. But Selena’s influence in my life goes so much further than that.
I’m the daughter of a Mexican immigrant single mother and grew up in a small, primarily white town in rural Texas. 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. She showed me that my hybrid cultural identity was a valuable gift I should embrace. Watching her made me proud to be Mexicana.
Today we celebrate Selena’s legacy with a Google Doodle. Set to her iconic song (and my roadtrip favorite jam) “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” today’s Doodle follows Selena’s early life through the milestones that solidify her legacy as “The Queen of Tejano” and one of the most successful and iconic Mexican-American entertainers of all time.
She released “Selena,” her first studio album with Capitol EMI, on this day in 1989. Among many notable accomplishments throughout her career, she consistently stayed at the top of the billboard charts, and won a Grammy for best Mexican-American album of 1993—making her the first female and youngest Tejano artist to win the award. But she was much more than a talented musician and entertainer. A fashionista and trendsetter, she often designed and created entire outfits for her performance wardrobe. In her free time, she was active in community service, and a strong advocate for education.
Above all, Selena is a beacon of inspiration and hope for Latinx, immigrant, and bicultural communities around the globe. By embracing and celebrating all parts of her cultural heritage and persevering in the face of adversity, she forged an emotional connection with millions.
In addition to today’s Doodle, we partnered with the Quintanilla family and The Selena Museum to create a new Google Arts & Culture exhibit in honor of Selena. In the experience, you can tour beautiful high-resolution imagery of some of her most prized possessions, including iconic outfits, her first Grammy, her favorite car, and artwork from her adoring fans. We were also honored to host Suzette Quintanilla, Selena’s sister, for a Talk at Google last week, which you can check out here.
So thank you, Selena, for being a role model and a hero to a little Latina girl in Granbury, TX and to countless others. And thank you for all the inspiration and joy your music and legacy continues to bring to the world.