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A Postmortem Star In death, Selena is a crossover success
[CITY Edition]
Newsday - Long Island, N.Y.
Author: By Mark Schone. Mark Schone is a free-lance writer.
Date: Apr 20, 1995
Start Page: B.03
Section: PART II
Abstract (Document Summary)

At the time Selena Quintanilla Perez was shot to death, allegedly by Yolanda Saldivar, the founder and former president of her fan club, on March 31 in Corpus Christi, Texas, she was the biggest star Tejano music had ever known. In fact, she was bigger than Tejano itself. In six years, Selena, who won a Best Mexican / American Album Grammy for 1993's "Selena . . . Live!," rose from parochial fame in a genre little known outside Texas to international Spanish-language stardom. And she was about to make a serious bid for fame in English.

Since her murder, Selena's label has been unable to keep up with demand for her records. The Grammy-nominated "Amor Prohibido" (EMI Latin), her most recent album, was at 400,000 copies sold and counting in the United States before the shooting; since then, estimates Jeff Young, sales director of EMI Latin, fans have bought 800,000 Selena albums. Four of Selena's albums are in Billboard's Top 200 this week, with "Amor Prohibido" leading the group at No. 36.

The Texas-born singer, who only learned to speak Spanish as an adult, had hurdled most of the international boundaries in the world's diverse Latin marketplace - she had toured Mexico, she was beginning to sell in Puerto Rico and was planning a tour of Central America. But her path to pan-Latin prominence required her to submerge her identity as a Tejano. Two well-calculated ballads expanded her demographic base beyond the southwest: In 1992, she was teamed with Salvadoran crooner Alvaro Torres, tightening her connection with his fans in California and Puerto Rico. Two years later, she dueted with the Bronx-bred Barrio Boyzz, a second stab at Puerto Rican popularity and her entree to the East Coast. "No Me Queda Mas," the second single from "Amor Prohibido," uses lush string arrangements to mask some very Mexican trumpets that might alienate the East Coast's Caribbean-Latino bedrock.

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