A Texas lawmaker has introduced a bill to honor Selena Quintanilla Pérez, the belated queen of Tejano music, with an official day.
Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos, a Democrat from Dallas, filed the legislation Tuesday to designate April 16 as "Selena Quintanilla Pérez Day in memory of the contributions to Tejano music of Selena Quintanilla Pérez, an award-winning singer and recording artist."
April 16 marks the iconic musician's birthday. She would have turned 47 this year. She was shot and killed in 1995 by the president of her fan club when she was only 23.
A legion of devoted fans has kept Selena’s memory alive: her posthumously released album, "Dreaming of You," ranks No. 1 on Billboard’s list of best-selling Latin albums of the last 25 years. The 1997 movie version of Selena’s life, which made Jennifer Lopez a star, also became known for Warner Brothers' largest movie open casting call in 1996, the biggest one since "Gone With the Wind."
Many Selena tribute concerts, stage musicals, books, documentaries, museum exhibitions and even a scholarship have celebrated the legacy of the Tejano singer. But Ramos said in her bill that the intent was that "Selena Quintanilla Pérez Day may be regularly observed by appropriate ceremonies and activities."
The Mexican-American singer was born in Lake Jackson, Texas, in 1971. After growing up performing with her family, her popularity soared in the Latin music industry as she blended a variety of Latin music genres, such as conjunto and cumbia with pop.
“Everyone seems to have a stake in remembering her, whether it was young girls who were Latina and from other communities who were dressing like her and singing her songs, or whether it was corporate sponsors who were tapping into Latino-based marketing,” Deborah Paredez, author of the book "Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory," told NBC News in a previous interview. “She meant a lot to different people and constituencies."