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Unable to gather, Selena fans pay tribute on social media, 25 years after her death

"To a beautiful person who lives on...WE LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU! #SELENA25," Selena's sister Suzette Quintanilla posted on Facebook.
Image: Selena
Tejano music star Selena Perez Quintanilla performs in the Alamodome in San Antonio, on March 18, 1995.Morris Goen / AP file

AUSTIN, Texas — Any other year, fans would have gathered to pay tribute to the legendary Tejano music icon Selena Quintanilla Pérez, perhaps in front of her statue or museum in Corpus Christi, Texas, near her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame or in front of the concert hall where they first heard her belt her iconic song, “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.”

But forced to stay home and at least six feet from others by coronavirus, fans wanting to commemorate 25 years since Selena Quintanilla Pérez was shot and killed by the fired president of her fan club poured out tributes and memories on social media honoring her humility, her talent and the hope they placed in her.

Her sister and musician Suzette Quintanilla, now a successful businesswoman, led the memorials with a post with her sister's name inside a white rose, commemorative of one of Selena's hits, "Como La Flor."

"To a beautiful person who lives on...WE LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU! #SELENA25," she wrote on a Facebook post.

Fans dug up clips with words of inspiration from the late Grammy winner who took Tejano music and musicians to international audiences and further pushed open doors for female singers in the genre.

Many spoke of what Selena meant to them beyond music.

Some of the memories are of how she is most remembered, taking the stage at the Houston Astrodome in her purple sequin jumpsuit singing "Una Vez," or of her Grammy win. But others posted their memories of her as a much younger performer, when she was just beginning her musical journey.

One of the top selling artists, Selena's fame has endured and grown over the quarter century since her death. A tribute concert had been planned by her family's music production company at San Antonio's Alamodome and free tribute concerts were planned at SXSW in Austin. But the social isolation protocols instituted by cities to help stop the spread of coronavirus forced their cancellation.

Selena's fame has endured in part because of the popularity of the 1997 movie based on her life—which was also the breakout role for superstar Jennifer Lopez. Lopez posted a few days ago an interview she did about the movie's impact on her life. The video is interspersed with excerpts from the film with footage and photos of Selena.

For a nation slogging through social isolation, the movie has been a must watch for some —and today, a day to remember the songs she left behind.

"RIP SELENA!" a fan tweeted. "Blasting Selena music all day today!."

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