Selena, the one-named Tejano star, was sometimes called the Mexican-American Madonna, after that other one-named pop superstar. After winning the Tejano Music Award for best female vocalist as a teenager, Selena went on to earn the title nine more times — including two posthumous wins following her murder at age 23.
Her death, 20 years ago today, on March 31, 1995, rocked the Latin music community and devastated millions of fans. The Grammy-winning performer was a fashion icon and a role model for many young women. As TIME described her shortly after her death, “[s]he was the embodiment of young, smart, hip, Mexican-American youth, wearing midriff-baring bustiers and boasting of a tight-knit family and a down-to-earth personality — a Madonna without the controversy.”
When she died, she had just recorded her first album in English and, per CBS News, “was poised to become a crossover success when her…
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