Suzette Quintanilla: Where is Selena’s Sister Now?

Image Credit: Suzette Quintanilla/Instagram

As a documentary series living up to its title in every way conceivable, Oxygen’s Billie Mintz-directed ‘Selena and Yolanda: The Secrets Between Them’ can only be described as utterly intriguing. That’s because it incorporates not just archival footage but also exclusive interviews to really underscore the how and why behind Tejano music superstar Selena’s March 31, 1995, shooting death. It thus comes as no surprise there were even a few mentions of her family as well as band members, especially sister/drummer Suzette.

Who is Suzette Quintanilla?

Although born on June 29, 1967, in Lake Jackson, Texas, as the middle child of Marcella Ofelia Samora and Abraham Quintanilla’s brood of three, Suzette upbringing was reportedly nearly idyllic. The truth is she was given the same care, love, and importance as her siblings at every step of the way, including when their passionate father began teaching them about the beautiful world of music. In fact, while her elder brother AB was subsequently motivated to do his thing with the bass and younger sister Selena got to hone her singing, she was given free rein to follow her love of drumming.

The Quintanillas did admittedly face a hard time in the 1980s owing to the Regan Recession, yet they still remained a tight-knit group and even mutually decided to continue being a band to stay afloat. That’s when Selena y Los Dinos (English: Selena and the Guys) — named after their father’s childhood group — really went from being local musicians to signed artists who then accomplished wonders. “We lost everything [in the 80s]… you name it; we lost it,” Selena once said. “The only way to put food on the table was to go into the music as a profession. We struggled a lot to get where we are.”

Their father Abraham also later conceded to Texas Monthly that “Music was the only thing I knew how to do. The band was the best thing we had… We all agreed to try and make a go of it.” However, the truth is they never really expected to get as big as they did, but their mutual respect plus appreciation for each other’s craft helped them last right until Selena’s early 1995 demise. By this point, Suzette was not only the band drummer but also dabbled in percussion and backing vocals, all the while helping her father run their 1990-established Latin music entertainment firm Q Productions.

Suzette Quintanilla Dons On Many Hats Today

According to reports, Suzette decided to hang up her music hat following her sister’s tragic death yet chose to remain actively involved in most projects that essentially carry on her legacy. This includes any undertaking that either uses Selena’s name or her likeness in any sense, such as the Reina collection released by M.A.C. in 2020 as well as Netflix’s ‘Selena: The Series.’ Though she helmed the former for another reason too: “When Selena passed away, one of the three things she was working on was her clothing line, a makeup line, and a perfume line,” she once said. “I promised myself that by the time I leave this world, I will accomplish what she started.”

Moreover, from what we can tell, Suzette has since learned the ropes of Q-Productions and now proudly serves as its CEO-President while also managing a Corpus Christi, Texas, museum. As for her personal standing, she has been happily married to her husband, Bill Arriaga, for over three decades (they tied the knot in September 1993), and they have a son named Joven Arriaga. The latter actually welcomed his own son named Lincoln on December 31, 2022, making the middle Quintanilla sibling an entrepreneurial daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, as well as a grandmother. We should also mention that Suzette is even affiliated with several events and organizations that shine a light upon and bring positive awareness to Latinos plus Latino culture, as evidenced on her social media platforms.

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