Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, mononymously referred to as Selena, was a singer, songwriter, businesswoman, model, and fashion designer. Born on April 16, 1971, in Lake Jackson, Texas, she was the daughter of singer-songwriter Abraham Quintanilla Jr. and Marcella Ofelia Quintanilla. Her father noticed her talent for music at an early age. She used to perform with her siblings at a local restaurant, but after it closed down and the family fell into trouble owing to the recession, the siblings agreed to officially form a band named Selena y Los Dinos. Financial troubles meant that Selena had to perform consistently at quinceañeras, weddings, and fairs which affected her studies.
It thus comes as no surprise that by the time she got into eighth grade, her father had decided that it was better for her to drop out of school altogether, much to the chagrin of her teachers. Selena later earned her high school diploma from the American School of Correspondence in Chicago, Illinois when she was 17 years old and enrolled at Pacific Western University (PWU) in San Diego, California. However, by this point, she already had years of experience working in the music industry, driving her to continue down that path and earn a considerable fortune.
How Did Selena Quintanilla Make Her Money?
After dropping out of school, as indicated above, Selena performed in numerous small shows, weddings, and other events. Though the truth is she had been professionally recording since she was only ten years old. Surprising all her doubters who believed that it was a mistake to make a career in the male-dominated Tejano music genre, she actually ended up winning her first Tejano Music Award for Female Vocalist of The Year in 1986, at age 15. She then went on to win a total of 36 Tejano Music Awards in her lifetime and some even after her 1995 demise.
Although Selena was well-known in the music industry by the 1980s, her fan following increased drastically in the years following that. Some of the LP records released by her before 1989 included ‘Alpha,’ ‘Munequito de Trapo,’ ‘And the Winner Is,’ ‘Preciosa,’ and ‘Dulce Amor.’ Selena then signed a deal with EMI Latin and released her first solo album ‘Selena.’ She followed it up by releasing ‘Ven Conmigo’ (1990); ‘Entre a Mi Mundo,’ (1992); ‘Amor Prohibido,’ (1994); and ‘Dreaming of You’ (1995). Her albums were huge commercial successes.
In the 1990s, the singer then went on to become the highest-grossing Latin artist and earned the title of Queen of Tejano music as well as Greatest Latino Artists of All Time. Selena also appeared in television shows like ‘Dos Mujeres, Un Camino,’ ‘Sábado Gigante;’ the documentary ‘Latin Nights’ and the posthumously released film ‘Don Juan DeMarco.’ Apart from being an actress and singer, Selena was also a brilliant businesswoman. When she launched her cosmetic line, it gradually grew to thrive, and her merchandise sold like hotcakes.
Selena was also the owner of Selena Etc. Boutiques, which was reportedly doing well until her friend Yolanda Saldívar became a manager. Soon financial discrepancies led to an internal investigation by her father, which allegedly proved to him that the latter was siphoning off thousands of dollars from his daughter’s businesses. When confronted by Abraham Quintanilla Jr. and other family members, Yolanda agreed to show all financial records but never did. Despite apparently being sacked by Quintanilla Jr., Selena could not end her relationship with Yolanda as she reportedly had some of her financial records.
One thing led to another, and on the morning of March 31, 1995, Yolanda fatally shot and killed the sensational singer, who was only 23 at the time of her tragic passing. In the following decades, Selena’s popularity did not dwindle, and she continued to be loved by her fans around the world. In 2020, Netflix released the show ‘Selena: The Series,’ which captures the icon’s life and the struggles she went through. Then, in 2024, Oxygen released a two-part documentary series titled ‘Selena and Yolanda: The Secrets Between Them’ to really delve deep into the hows and whys behind her tragic, unexpected homicide.
Selena Quintanilla’s Net Worth
Considering Selena’s incredible career from the time she was a mere adolescent, her net worth was estimated to be close to $7 million at the time of her death. The profit from her estate reportedly later went to her family, band members, and husband, Chris Pérez.
Read More: Where is Chris Perez Now?