A.B. Quintanilla started his musical career as the bass guitarist of his family band, Selena y Los Dinos, and played a crucial role in his younger sister Selena’s meteoric rise to becoming the “Queen of Tejano music.” Doubling up as producer and songwriter for the band, he is responsible for some of Selena’s most iconic songs, which thrust the singer as well as the entire genre of Tejano music into the spotlight. In fact, A.B. is featured on ‘Selena: The Series‘ as the quintessential backbone of Selena y Los Dinos. Are you curious about what A.B. has been up to since then? We’ve got the story!
Who is A.B. Quintanilla?
Abraham Isaac Quintanilla III or A.B. Quintanilla was born in Toppenish, Washington, on December 13, 1963 to Abraham and Marcella Quintanilla. During his childhood in Lake Jackson, A.B. became a part of the family band that his father arranged around Selena after realizing the potential of her voice. Starting with playing the bass, A.B. soon started taking on more of the band’s musical responsibilities when his father stepped down as a guitarist.
Selena y Los Dinos started out playing at small parties and quinceañeras around Lake Jackson and then in the tex-mex restaurant called Papagayos that their father opened in 1982. However, with the 1980s economic downturn, the family’s restaurant soon went insolvent, and they were forced to move and live with their relatives in Corpus Christi, Texas. There, Selena began to gain recognition, and though the journey was anything by smooth, the band soon became popular around Texas and in the Tejano music scene.
In 1989, Selena signed with EMI records’ new Latin division. Around this time, A.B. had his first child, Svani, with his wife at the time, Vangie. The band Los Dinos, of which A.B. was a part, continued to perform with the singer at her concerts, and the new father had to spend months on end away from his wife and newborn son. A.B. by then was producing Selena’s music as well as coming up with the “sound” for the band to make it more accessible and grow their fan base. He went on to write some of Selena’s biggest hits, including “Como la Flor” and “No Me Queda Mas.” However, with Selena’s unexpected murder in 1995 at the hands of Yolanda Saldivar, everything changed.
Where is A.B. Quintanilla Now?
A.B. was shattered by the death of his sister, as was the whole family, and the band Los Dinos disbanded shortly after. He then resurfaced years later in 1999 when he formed the Kumbia Kings with record producer and musician Cruz Martinez. The band went on to release multiple records and is even briefly mentioned in the closing scenes of ‘Selena: The Series’ season 2.
In 2006, A.B. left the Kumbia Kings along with Selena’s widower Chris Perez, citing internal differences with Martinez. He then went on to form the Kumbia All Starz with new members as well as some of the old Kumbia Kings members. Their debut album, ‘Ayer Fue Kumbia Kings, Hoy Es Kumbia All Starz’ went on to reach number 1 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums chart and number 68 on the United States Billboard 200. At a concert in 2016, one day before the 10th anniversary of the debut album of the Kumbia All Starz, A.B. announced that it would be the group’s final performance.
He then went on to form the group Elektro Kumbia, which included some of his previous band’s members and signed with DEL records. A.B. has made a prolific career for himself as a songwriter and producer and uses his talents to mix multiple Latin-inspired genres of music with more mainstream genres. He has been nominated for and won multiple awards for his music, including a Latin Grammy Award for Best Tropical Regional Mexican Album for the ‘Kumbia Kings Live’ album in 2006. He also recently got an endorsement deal with KRK speakers, that make studio-quality sound equipment.
A.B. has also had a busy personal life and is a father to eight children. However, that did land him in some hot water as he appeared on Texas’ top 10 most wanted list due to nonpayment of child support. After spending some time in county jail, he agreed to make the payments, which amounted to upwards of $87,000. It is also pertinent to note that while he was a fugitive for a brief while, he was never considered dangerous by authorities.
Long after his relationship ended with his first wife, Vangie, he married his longtime girlfriend Rikkie Leigh Robertson on November 12, 2011. In 2016 he announced that they were getting a divorce. He has since married Anjelah, who is his current wife. The couple got married in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 16, 2019, and haven’t had any kids so far. However, with A.B.’s first son Svani becoming a father, A.B. is now a grandparent himself!
Read More: Where is Selena’s Sister Now?