On April 16th, 1971, in the small town of Lake Jackson, Texas, an angel was born. Her name was Selena Quintanilla. This angel, who was tragically taken from us at the young age of twenty-three, was a Latina superstar before JLo or Shakira or Ricky Martin. Her voice, full of love and joy and heartbreak, continues to capture the hearts of millions of fans around the world, Latinos and non-Latinos alike. So today, we celebrate what would have been her forty-second birthday by counting down her ten best songs. Feliz cumpleaños, Selena!10. Ya Ves
Indeed, Selena mostly sang about love, but this track showcases a bit of attitude after her man dumped her for another. I mean, how dumb do you have to be to cheat on Selena?! Then he has the nerve to come crawling back when he realizes the other chick was trash! You can
your way straight out the door, homie! Selena ain't got time for that!9. "Donde Quiera Que Estes" (Wherever You Are) featuring Barrio Boyzz
In what is probably the best music video of all time, Selena showcases her pop princess qualities by teaming up with New York City Latino pop group Barrio Boyzz (yes, that's 2 z's for the price of one!). This song about first loves is the perfect balance of harmony, sultry whispers, and Selena's ability to turn an otherwise mediocre song into a spectacular hit.8. "Tu, Solo Tu"
From the opening notes of this magnificent mariachi selection, Selena unleashes her operatic voice with a force that trembles and comforts all who hear it. You can almost hear the tears rolling down her cheek as she absolutely radiates sadness. This ode to an unattainable love makes us feel her heartbreak and break out the tequila.No llores
, Selena!7. "I Could Fall In Love"
So sweet, so loving, so absolutely, amazingly, and astonishingly adorable! She starts singing in english, but then she whispers to me in spanish... I mean COME ON! Fall in love? We're left with no choice but to fall in love with Selena.6. "Dreaming Of You"
More dreaming, more hoping, more whispering.5. "Baila Esta Cumbia"
Such a fun song, you can't help but dance to this lively cumbia. And creepy TV host aside, she looks stunning and sexy in this video. I was fortunate enough to meet Selena many, many years ago at Six Flags Astroworld in Houston, Texas, and her beauty in person was breathtaking. I also saw her famous performances at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. She was gorgeous, but you already knew that!4. La Carcacha
Los Dinos, who were Selena's band, really gets down with "La Carcacha". One of her best and most complete songs, a real gem of Tejano music that can be played as you cruise in your lowrider, at a quinceañera, or at a family bar-b-que. The keyboards, guitar, and timbales breakdown is top notch.3. Bidi Bidi Bom Bom
I'm not sure if having your heart go "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" is the healthiest thing ever, but if Selena is okay with it, then I am, too!2. "Como La Flor""Pero aaahhhh-aaaaa-ayyy, como me duele!"1. "Amor Prohibido"
In perhaps what is Selena's most personal song, she sings about a forbidden love that she is determined to make a life with, regardless of the consequences. In real life, her husband Chris Perez lived through the heartache of loving and losing Selena after the protest of her family. I spoke to Chris Perez in 2012 in Houston, Texas while he was promoting his book
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. You can see the conclusion of the interview below.