After featuring Adele, I thought it would be cool to showcase other amazing women vocalists, and I couldn’t be more excited to highlight Selena – The Hardest Working Woman in Show Business. She’s made an appearance at OB&B before, and as this post shows, it was no mistake.
Born and raised in Texas, she was considered the Latina Madonna and was in the process of recording her crossover album when she was tragically murdered at the age of 23. It should be noted Selena was not a native Spanish speaker. Her father insisted she learn songs in Spanish for the band when she was still a child, and it paid off as Selena would go on to become the Queen of Tejano music. A girl after my own heart with her love of Donna Summer, here is her famous final Astrodome concert (breaking the attendance record for the 3rd consecutive time), where she pays tribute to the Divas of Disco in a fantastic medley, as well as a famous little Minneapolis song. Showcasing her own rich, beautiful voice (in English), this is just a hint of the brilliance she would have brought to the pop music scene:
Having grown up in Minnesota, I wasn’t exposed to Selena while she was alive, so my first exposure to her came from the bio-film Selena with Jennifer Lopez. I first saw the film before the days of youtube, so I didn’t have easy access to sample Selena’s music afterwards. Recently, though, a scene from the film came to my mind, where Selena suddenly becomes surrounded by fans in a California mall. I thought to look for this scene at youtube and was delighted to discover the entire film in short clips hosted there, which I highly recommend. After watching the film this time, I followed up by listening to Selena’s music on youtube all the next day. While understanding the language helps a listener appreciate a song, it’s not a necessary requirement in appreciating a great voice, and I find this to be the case with Selena. I quickly fell in love with her voice and became a fan for life.
The entire final Astrodome concert is similar to the clip above – Selena singing and dancing nonstop – without a choreographer, by the way. She’s just a natural performer, like James Brown or Michael Jackson. Earlier I called Selena the Hardest Working Woman in Show Business, and here is the proof. Watch as Selena performs two songs (in Spanish) while dancing her butt off then belting it again around 9:30:
For a little context: in the first song, “Techno Cumbia,” Selena is saying her new dance, the Techno Cumbia, will make you move. In the second song, “La Carcacha,” she is saying that it doesn’t matter if her boyfriend drives a clunker (carcacha), it only matters that he treats her well. (Translations: “Techno Cumbia,” “La Carcacha“)
It is truly a musical tragedy we lost this incredible talent while she was still so very young and full of promise, but one of the beautiful aspects of music is how an artist can live on after their death, and still gain new fans. The only tribute I feel I can offer Selena that is worthy of her memory is to pass on my love of her voice in the hopes more people will come to love her, so I will be featuring her again. Rest in Peace, Selena. You will always be missed.