From the late 1980s to 1995, Mexican-American singer and songwriter Selena was a household name in Texas. Known as the Queen of Tejano Music, she scored hits with numerous celebrated Spanish-language songs, broke the ceiling for Mexican-American women singers to crossover into the mainstream, and took the English-language music world by storm with her memorable singles “I Could Fall in Love” and “Dreaming of You”. Unfortunately any further rise to a higher level of stardom was cut short by her murder in March 31, 1995 at the hands of her business associate who was also an obsessed fan. The music world mourned her loss and to this day her songs carry fond memories to her family and many admirers.
This Tuesday August 30, these very same people got a chance to remember their idol in a more tangible way according to The LA Times, as Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum on Hollywood Boulevard presented its latest attraction: a Selena wax figure.
On that big day, some 300 longtime Selena fans donning shirts in her signature purple and wearing wristbands from Tussaud’s celebrating the occasion, gathered with her family the Quintanillas and her widower Chris Perez for the grand unveiling. The crowd chanted Selena’s name and sang snippets of her hits.
Tussaud’s Hollywood general manager Colin Thomas was astounded by the size of the crowd and the intensity of their fanatic fervor, so totally unlike past unveilings of other wax figures of famous personages which were nominally low-key affairs with only the media as a significant presence. As it would turn out, the gathering would evolve into a rooftop party at Tussaud’s in honor of the singer. As Thomas puts it, “We’ve never seen anything that even compares to this. Not even for Taylor Swift.”
The deceased Tejano star’s family had already gotten a glimpse of what was in store for the fans at private viewing earlier that day. In fact, they were a principal voice in the design of the wax figure, which was realized through a petition launched on Chance.org that saw nearly 10,000 signatures ofsupport. It was decided to present Selena the way she looked during her free concert at her Corpus Christi hometown in 1993, the recording of which became the 1994 Grammy-winning Mexican- American album “Selena Live!”
While initially apprehensive at how the final result would look, upon seeing the finished wax figure they were overcome with emotion at the sheer lifelike accuracy of the details. Selena’s sister Suzette Arriaga jokingly told the Times that she wanted to take the figure home. And judging by the reaction of the crowds at the unveiling, seeing Selena again in her decorative bustier, purple jacket and spandex pants was an overload of nostalgia and devoted fandom.
Chris Perez spoke of how his late wife inspired people from one generation to the next, and expressed his appreciation to the fans who have kept her legacy alive.
Selena will next be up for a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame next year.
Photo Credit to www.madametussauds.com