From Oprah Magazine
Selena: The Series, a coming-of-age story about the life of singer Selena Quintanilla, will premiere on Friday, December 4.
The series stars Christian Serratos as the Queen of Tejano music, Selena herself.
Ahead of the premiere, Netflix shared a first-look photo of Selena and her siblings in their family band, Selena y Los Dinos, with OprahMag.com.
Get ready to see Selena Quintanilla as you’ve never seen her before. On December 4, Selena: The Series will premiere on Netflix, and venture into the legendary singer’s life before she became, well—a legend.
The first of a planned two-part series, Selena: The Series will consist of six hour-long episodes. While other works have been made about the Tejana-American singer (see: that extremely famous biopic starring J. Lo), Selena: The Series will dwell in Selena’s adolescence more than past works.
Already, Netflix has shared brief glimpses of actress Christian Serratos in character as Selena, sequined jumpsuit and all. Today, the streaming service shared an exclusive first-look photo with OprahMag.com of Selena standing alongside her sister, Suzette (played by Noemi Gonzalez) and her brother, A.B. Quintanilla III (Gabriel Chavarria). Clearly, Serratos isn’t the only Selena cast member to bear a striking resemblance to their real-life counterparts.
Judging by the photo, which is bursting with ’80s glam, Selena: The Series will focus on Selena’s time in her family band, Selena y Los Dinos. The actors are standing in front of a replica of the band’s refurbished tour bus—which Selena’s father, Abraham, named Big Bertha.
Though Selena rose to fame in her early 20s, she’d been performing publicly for over a decade. When she was just 9, she became the lead singer of her family’s band, Selena y Los Dinos. Along with her brother, A.B. Quintanilla (on bass guitar), and sister, Suzette (on the drums), Selena performed Tejano music at local weddings, quinceañeras, and street fairs throughout Texas. Before their father’s restaurant Papagayo’s in Lake Jackson, TX went out of business in 1981, they played there, too.
Abraham, who was a musician himself, recognized that his children were extraordinarily talented, and that Selena had the capacity to be a star. “There are a lot of families who think, ‘My kids are talented, they sing, they’re awesome,’ but my dad, as a musician, saw something that we didn’t,” A.B. told People in 2020.
After the family relocated to Corpus Christi, Selena y Los Dinos gained broader recognition. In 1986, at the age of 15, Selena received the female vocalist of the year award at the Tejano Music Awards, and continued to win awards in subsequent years. But as Selena grew older, her career as a solo artist eclipsed her role in Selena y Los Dinos. In 1989, nine years after Selena y Los Dinos was formed, Selena signed with EMI Latin as a solo artist.
Eventually, Selena would meet her husband through Selena y Los Dinos. Chris Perez joined the band in 1989 as a lead guitarist. He and Selena eloped in 1992.
Tragically, Selena’s astronomical trajectory was cut short in 1995. The leading voice in Tejano music was killed by Yolanda Saldívar, the president of her fan club. Even after she died at the age of 23, Selena continued to astound: Her final album, Dreaming of You, was released posthumously and became one of the best-selling Latin albums of all time.
Selena’s legacy is often tied up with her truly unfortunate end, but Selena: The Series will focus on her early days—a time of hope, when anything was possible. To prepare for the Netflix series, listen to her sing in early Selena y Los Dinos recordings. There, you might hear a glimmer of that same hope.
For more stories like this, sign up for our newsletter.
You Might Also Like