CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Queen of Tejano had quite the turnout Saturday at her beloved statue on North Shoreline. The City of Corpus Christi showed up to celebrate what would have been Selena Quintanilla-Perez's 51st birthday.
Members of the community celebrate her legacy to this day, and they shared what she still means to them after all of this time.
For Ruth Nino, Selena paved the way for young Hispanic women. "Growing up as a Hispanic little girl, we got to see that, you know, you have a lot of potential. I mean, there's potential out there. So if we really wanted something she showed us that we were able to climb that ladder."
She also taught Nino how to dance. "It was really important for me, because I learned how to dance according the way she would move and stuff. Of course, being Hispanic, in our culture we learn how to dance that way as well."
Selena's dance moves, music, and activism reached beyond racial barriers.
"You know a lot of people joke like, "Oh, you're white, you don't know what she's saying!" But honestly, I've learned so much through her. And just by listening to her, her voice, its just her passion behind the music, and just how she is as a person," Ericka said of the singer.
Selena still inspires those who were born after she passed away, like Ashley Larios, who was dancing to her music as she was barely learning to walk.
"My mom and dad were really big fans in the 90s," Larios said. "My dad saw her in concert, and I just grew up with the music. Having an inspiration and idol to look up to that was kind of like me, overcame a lot of boundaries that I've had as well. It just kind of motivates me to push through."
From the way she carried herself and her spirit through the song, Selena was and remains music royalty. Nino echoes this sentiment, "The way she was with her fans, she really loved her fans. I, as a fan, now and forever her fan. I love her forever."
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