LATINO VOICES

Selena's Inspiring Life And Legacy Celebrated In Uplifting Google Doodle

Selena Quintanilla, the "Queen of Tejano music," died more than 22 years ago. But her legacy and music endure.

10/17/2017 05:32 EDT | Updated 10/17/2017 06:57 EDT

On Tuesday, exactly 28 years after the Oct. 17, 1989, release of Selena Quintanilla’s first studio album — the eponymous “Selena” — Google paid tribute to the late Tejano star with a musical Doodle showcasing her inspiring rise to fame.

As Billboard notes, it’s the first time that Google has created a Doodle in Quintanilla’s honor.

The Doodle, set to Quintanilla’s 1994 hit “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” charts the Grammy winner’s journey from aspiring young singer in small-town Texas to the global superstar that she later became. The clip shows Quintanilla’s dad encouraging her and her older siblings, A.B. and Suzette, to form the band Selena y Los Dinos. Quintanilla fronted that band until her murder in 1995.

Google Doodle’s Perla Campos, who co-created the illustration, described the band’s early beginnings in a blog post:

“First playing at the family restaurant, quiceañeras, and fairs, the band’s humble beginnings — including sitting on equipment due to the lack of formal seating in their inaugural tour bus ‘Big Bertha’ — eventually led to high profile touring. But they also fought through hard times and adversity. In fact, Selena was frequently discriminated against in the male-dominated music genre, and some venues even refused to book the band for shows.”

Quintanilla’s popularity, however, grew rapidly through the 1980s. In 1986, she was awarded the Tejano Music award for “Female Vocalist of the Year.” Six years later, she became the first female Tejano performer to win a Grammy for best Mexican/American album.

The hashtag #Selena was trending on Twitter early Tuesday as fans of Quintanilla lauded the Google Doodle as “long overdue and well-deserved.” Many said the illustration made them emotional.

As Campos noted, Quintanilla has been a role model for generations of Latinxs and others who might’ve felt different or out of place in their communities. 

“She continues to show Latinx, immigrants, and bicultural communities around the world to be proud of who they are and to embrace their differences,” Campos wrote in the Google blog post. “Also, to work hard for your dreams because doing so makes your achievements that much more meaningful.”

Campos told Billboard that the Google Doodle team worked closely with Quintanilla’s family, including the singer’s sister Suzette, to create the illustrated video of the Latina star.

“For months, Suzette and I have been in touch,” Campos said. “I’m so inspired by [Quintanilla’s family]. They love her fans so much because they fans are the ones that built her up when she was alive, and then even afterwards, they’re the ones keeping her memory alive and her legacy growing.”

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