GRAPHIC BY YING YANG
By VINCENT CORTES
The iconic Mexican-American singer, Selena Quintanilla, truly became “como la flor,” when Google planted her in their garden of memories.
Growing up, Quintanilla’s family and friends recognized her innate musical talent. Quintanilla began singing in her father’s restaurant with her two siblings. Due to her popularity with visitors, Quintanilla eventually became a household name. Before her death on March 31, 1995, Quintanilla released songs like “Como la Flor,” which earned sixth in the U.S. Billboard of Top Latin Songs, and “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” which achieved number one in the U.S. Billboard of Top Latin Songs.
On Tuesday Oct. 17, Google released their Doodle about Quintanilla, the Queen of Tejano, taking the viewer through her inspiring music career. The project creator, Perla Campos and her team consistently worked on the short for two years with the help of the Quintanilla family.
The Doodle not only celebrates the late singer, but positively portrays the often misrepresented Mexican-American culture by highlighting her achievements which proved the harsh stereotypes wrong. Throughout her career, Quintanilla’s music intimately reflected her Tejano background. Despite all of the publicity she received, Quintanilla did not stray away from her roots, rather she embraced her cultural identity. Quintanilla showed her hispanic heritage through her lyrics, captivating dances and outfits. Having the beloved singer center on Google’s homepage paid tribute to Mexican-American culture, while simultaneously shattering common misconceptions.
During the 1990s when hispanic influence became more common in American pop culture, Mexican-American singers thrived. However, while each artist had a unique flare, Quintanilla took this dynamic to an entirely new level. To her fans, Quintanilla came across as sincere and genuine, because she demonstrated kindness in all her interviews and interactions with friends and family.
Google’s homage to the Queen of Tejano’s powerful music resonated with the fans who admired her growing up, especially to minority groups. Quintanilla showed compassion to fans when teaming up with “Toys for Tots” and performing at a Hurrican Andrew concert and at a celebration event for the establishment of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Having her legacy on the front page of a Google reminds viewers how Quintanilla inspired them as children.
While the tribute certainly struck the hearts of many fans, it introduced a new generation of children to her music. This is remarkable because it offers a new generation of Mexican-Americans a chance to see an icon of their heritage. In addition, it brings today’s youth Quintanilla’s teachings of showing compassion and pursuing goals, therefore setting a positive precedence in their lives.
In conclusion, by restoring Quintanilla in today’s modern society, it reinforces her memory in the minds of many. Quintanilla became an icon through her hard work and sent positive messages to fans. Google made the best decision in honoring this icon whose life was cut too short.