21 years after her death at the hands of a leader of her fan club, the late singer Selena continues to enjoy amazing popularity. Today, thousands of people are expected to pack an auditorium in Corpus Christi for MAC Cosmetics' unveiling of its official Selena themed cosmetic line, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
This continued popularity and name recognition among people who weren't born when Selena was shot to death at a Day's Inn in Corpus Christi in 1995 places the Tejano singer among a very rare group of American cultural icons, from Marilyn Monroe to John Lennon to James Dean, whose cultural power still shines, perhaps more brightly than when she was alive.
Patricia Sanchez, a professor of bicultural studies at UTSA, isn't surprised. She says Selena continues to embody the dreams of many young Latinas.
"She's someone who looks like us and was proud to look like us," Sanchez said. "She never became blonde, she didn't try to convert herself, she knew she could use her own apparence and her own culture to achieve that success."
Selena's music continues to sell, as does a clothing line modeled after her famous bare midriff look. A statue of Selena was recently unveiled by Madame Tusseaud's famous wax museum, making her one of the first Latina singers to be so honored.
Sanchez says being true to your roots can pay dividends.
"She blazed a trail, saying, hey, I can keep my black hair, I can wear my bright red lipstick, I can be who I am, and I can find success with it."
And no, the woman who shot Selena is not up for parole, and remains in the Texas State Prison for Women in Gatesville, serving a life sentence.