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With new music, events and more, the late Selena legacy lives on

A mural of singer Selena in Dallas, Tx.
A mural of singer Selena in Dallas, Tx.

March 31 will mark 27 years since Selena Quintanilla Perez was murdered by Yolanda Saldivar in Corpus Christi.

The acclaimed Mexican-American entertainer, who was just 23 years old when she died, has long been a mythic figure inside Texas and beyond its borders. With five studio albums released during her lifetime, Selena had only just begun to break out — her 1995 record, Dreaming of You, was the first largely Spanish-language effort to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.

Her legacy endures, however, thanks to the efforts of her surviving family members, including her brother, A.B. Quintanilla, and husband, Chris Perez, as well as a variety of album, film and TV projects, including the 2020 Netflix series “Selena.”

“Nothing will ever be the same as sharing the stage with my sister,” A.B. Quintanilla toldTexas Monthly in 2010. “No matter how far I’ve gone with my own music, it’s never had the same flavor. It’s like food without salt.”

However it’s celebrations, rather than grim commemorations, marking the anniversary of her death in North Texas over the coming days.

The Oak Cliff Cultural Center has assembled an ambitious slate of events under the umbrella title “214 Selena.” The three-day extravaganza kicks off with an art show at Oak Cliff Cultural Center and Top Ten Records on Friday (6-10 p.m.).

“214 Selena” continues with a “Selena Market” from 2-10 p.m. Saturday at Four Corners Brewing, featuring food, vendors, karaoke, a lowrider show, a “Selena contest,” DJs and more. Club Dada will play host to a “Selena Afterparty” from 10 p.m. Saturday-2 a.m. Sunday, featuring Faded Deejays, DJ Alaska, DJ Eternos, Teezydoesit and Principe Q.

“214 Selena” culminates Sunday (from 1-5 p.m.) at Top Ten Records in Oak Cliff, which, according to event materials, will “pay homage to the queen of Tejano while celebrating the diverse community that continues to carry her legacy.” All events are free to attend.

Perhaps the most surprising news surrounding the anniversary of Selena’s death this year is that a new Selena album will be released next month, although additional details are scant for now — including the album’s title. There hasn’t been a drought of Selena albums for fans, however: Nearly two dozen posthumous records have been released over the last quarter century.

Additionally, the landmark biopic Selena, which catapulted another Latina artist (Jennifer Lopez) to stardom, will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the 1997 film will be re-released into theaters across the United States, beginning on April 7 (specific locations and release dates are forthcoming, according to a post on Selena’s official Facebook page).