Selena Gomez Met Selena Quintanilla’s Family in ‘the Surrealest Moment’

Selena Gomez met the family of another Selena. The Quintanilla family, whose Selena Quintanilla was murdered in 1995, joined Gomez for a tribute to her musical predecessor at a venue that was meaningful to the late Selena. Gomez described the encounter in a recent interview. 

Selena Gomez smiles on the red carpet, and once brought Selena Quintanilla's family on stage
Selena Gomez | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Gomez appeared on the June 12 episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast. Before discussing her Hulu show Only Murders in the Building, Gomez discussed the influence of Quintanilla and meeting her family. 

Selena Gomez has a connection to Selena Quintanilla 

Quintanilla rose to fame in the Tejano music scene. She crossed over to English language music like her hit “I Could Fall In Love” when she died. Quintanilla has been the subject of a movie starring Jennifer Lopez, and a recent Netflix series. Before either of those, Gomez’s parents named their daughter after that Selena. 

“I was named after Selena Quintanilla who was the Etana singer and it is pretty interesting the similarities,” Gomez said on Awards Chatter. “She broke in Spanish, she was born in Texas but she had a whole music career in Spanish and she learned it along the way which I think I’m doing as well. Yeah, it’s pretty surreal.”

Selena Quintanilla’s family joined Selena Gomez on stage in Houston, Texas 

Gomez repaid the Quintanilla family for their influence. Gomez had a show in the Quintanilla’s hometown and invited them on stage with her. 

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“I think the surrealist moment, if that’s a word, would have to be meeting her family,” Gomez said. “That was really an interesting and special moment. I was performing at the Houston Rodeo which I believe was one of her last shows. And I invited her family and it was just the coolest feeling. We did a little tribute to her and it was awesome.”

Her Spanish is still a work in progress 

Despite releasing her own album in Spanish, Revelacion in 2021, Gomez is still learning to speak the language herself. Gomez explained the musical influences with which she grew up. Spanish music like Quintanilla’s were her father’s favorites. Gomez was born in 1992 when her parents were already listening to the other Selena.

My mom was an old soul so she listened to a lot of the Rat Pack and just great from the Beatles, Stones to Janis Joplin. I just grew up listening to that kind of music which I think has inspired me in a way of the lyrics. I just love how honest and real music is. And then I think my dad’s side especially with Spanish music, I really felt like it was a way of connecting with my roots that way. I’m actually currently in Spanish lessons right now for fun. I’m really excited about doing that because it’s been a while. All right, it’s about damn time I learn Spanish. 

Selena Gomez, Awards Chatter podcast, 6/12/22