Top 43 Selena Quintanilla Quotes to Inspire You

Inside: A collection of the best quotes from the Queen of Tejano Music. 

In her short 23 years, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez inspired the world through her music. She was not only a singer, fashion designer, actress, and entrepreneur– Selena was a role model and inspiration for millions. 

The Mexican-American singer broke barriers in the music world and won a Grammy Award the year before her death. Billboard magazine named her the best Latina artist, and her album Dreaming of You became the most-sold Latin album of all time. She was known as the Tejano Madonna for her fashion.

As you’ll see through these quotes, Selena was a determined and positive person, achieving her legacy through passion and lots of hard work. 

Image credit


5 Selena Quintanilla Inspiring Quotes
– 5 Quotes on Being Mexican-American
– 10 Selena Quotes on Fame and Performing
– 10 Selena Quotes on Music
– 10 Selena Quotes on Family and Childhood
– 3 Quotes from Lyrics Written by Selena Quintanilla
– Quotes About Selena

Related: Selena Quintanilla Biography

Some of these quotes (especially from interviews) were originally spoken in Spanish and I translated them to English. 

Let’s take a tour of these words of wisdom and inspiration from the Queen of Tejano Music. 

5 Selena Quintanilla Inspiring Quotes

Selena was known for her positive attitude, and these phrases from her will give you a peek into her personality and mindset. 

1. “If you have a dream, don’t let anybody take it away.”

– Selena Quintanilla

2. “With a positive attitude, you can be anything you want to be.”

– Selena Quintanilla

3. “If you’re gonna be somebody, you need to be a leader, not a follower…be strong-minded, the impossible is always possible.”

– Selena Quintanilla

4. “The reason I’m really appreciative of everything that’s going on around me is because of the fact that I never expected it, and I want to keep that attitude.”

– Selena Quintanilla

5. “All I need to do is try and do the best that I can do.”

– Selena Quintanilla

5 Quotes on Being Mexican-American

1. “I didn’t have the opportunity to learn Spanish when I was a girl, but it’s never too late to get in touch with your roots.”

– Selena Quintanilla

2. “I feel very proud to be Mexican.”

– Selena Quintanilla

3. “One thing is that if I ever have children later on, for sure I want my children to know Spanish. It only makes you a better person or even a smarter person to know two languages. If that barrier is not there you can cross both lines, talk to English [speaking] and Spanish [speaking] people, and it gets you a lot farther in business and personal communication.”

– Selena Quintanilla

4. “Yes. I love Texas. I’m a Texas girl. I am Texan. I really like Corpus because it’s really laid back. It’s like 385,000 in population. Its very small compared to Los Angeles. I like it. Everybody treats me like I’m nobody. It’s like ‘Selena’s at the mall. She’s shopping again. No biggie.’ When I go other places, I’m working, and I’m enjoying meeting people, but when I go home, that’s my time to be myself, and relax.”

– Selena Quintanilla

5. “Our culture is very beautiful. It’s very romantic. Spanish is a very romantic language. It’s the language of love. I think it’s very sad if we forget where we come from. Because we are who we are. I think the color or our skin is beautiful. I think people should be proud of that.”

– Selena Quintanilla, Latin Style Magazine 1995, with Walter Martinez

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10 Selena Quotes on Fame and Performing

Selena rose to fame in an extraordinarily short time, but was known for being down to earth and kind to her fans. Here are some of her reflections on being famous, life as a performer, and her relationship to fans. 

1. “I don’t feel pressure because I’m not trying to portray something that I’m not.”

– Selena Quintanilla

2. “I’m very real, very sincere, and honest, and that’s how I’ll always be.”

– Selena Quintanilla

3. “It’s really cool to kind of have people come to me and get excited, you know, I don’t see myself that way.”

– Selena Quintanilla

4. “I tried to be the best role model that I possibly could.”

– Selena Quintanilla

5. “I’m always planning for my future. The public can support an artist or let them fall.”

– Selena Quintanilla

6. “You shouldn’t care for somebody just because of the materialistic things that they have, and I’m a firm believer in that.”

– Selena Quintanilla

7. “I want to be remembered not only as an entertainer but as a person who cared a lot, and I gave the best that I could. I tried to be the best role model that I possibly could.”

– Selena Quintanilla

8. “It’s like a performance, singing. It is like a “show” and I am not like that normally. There are 2 different personalities. Normally I dress in a more modest fashion.”

– Selena Quintanilla, 1994 Interview with Cristina Saralegui

9. “The life of an artist is not all glamorous. It’s a lot of work. A lot of people think that it’s very easy. They think you always stay in good hotels, you buy good things, but it is not like that. You have to work very hard like everybody.”

– Selena Quintanilla, 1994 Interview with Cristina Saralegui

10. “And you have to be grateful to the public in that way to give autographs if they want an autograph, you give them an autograph! It’s not going to take very much of your time, I do it!”

…Because I know that without the fans and the public we wouldn’t be where we are today. I am really conscious of that fact that they made us what we are.”

– Selena Quintanilla, Latin Style Magazine 1995, with Walter Martinez

10 Selena Quotes on Music

Their family band Selena y Los Dinos overcame many difficulties, including a grueling schedule traveling on their tour bus. At that time, many dismissed them because Selena was so young and a female performer in the male-dominated Tejano Music genre.  

1. “I hope to make a lot of people happy with my music. I hope people understand that when I sing my songs, I am not only singing them because I like to sing them, but I am singing them because I want to touch somebody’s heart. In our music, the words have a strong message and somewhere out there somebody’s going through the something. And if I can touch somebody in that way, that’s the ultimate.”

– Selena Quintanilla

2. “I’m very proud of my roots and ever since I was little we played English music and country music aside from Tejano. It was something very natural for us.”

– Selena Quintanilla

3. “The most important is that the people accept me for my music, not for physical appearances.”

– Selena Quintanilla

4. “When you’re young, you don’t think about this seriously. You just want to go outside and play with your friends. I think at the age of fifteen is when I started actually telling myself, “you know what? I could do this for the rest of my life. I like it. I should take it seriously. What could I do better?”

I never thought we would be this successful, not in my wildest dreams did I think Tejano music would grow like it has or be accepted by people everywhere.”

– Selena Quintanilla, Latin Style Magazine 1995, with Walter Martinez

5. “Well, when I am singing I am a completely different person. I could be very free, depending on the situation I could do what I want. I could have to deliver, as with many songs, a lot of emotion if a song is very sad, or very happy with a fun song. It depends, it depends. When I’m home, I’m normal, like anyone from the public.”

– Selena Quintanilla, 1994 Interview with Cristina Saralegui

6. “It’s got polka in it, a little bit of country, a little bit of jazz. Fuse all those types of music together. I think that’s where you get Tejano.”

– Selena Quintanilla, the San Jose Mercury News

7. “Music is not a very stable business, you know, it comes, and it goes, so does money. But your education stays with you for the rest of your life.”

– Selena Quintanilla

8. “Tejano music was hard for us because I was a girl. My dad had a lot of problems while trying to set up shows for us or presentations because there are a lot of men who don’t think that women can get the attention of the public. But… wrong!”

– Selena Quintanilla

9. “And, with a lot of promoters—and it still exists, although not as much as before–there’s the issue of machismo. They would tell my father straight to his face, “Not only is she too young, but there’s no way she could draw like a male artist.”

– Selena Quintanilla, Latin Style Magazine 1995, with Walter Martinez

10. “We went through a hard time, and we had to turn to music as a means to putting food on the table. And we’ve been doing it ever since. No regrets, either.” 

– Selena Quintanilla

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10 Selena Quotes on Family and Childhood

The Quintanilla family was close-knit and they made great sacrifices to achieve musical success. Her sister played the drums and her brother the guitar, later becoming very involved in the songwriting and production of Selena’s music.

1. “The family that plays together stays together.”

– Selena Quintanilla

2. “What’s cool about our family is that we don’t hold grudges, and I think that’s sort of been the key to the success. We have our disagreements, but whether we’re right or wrong, we’ll just go and apologize. That’s just the way we are.”

– Selena Quintanilla

About her marriage:

3. “…We have a lot of communication, and before getting married we were friends, and that’s the most important thing, being friends before getting married.”

– Selena Quintanilla, 1994 Interview with Cristina Saralegui

4. “Everyday we had to practice only 15 minutes. We didn’t like it at all but when you’re really young you want to play with your friends and neighbors. Just to pass the time and have fun! And to practice 15 minutes! It was, “AHH!!! But papa, we wanna play!” But those minutes paid off!”

– Selena Quintanilla, 1994 Interview with Cristina Saralegui

5. “My father is the manager of the group. My brother is the producer; he writes and arranges most of the music. My sister is the drummer and my husband is the guitar player. It is a family group, a nice piece of group, the rest of the guys in the band are also considered family.”

– Selena Quintanilla, Latin Style Magazine 1995, with Walter Martinez

6. “My father also treated us EQUAL and we’re not different. We all have talent even if they are in different aspects.”

– Selena Quintanilla

7. “He had a group called “Abe y Los Dinos.” That’s why we called ourselves “Selena y Los Dinos,” because it is 2nd generation.”

– Selena Quintanilla

8. “I started singing when I was six and a half and we’d perform for relatives. My father would do this show-off-the-kids type of thing. I was very shy and I hated it. I used to cry and throw my little tantrums. I didn’t want to sing in front of anybody because I was too shy.”

– Selena Quintanilla, Latin Style Magazine 1995, with Walter Martinez

9. “Since I was small, when I was in school, I was a business girl. I would buy things to sell, gums for three cents, things like that.”

– Selena Quintanilla

10.  “I lost a lot out of my teenage hood but I gained a lot too. I can’t really say that I lost because I got ahead of everyone as far as career and being more mature about business, even though I didn’t know what the heck was going on.”

– Selena Quintanilla

3 Quotes from Lyrics Written by Selena Quintanilla

Selena wrote or co-wrote several songs herself. Here are quotes from some of those songs. 


Selena wrote “Ámame” while secretly dating Chris Pérez, dedicating these passionate words to him.  Es casi imposible de calmar esta pasión
Te quiero tanto baby que me duele el corazón
Porque cuando te miro no me puedo contener
Quisiera abrasarte pa’ que sientas mi querer
Porque estar sin ti es como no vivir
Si tú me hicieras tuya yo sería feliz

Uoh, ámame
Me muero por besarte, ámame
Uoh, ámame
Ya no quiero rogarte, ámame

My Love

“My Love” is a song on Selena’s debut solo album, and her first try as a songwriter. 

I want to be with you
You can make my dream come true
Only you can make my heart and soul brand new

My love
Don’t throw away my love
My love

We can have an ever lasting love

Amor Prohibido

This song was co-written by Selena and her brother A.B. Quintanilla, inspired by a love story from their own grandmother. Amor prohibido murmuran por las calles
Porque somos de distintas sociedades
Amor prohibido nos dice todo el mundo

El dinero no importa en ti ni en mi
Ni en el corazon oh, oh baby

Aunque soy pobre
Todo esto que te doy
Vale mas que el dinero
Porque si es amor

“Como la Flor” was written by A.B. Quintanilla and Pete Astudillo, not Selena. However, it’s such an emblematic work from here that I wanted to include this quote from the song:Si vieras cómo duele perder tu amor
Con tu adiós te llevas mi corazón
No sé si pueda volver a amar
Porque te di todo el amor que pude dar

Como la flor con tanto amor
Me diste tú, se marchitó
Me marcho hoy, yo sé perder
Pero, ah-ah-ay, ¡cómo me duele!
Ah-ah-ay, ¡cómo me duele!

– Selena Quintanilla

Quotes About Selena

In the wake of Selena’s passing, major media outlets covered the tragedy. Selena was on the cover of the New York Times and People. Here are some of the inspiring words and tributes written for the late singer. 

1. “With her pouting smile, suggestive clothing and theatrical command of a microphone, Selena was often described as the Madonna of the Mexican-American world and was an idol and heartthrob on both sides of the border. Unlike Madonna, though, she also cultivated an image as a cheerful promoter of family values.”

– The New York Times, April 1, 1995, Section 1, Page 1 of the National edition with the headline: Grammy-Winning Singer Selena Killed in Shooting at Texas Motel

2. “She was known simply as Selena, and, with her bustiers, high boots and lusty voice, she was often described as the Mexican American Madonna. In an incident that has left thousands of fans grieving, Selena Quintanilla Perez, 23, was shot to death this morning at a Days Inn motel in Corpus Christi, cutting short a career that had already brought her a Grammy and the promise of superstardom.”

– The Washington Post, April 1, 1995, Tejano Music Star Selena is Shot to Death in Texas

3. Beyond the music, Selena’s self-assured personal style still resonates with her fans. Because of her tragic death, Selena is frozen in time as an unapologetically brown Latina. She designed her own clothing for the stage — elaborate pieces with rhinestones, bell-bottoms, bright colors and animal prints.

Her face and body reflect the Latino diaspora. Brown skin with indigenous features. Full lips, not downplayed to lean into idealized whiteness but, rather, emphasized with bright red lipstick. She had curvy hips and a round rear-end. She seemed to embrace herself fully, and in this age of standardized pop-diva beauty, her self-love translates to tremendous authenticity.

– The New York Times, The Meaning of Selena

4. “Selena Gomez was named after the “Como La Flor” singer because her parents were huge fans. As a fellow Texan, she was marked by Selena in many ways. She once recalled visiting her grave and getting emotional when she met the Quintanilla family and has paid tribute to the singer via her clothing.”

–, All of the Ways Selena Quintanilla Has Inspired Today’s Stars

5. When Selena died, Abraham Quintanilla said he was never going to let the world forget his daughter’s artistry, and that’s sort of been his life mission. And there is this natural tendency from fans to sort of guard her legacy because she is such a precious symbol, but I think that’s attention that takes place when an artist transcends from individual to cultural patrimony.

– NPR, 2 Projects Revive Selena’s Music for New Generations

6. “Spinning about in embellished bell-bottoms, two-stepping in silver boots, and belting out her chart-topping tunes with that signature red pout, Selena dazzled her adoring audience at every turn—and she designed all her costumes herself.

7. It was no surprise, then, that the stylish star even opened two successful Texas boutiques—predating the trend of musicians turned designers by a good quarter century—along with full-service salons.”

– Vogue, The Enduring Style Influence of Selena

8. “It was traumatic, it was the hardest thing up until that point that I had ever had to go through,” Pérez, who was 25 at the time of Selena’s death, says in the clip. “I [still] miss her face, her laughter. She was just an amazing soul, an amazing spirit.”

–, Selena Quintanilla’s Husband Chris Pérez Says Her Murder ‘Was the Hardest Thing’ He’s Ever Dealt With

Image Credits:

Header image: “Selena Quintanilla (1994)” (CC BY 2.0) by davi151098

Image 1: “Selena_Quintanilla” (CC BY 2.0) by davi151098

Image 2: “Selena Quintanilla” (CC BY 2.0) by davi151098

Image 3: “Selena” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by hellboy_93

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