An earlier version of this article was published in April 2014.
Over twenty years after the death of rising Tejano star Selena Quintanilla, her legacy continues to grow despite her absence.
The Grammy-winning star was shot and killed on March 31, 1995 at a Days Inn motel in Corpus Christi. The former president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldívar, was charged with the murder. Despite the decades that have passed since her death, Selena lives on thanks to the help of thousands of devoted fans.
Here are 20 reasons Selena will never be forgotten:
Selena may have been a Texas girl through and through but the star connected with her parents’ Mexican roots and her father’s musical past in a very special way.
Throughout her career, Selena was not only inspired by Tejano music but created a fusion of musical genres that incorporated other Latin sounds and inevitably won over Latinos across the country.
“A range of Latinos really connected with her,” Deborah Paredez, author of “Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory, told NBC.
“She drew from pop, Tejano, calypso, Afro-Caribbean, and cumbia music, so she signaled across a lot of cultural identities.”
Selena was known as the “Mexican Madonna” due to her sensual dance moves and sexy outfits. While Madonna may have first wowed audiences with her bustiers, it could be argued that Selena perfected the fashion with her sequin designs.
Bustiers and curves never looked so good together.
Selena’s talent was apparent at a very young age. The Tejano Queen became the lead singer of her family’s band, Selena Y Los Dinos, around age 9 and never looked back.
With her brother on bass guitar and her sister on drums, the band started out playing at weddings, clubs and their father’s restaurant in Texas.
The group was managed and produced by their father Abraham and quickly became popular locally. When Selena went solo her act dropped “Y Los Dinos” though her brother and sister continued to be a part of her band.
Selena married her lead guitarist, Chris Pérez, in a secret ceremony in 1992.
The singer's father did not approve of the couple's relationship, but Selena and Chris refused to take no for an answer and said their vows less than 5 years before her death.
In 2012, the widower released the book "To Selena, with Love," in which Pérez recounts his memories with his wife.
Selena’s tragic death came as a shock to her fans and their grief could be felt by the entire country -- but especially in her native state.
“I’m old enough to remember Dallas and JFK and it seemed like the same thing all over again,” Texas historian and author of “Selena: Como La Flor” Joe Nick Patoski told NBC.
“For Mexican-Americans in Texas, the reaction was intense and deeply personal. To this day, an entire generation remembers where they were when they heard the news.”
And Patoski isn’t exaggerating, approximately 50,000 mourners came to Selena’s public viewing
in Bayfront Plaza Convention to pay their respects and express their love after her death.
(Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)
As an American child, Selena’s dream was always to reach success in the English market.
The day her life was tragically cut short, Selena was expected at the studio to work on her first English-language album “Dreaming Of You.”
Only 4 of the 13 tracks envisioned for the album were recorded yet the record went
multi-platinum when it was released posthumously. The album sold over 5 million copies and surpassed Mariah Carey’s sales records.
At the time of its release in July 1995, "Dreaming Of You" became the fastest-selling album by a female artist in pop history.
The album sold more than 400,000 copies in its first week -- 175,000 copies on its first day alone
-- and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart.
Selena had officially crossed over.
"It is the most bittersweet feeling imaginable," President of EMI Latin Jose Behar, who signed Selena in 1989, told The Washington Post in July 1995.
"We -- her family, myself and obviously Selena -- had this dream since 1989, and we now see it coming to fruition. There's this incredible celebration of Selena's music, and she's throwing the party, but she's not going to be there."
(AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Dave Einsel, file)
The Hollywood film, "Selena," based on her life was the breakthrough role for Jennifer Lopez.
Since then J.Lo's career has reached unimaginable heights with a successful music trajectory complemented by the Nuyorican star's love of acting and producing.
Disney star Selena Gomez was also named after the Tejano superstar.
Former President George W. Bush and then Governor of Texas declared April 16th “Selena Day” just weeks after the star’s death
in honor of her birthday. Every year there are still celebrations to commemorate the star.
Selena is not only immortalized in the memory of her fans, but in the Selena Museum in Corpus Christi, Texas and on her own postage stamp.
(Foto AP/Paul Iverson)
On the 10-year anniversary of her death, the Quintanillas held the benefit concert "Selena ¡VIVE!" in Houston, Texas. Over 70,000 fans attended.
For the 20th anniversary of her death, the family will be hosting la “Fiesta de la Flor"
in the star's hometown, Corpus Christi, Texas. The festival will be held on April 17-18, a day after what would've been Selena's 44th birthday.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated Selena was weeks from turning 23 when she died. She was in fact about to turn 24.