The Real co-host hasn't been shy about sharing her love for the late Tejano singer on social media -- even posting clips of a full-blown Selena party she threw last year -- and on Saturday, she'll be taking the stage for a conversation with the icon's sister, Suzette Quintanilla, at Fiesta de la Flor in Corpus Christi, Texas.
ET's Deidre Behar spoke with Houghton as she launched the latest collection for her jewelry line, XIXI, in Los Angeles on Thursday, just days before the big event. "I'm so excited for Fiesta de la Flor," Houghton exclaimed, tearing up over a video message Suzette had recorded for her. "I'm holding it together, because I love Suzette, and I don't think people really understand the impact that Selena had on so many of us."
As the former Disney Channel star recalled, she and her sister were such big fans of the "Como la Flor" singer growing up that they joked about having a "Selena religion."
"When I think about why, it's because she really represented who we are. She represented our cultura in such an amazing way, the American dream of being Latino American, being able to celebrate your music and our language, but at the same time... speaking English, what a concept!" she said. "You can do both and be both."
"I just think her loss at such a young age is still felt," she said of Quintanilla, who died at just 23 years old in 1995. "The fact that there is something like Fiesta de la Flor is so incredible, because we get to come together and celebrate someone who was so impactful on our lives, on music, on how we dress."
Houghton is all about channeling the legendary singer in costume -- "I just think that her music is timeless and her spirit will live on forever, and that's something that should forever be acknowledged and celebrated," she raved -- but she's also been inspired by Quintanilla's entrepreneurial spirit. As Houghton told ET, she's tried to apply what she's learned from Quintanilla to her jewelry line.
"The fact that she was so personable made all the difference," she explained, noting how prior to her interview with ET, she was interacting with fans of the brand on social media and wants them to feel how "hands on" she is with the line. "Selena was all about that. She was in her store, she was in her salon, and I just want people to know that I would never sell something or promote something that I wouldn't actually wear myself."
"And that's like Selena with her clothing line. It was actually based on pieces that she designed, that she dreamt of in her mind, and that's how I feel about these pieces," she continued. "I get so excited, to this day, when I get an idea in my head, and then I get to see it in front of me, with the packaging. I'm like, 'Oh my god!' It's a tearful moment every single time, so I can only imagine how she felt launching her stuff. I'm definitely so inspired by her."
And while Fiesta de la Flor will be all about celebrating Quintanilla's life and legacy, Houghton told ET she's got a few things to discuss with Suzette, like the upcoming Netflix series based on the singer. "[I'm] super excited for that," she shared. "That's a conversation we're having this weekend, for sure."
"Who can I play, who can I be?" Houghton asked, before coming to a conclusion. "I want to be the girl in the mall [helping her find her GRAMMYs dress]. I want to be her homegirl!"
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