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Amor Prohibido is an album that continues to influence generations.
The late Selena Quintanilla was 22 years old when she premiered her fourth album on March 13, 1994 with EMI Latin. The album, which came together over the course of six months, consists of 10 songs that helped popularize Tejano music in the ‘90s.
The first single, named after the album, became the most successful U.S. Latin single that year. It was written by Selena, her brother, A.B. Quintanilla, and close friend, Pete Astudillo.
“Amor Prohibido is the name of the album but the song ‘Amor Prohibido’ is such a big Selena record and the lyrics are so beautiful,” Becky G told ET exclusively. “It's one of my favorites on the album because it has that Romeo and Juliet kind of story. It doesn't matter where we come from or what we look like or what our families think, or what society tells us, we're going to be together because that's what real love is, and I think from a lyrical standpoint, that's a very beautiful message that's always very relevant to today.”
Becky credits the album for “igniting something in me.” The “Mayores” singer, who turned 22 years old earlier this month, says Selena was the first person that she identified with having grown up in Califonia where at times she felt, “you're too Mexican for the Americans and too American for the Mexicans.”
“Amor Prohibido” was one of many chart-topping singles that came out of the album. Others include “No Me Queda Más,” “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” “Fotos y Recuerdos,” “Techno Cumbia” and “Si Una Vez.”
“There's this joy that you feel when you listen to Selena,” Ally Brooke told ET. “Her music is so timeless. I was actually listening to her music [recently]. It's amazing that you can listen to it now, 10 years from now, 50 years from now and it still feels so fresh and new. Her spirit shines through the records.”
“‘No Me Queda Más’ [can] instantly bring me to tears,” she continued. “The passion in her voice and the pain she exudes through her emotions, it really touches your soul. That's one of my favorite records because that reminds me of home, San Antonio, being with my family and hearing the mariachis along the River Walk.”
The 25-year-old singer says Selena is one of her biggest role models. “She just had this exuberance,” she noted. “I think if more humans were like Selena we would live in a completely different -- just perfect world.”
“I wish she was still here because she was such a beautiful person,” she added. “For her life to be cut short like that, it's absolutely devastating and horrifying and just so terrible, but the thing is she will live on through her music.”
A year after releasing Amor Prohibido, Selena was tragically killed on March 31, 1995. Her death made headlines across the globe. In 1997, Jennifer Lopez got the role of a lifetime, portraying the late singer in the Gregory Nava biopic Selena.
“Selena fue mi primera diva,” Farina told ET. “Fue la mujer que me inspiro para estar donde estoy...ella fue la primera que me hizo enamorarme de [la música]. Mi primer cassette fue de Selena, mi primer regalo musical de Navidad fue el cassette de Selena, así que imagínate, siempre va estar viva en mi corazón. Siempre va ser un ejemplo a seguir. Es una estrella que nunca deja de alumbrar ni brillar, allí esta para siempre.”
Angela Aguilar, a bright 15-year-old GRAMMY-nominated singer, who comes from a musical family dynasty, also spoke with ET about the impact the queen of Tejano has had on her career.
“It's just really really cool to see a Mexican-American woman be able to do something in an area filled with men, you know,” she said. “To be the door opener for many young girls like me.”
"She was the first Spanglish girl that I heard," Natti Natasha told ET. "I feel like she was such an icon and so talented in a raw way, and that's the way to go. She had a message to give and she projected that so well and she had a lot of trust in herself that’s what we need in this industry to keep on going. For other people to believe in you, you have to believe in [yourself first]. She was an amazing woman."
Amor Prohibido is ranked among the most essential Latin recordings of the past 50 years by Billboard magazine. In July of 1995, the Quintanilla family released Selena’s fifth and final album, Dreaming of You. It became the fastest-selling U.S. album of 1995 and garnered Selena her second GRAMMY nomination.
“Selena...embodies what it means to be your true authentic self,” Becky G shared. “She had to overcome a lot of struggles and she started at a very young age in the music industry. To grow up constantly working, making so many sacrifices and bringing your family along on that journey, and it's not just your sacrifices but theirs too, I can relate a lot. I think that's part of the American Dream [and] that's why she's still so present today.”