The late Selena Quintanilla and her husband, Chris Perez, were the epitome of relationship goals in the early ‘90s. The two, who eloped on April 2, 1992, met while working together as members of the music group Los Dinos in Corpus Christi, Texas.
But, as fate would have it, their love story would come to an abrupt end when the “Como La Flor” singer was tragically killed on March 31, 1995. She was 23 years old at the time of her death.
“It’s one of those bittersweet things but it’s amazing that she’s still in people’s minds,” Perez told ET’s Deidre Behar during Selena’s Walk of Fame ceremony last year.
“We got to live a fast and crazy life as kids,” he continued. “I believe I was 20 when we first started getting serious with each other.”
Perez, who remarried in 2001 but separated from his wife in 2008, described the first words that came to mind when he met Selena.
“Beautiful and talented,” he gushed. “I’m a shy person by nature, and there was just something about her that she was able to pull me out.”
Following her untimely death, Selena has become a cultural icon. Last year, she was commemorated with the 2,622nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located in front of the Capitol Records building at 1750 N. Vine Street in Hollywood.
“I’m proud of her,” Perez said. “Proud of everything that she’s been able to accomplish.”
“I remember when we first got married,” he continued. “We were really new to Los Angeles and I remember walking around, looking at the stars [on the Hollywood Walk of Fame] and not once did we even think it was possible that something like this could happen.”
Throughout the years, Perez says music has helped him cope with Selena’s loss.
“Music -- always has been, always will be,” he said, adding that there are times when her songs do bring up difficult emotions. One of those songs is “Dreaming of You.”
“It’s a tricky thing because sometimes you don’t want to hear it, it’s going to bring you down,” he explained. “There are other days where you just need to hear it and you are smiling just remembering a lot of the good stuff. It’s a weird kind of balance.”
“If I’m at a restaurant having dinner and they are playing music and then all of a sudden it’s [one of] her song[s] -- if I’m not prepared for it, that can be a little hard,” he said.
Last year ET caught up with Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla, who revealed he feels the “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” singer is still alive.
“In my mind, she’s still alive,” he said. “Because you get involved with all her things and doing things for her every day that sometimes I forget that she’s not here with us anymore. So in a sort of way, it’s hard to explain, in my mind, she’s alive.”
Perez shares the same sentiments. “I understand what he means,” he said. “There are times where it feels like you can pick up the phone and call her. Or, you are going to drive home and [think] she’s going to be there.”