Selena Quintanilla's Mother, Brother and Husband Chris Perez Reflect on Singer’s Lasting Legacy (Exclusive)
By Elisa Osegueda
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Thousands of fans descended to Vine street in Hollywood, California, to honor the late Selena Quintanilla, who received a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday.
Selena’s parents, Abraham and Marcella Quintanilla, attended the event along with the “Como la Flor” singer’s siblings, Suzette and A.B. Quintanilla. Chris Perez, who was married to Selena at the time of her death, also made a special appearance.
ET was at the highly-anticipated ceremony where we got to talk to Selena’s mother, brother and Perez.
“I just want to thank the fans for loving her so much. We miss her,” Marcella told ET’s Deidre Behar. “I'm very proud of her.”
“I knew I was going to lose it,” Selena’s brother, A.B., explained after her star was unveiled. “I'm very, very blessed. I never thought I'd be sitting behind the Capitol Records building, but we're back here and doing something wonderful, which is laying down the star.”
Selena was commemorated with the 2,622nd star, located in front of the Capitol Records building at 1750 N. Vine Street in Hollywood. During the ceremony, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also proclaimed Nov. 3 as the official “Selena Day” in Los Angeles.
A.B., who along with Suzette, was part of Los Dinos, the musical group that Selena fronted since 1980, shared how important this moment was for his family.
“Today, I was happy because we all held strong, you know what I'm saying?” he explained. “It was a happy event. When I was in my [hotel] room, I kinda got a knot in my throat because from my room, I could see the Capitol Tower and I was just like, 'Man, this is just going to be too overwhelming,' you know? But, it was more for me, a proud moment.”
“It was a proud moment. I was a proud brother,” he continued, adding that Selena’s legacy lives “through the music.”
“She's in my heart and she's on my mind all the time,” he concluded.
Ahead of the ceremony, ET also spoke with Suzette, who opened about what it was like to help with the creation process of Selena’s Walk of Fame star.
“Oh my god, that was so cool. It was such an honor,” she told ET on Thursday. “Apparently it’s really rare for them to allow someone to do that, so it felt really special. It’s a moment that I will never forget in my life.”
“I loved that the crew that was working on the star told me that we're making it with extra love. That was so sweet to hear,” she added.
Suzette, who helps run her late sister’s estate along with her father, has made it her life's mission to keep Selena’s memory alive.
“I really feel that Selena is definitely a role model for our youth,” Suzette said. “I think she represents us as a whole, as Hispanics and Latinos. But, I think she’s also, beyond that, she’s multicultural.”
“I’ve been here for the past 22 years just watching her legacy grow,” Suzette told ET last month. “She’s timeless. All the great legends are. Look at Michael Jackson, Prince, Jimi Hendrix, all these people who made a mark in our world. I’m very honored to say Selena is a legend.”
Selena was 23 years old at the time of her death, leaving behind her husband and first love, Perez. The two met while working together as members of Los Dinos and eloped in April 1992.
“I'm proud of everything that she's been able to accomplish,” Perez said to ET on Friday. “Thanks to the fans for all the support that they've given, it really truly is all because of them. They keep her alive.”
Perez went on to explain that music has helped him cope with Selena’s death.
“Music, always has been and always will be,” he said, adding that he does listen to Selena’s music. “I do and that's a tricky thing because sometimes you don't want to hear it. It [can] bring you down and then there are other days where you just need to hear it and you're smiling just remembering a lot of the good stuff. So, it's a weird kind of balance thing.”
“There are times when you feel like you can pick up the phone and call her,” he continued. “Or you're driving home and think she's gonna be there. [Those are] the moments that can be difficult.”
Reflecting on his wife’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Perez remembered coming to Los Angeles with Selena and gushing over celeb stars.
“I remember when we first got married early April of '92, we were really new to Los Angeles but things had started to pick up for us, so we were spending more time here. I remember walking around and looking at the stars on the sidewalk. And, not once did we ever think it was possible that something like this could happen," he recalled.
“So, to be sitting here watching it go down, it was just...it was just, again one of those bittersweet things. It's an amazing thing that she's still in people's minds," he shared. "I wish she could have been here to talk to the crowd, she had such a way with her fans that it would have made it so much better.”