"Mind-blowing...We even got a little teary-eyed," Suzette expressed to ET's Deidre Behair ahead of the telecast. "It's huge. It's an honor!"
Selena was only 23 years old when she was shot and killed in 1995. Her legacy, however, continues with her devoted fans and hits songs like “Como la Flor" and “Amor Prohibido."
"I think she would be over the moon. I think she would be very giddy about it. I think that she would probably have her social media handles and she would probably be posting tons of photos with it, I'm sure," she continued. "I go back to the other part of Selena, of her being a role model. And I think that it shines a huge light on that. That with hard work and dedication and with your family behind you and everything, that you can do so much. [It] doesn't matter where you come from as long as you have that drive and that passion and you can succeed."
"And I think that this award, I hope that the younger generation, the younger Latinas, young [people] overall, they can go back and they can look at this and think, 'Wow, she's still doing it and she's not even here. She's been gone for 25 years,'" Suzette noted. "And that's a powerful, powerful message. And I hope that that resonates in our youth. I really do."
Selena won her first GRAMMY for Best Mexican-American Album for Selena Live! at the 36th GRAMMY Awards in 1994, marking the first time a female Tejano artist won the category. She attended the ceremony in a stunning Lillie Rubin white sequin dress. Suzette recalled being by her sister's side as she took home the trophy.
"There's a lot of video out there and footage of Selena when she talks about how excited she was to win the GRAMMY. And I was so honored to be able to be with her and [Selena's husband] Chris [Perez]," Suzette remembered. "And [my husband] Bill [Arriaga] and I were there whenever she won the award and how amazing she looked that night."
"Twenty-five years later and who would have ever thought that she would be honored with this Lifetime Achievement Award? I'm very proud, and I know she would be also in regards to the fact that we are Mexicanos-Americanos, we're Mexican-Americans, and this is happening," Suzette stated. "It's huge. It's really huge for a different couple of reasons. More importantly, the fact that her career and her life is still being celebrated so many years later."
"There's a representation there of who we are as Mexican-Americans…There's not a lot of it," she continued. "And to have something like that and a special moment to honor Selena, it's just, it's mind blowing and we're so excited. I wish she was here to be able to experience what we're experiencing now."
Suzette also remembered her sister being so excited for the awards ceremony, expressing that she was in a "giddy mood the whole time" they were there. "Just kind of looking at each other like, 'I can't believe it. I can't believe it,' that type of thing," she shared, adding, "And of course, a lot of people were complimenting her on how beautiful she looked. She looked amazing!"
As for what winning a GRAMMY for Selena Live! meant to them, Suzette said it was "a beautiful thing."
"Awards are amazing, but they don't define who you are as an artist or as a musician, because there's so many artists out there that are well-deserving of a lot of awards and unfortunately not everyone has one. It doesn't define you. It just helps you," she clarified. "It's a nice recognition of all the hard work that you've done, and especially on this live album, that was recorded actually here in Corpus Christi at the Memorial Coliseum. And it's just a live jam that we did back in '93...To be able to record it here in our hometown and to have it win a GRAMMY, it's a very beautiful thing. And I'll never forget the fact that the whole night of us recording that was pretty special."
As fans and the Quintanilla family continue Selena's legacy with her music, Netflix's Selena: The Series and more, Suzette is in awe of how the world continues to embrace her sister.
"There's a new generation that's embracing Selena," Suzette marveled. "She is a great representation of who we are as Mexican-Americans. She's a great role model. She is an amazing singer, performer. You can't ask for more than that...We live in a time, also, where I have the luxury of going online and I can look at her. Most people that lose loved ones, they don't have that."
Other honorees to be recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award include Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Lionel Hampton, Marilyn Horne, Salt-N-Pepa and Talking Heads. ET will be providing nonstop coverage of the 63rd GRAMMY Awards. Join us this Sunday, March 14, when the GRAMMYs air live on CBS starting at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET.