- Selena: The Series -Where Are Selena's Parents Now? They've Devoted Their Lives To Their Daughter's Legacy
Netflix's Selena: The Series is more than the story of the Queen of Tejano music's life, it's also the story of the Quintanilla family as a whole. And at the center of the family is Selena Quintanilla's parents, Abraham and Marcella.
Married for 57 years and counting, Abraham and Marcella, as played by Ricardo Chavira and Seidy Lopez, are the foundation on which Selena y Los Dinos is built, both in real life and on the Netflix series. Long before he saw the potential in his youngest daughter's voice, Abraham was a musician in the Dinos, his own band which struggled to breakthrough in the 1960s. Ultimately, his careful management of his children's musical careers stemmed, at least in part, from his own experience with the industry.
Just like in the series, Abraham is a towering figure in the Quintanilla family. Since Selena was shot to death by the founder of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar, at the age of 23, he has devoted all of his time and resources to managing his youngest daughter's legacy. However, Marcella is a far more enigmatic figure.
The mother of three has never sought the spotlight, and rarely gives interviews. When she does speak to the press, her focus is always on Selena. Most recently, she shared an anecdote with People in March 2020 about how her daughter always exuded kindness.
"This girl admired the boots that she was wearing, and she took them off and gave them to her," Marcella shared. "That's how kindhearted she was. If you said something negative about somebody, she would say something positive. She didn't like negativity … She had a big heart."
Abraham Quintanilla Has Spent His Life Battling To Maintain Control Of Selena's Legacy
While Marcella avoids social media and generally only speaks to the press to commemorate Selena's memory, Abraham has emerged as a more combative figure, who is fiercely protective of his daughter's legacy.
Two months after her death, Abraham had a lawyer draw up paperwork that would maintain the profit-sharing relationship that the band had in place while Selena was alive. Additionally, the paperwork gave him the sole rights to Selena's name, music, signature, and story, as reported by Billboard. At the time, the singer's husband, Chris Perez, signed away any rights he may have had to Selena's estate for a 25% share of the profits from ongoing sales of her music and other entertainment properties, but in recent years he has sought to share his memories of the "Como La Flor" singer in a television adaptation of his book To Selena, with Love.
In 2016, Abraham sued Perez to stop his television deal from coming to fruition. Perez then countered Abraham's claims that the series would breach their agreement, claiming that Selena's father had him sign the paperwork at a "time when Perez was most vulnerable and susceptible to Abraham’s deceit," per Billboard.
The two men remain locked in a legal battle over Perez's rights to Selena's story, but that's far from the only time that Abraham went to court to stop anyone outside of his immediate family from profiting off of the singer's memory since her death.
Selena's Father Has Spent The Last 25 Years Managing The Queen Of Tejano's Estate
Just as he shepherded Selena's career in life, Abraham continues to manage his daughter's estate today. From shutting down Etsy shops that use the singer's image on products to approving collaborations with MAC cosmetics and Forever 21, the music producer has been diligent about keeping Selena's image on brand.
Eagle-eyed Netflix viewers will notice that Abraham and his eldest daughter, Suzette, are both credited as producers on Selena: The Series. While the full extent of their involvement is unknown, it seems that Abraham, Suzette, and the rest of the family were committed to ensuring the Netflix series had access to their family's story, much in the way they were involved in the 1997 Selena movie starring Jennifer Lopez.
In an interview with the Mexican newspaper Reforma, the 81-year-old shared one way he was involved in the behind the scenes aspect of the show. Not only did he share rare footage of Selena with the show's producers, he also had some input on casting Christian Serratos in the lead role.
"The girl (Serratos) is fine, you will not find anyone who resembles Selena, but of all the photographs they sent, I liked her more," he said, via Hola!. "[The series] is totally based on Selena and my family. We just tell them if we like or not [the casting]. Of all, she (Serratos) was the best."
Ultimately, Abraham and Marcella's goals seem to be the same, even though Selena's mother is less likely to get involved in public disputes. In the same interview with People where Marcella reminisced about her daughter's kind heart, Abraham shared that his family's primary goal has always been about preserving Selena's legacy for generations to come.
"When Selena passed away, I told my family that I was going to try to keep her memory alive through her music," he said. "And 25 years later I think we, as a family, accomplished that."