CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas --Six-year-old Ayvah Vega wasn't even born yet when Selena Quintanilla-Perez -- simply known as Selena -- was fatally shot on March 31, 1995. But Vega considers Selena a huge inspiration, and she celebrated her sixth birthday with a party fit for a Tejano Queen.
"She came across the video and fell in love," Vega's dad Alex said. "She loved the way Selena danced and sang. She was really intrigued by her outfits."
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It's been exactly 22 years since Selena was murdered, but for fans like Ayvah, the singer's legacy has only grown stronger, bolstered by numerous cultural markers that have popped up within the last few years.
Selena started singing the Tejano music that eventually made her famous in her father Abraham's restaurant in Lake Jackson, Texas. He taught the family band and named them Los Dinos after his own group from earlier years. Selena's brother, A.B., played bass, and her sister, Suzette, played drums.
When the Quintanilla family moved to Corpus Christi, Los Dinos started getting gigs at parties and weddings.
Selena was only 15 when she won female entertainer of the year at the Tejano Music Awards. She rose to stardom in the traditionally male-dominated Tejano music industry, and achieved crossover fame after her death, with the release of her English language CD, "Dreaming of You."
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More than two decades after her death, her influence is still being felt. Her official Facebook page has nearly 4 million likes.
In 2016, Selena was awarded two Hollywood markers of success. Madame Tussaud's unveiled a wax figure modeled after her performance at the Memorial Coliseum in Corpus Christi, Texas, on February 7, 1993. The singer was also awarded a posthumous star on the Walk of Fame, which will be placed this year.
Selena's life and legacy are the inspiration behind the annual "Fiesta De La Flor," two-day music festival in Corpus Christi.
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Selena continues to inspire fans, who ensure her achievements will never be forgotten.