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NPR: : Selena's Legacy, 20 Years Later

By Rigoberto Hernandez

Dissonant Divas in Chicana Music by Deborah VargasIt's hard to believe that it's been 20 years since Selena Quintanilla-Perez was murdered in a hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas. Thursday would have been her 44th birthday, so on this week's episode of Alt.Latino, we take stock of her legacy, what she meant to Chicanos then, and what she means to Latinos today.

We bring two guests to nerd out about the "Queen Of Tejano Music." Deborah Vargas is an associate professor at the department of ethnic studies at the University of California-Riverside, as well as a Selena expert. Vargas chronicled Selena and other Chicano artists' importance in her 2012 book, Dissonant Divas In Chicana Music.

From Los Angeles, Patty Rodriguez — a Selena superfan and something of apromoter of Mexican-American culture — will also join us. Rodriguez started a petition at requesting that a cosmetics company start a Selena-themed makeup line. The petition has already gathered more than 30,000 signatures.

What unfolds here is an in-depth discussion of Tejano music, the Selena biopic that immortalized her, and how the singer transcended identity politics while remaining a hero to many Latinos.

Listen here.