In what was undoubtedly the most poignant moment of the evening Jennifer Lopez paid an emotional tribute to Selena Quintanilla at the Billboard Latin Music Awards which took place last week and aired on Telemundo (April 30). Huge screens on the stage played a montage of images of Selena who was tragically murdered in 1995 at the tender age of 23. Selena’s former band Los Dinos joined JLo on stage. At the end of the stunning performance, in which she seamlessly changed costumes 3 times, the 45-year old star shouted “We love you Selena,” to a standing ovation.
It was in 1997 that JLo had her big break playing the late singer in the critically acclaimed biopic – the 10th highest-grossing biopic of all time – in which an incredible 22,000 actresses were screened for the part. JLo became the highest-paid Latina in Hollywood history, earning a million dollars for her role.
It was Selena who put Tejano music on the American map and she still continues to be a force in Latin pop 20 years after her death, with six posthumous releases reaching to No. 1 on the Latin Albums chart, the most recent in 2012.
Pedro Fernandez, who co-hosted the show described JlLo’s performance as “magical”. “She has had many more triumphs in her life,” Fernandez said. “But her magical interpretation of Selena on the big screen has made a definite mark on her artistic life.”
JLo spoke to Billboard before the performance about what Selena means to her: “I felt she had a sense to live in the moment, that you’re not promised tomorrow. For me that was the biggest lesson. That affected me in my life far more profoundly than the movie did in career terms.”
JLo performed her renditions of Como La Flor, Bidi Bidi Bom Bom, Amor Prohibido, I Could Fall In Love, and her finale No Me Queda Mas.
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