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All About Abraham Quintanilla, Selena’s Father and Music Manager

If Selena Quintanilla’s legacy is the auto propelling Netflix’s Selena: The Sequence ahead, then her father and tune supervisor Abraham (played by Ricardo Chavira) sits decidedly within the driver’s seat. Over the route of the season’s 9 episodes, Abraham is the force winding his three teenagers—Suzette, A.B., and Selena—thru the Tejano tune industry.

The central feature Abraham, now 81, has played in his daughter’s lifestyles and legacy makes him a divisive determine in some circles. Reckoning on who you demand, Abraham is at as soon as an exacting musical maestro and passionate father who has a runt bit of a controlling run. Chavira spoke to this dichotomy in an interview with Entertainment Tonight:

What I have faith most often other folks leave out about him is, it became as soon as his dream to be a musician and then he handed it to his teenagers on epic of he wasn’t conducting his dream for no topic motive. He seen something in them. He drove the bus, he carried the bags, he became as soon as the roadie, he became as soon as managing money, managing schedules. That’s a total act of selflessness to place his teenagers in front of him. I’m particular there became as soon as selfishness to it too. But me having a watch at that as a parent, that’s the final act of parenting, to be exclusively selfless and place your child old to you.

On the second, Abraham continues to oversee all issues Selena—closing interested about The Selena Foundation, helping to bustle his Latin tune document company Q-Productions, and serving as govt producer on the Selena series. Forward, a watch at Abraham’s lifestyles and career, at the side of the ebook he’s writing about his boring daughter.

NetflixGetty Photos

Abraham inspired his teenagers to alter into musicians.

As Chavira indicated, Abraham Quintanilla inspired his teenagers to embody tune in one diagram that he couldn’t. Prior to meeting his partner Marcella and starting a family, Abraham formed a band called Los Dinos. The neighborhood launched quite a lot of albums, at the side of Los Dinos, Con Esta Copa, and The Dinos. But after his armed forces deployment and marriage, Abraham bought a job at Dow Chemical to make stronger his family.

“I had long previous from residing the nightlife to residing in a city the place every person became as soon as in bed by 9 o’clock. I felt love a caged lion. All I needed became as soon as to salvage back into tune, nonetheless I had a family to make stronger,” he suggested Texas Month-to-month. “It became as soon as a in actuality stressful time in my lifestyles. I went to my job every day, and I became as soon as there physically, nonetheless my thoughts became as soon as now not there. Even though the dream I’d had of making it had ended, it never left me. I attempted to ascertain into lifestyles in Lake Jackson, nonetheless I thought about tune all day lengthy.”

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Abraham suggested the outlet that he would use every night after work enjoying the guitar, which is how he came upon Selena’s vocal abilities. “One day when she became as soon as about six years frail, she started singing alongside with me,” he recalled. As is depicted in Selena: The Sequence, Selena y Los Dinos would document six albums, starting with 1984’s Mis Primeras Grabaciones. Selena’s namesake solo document debuted in 1989, spawning quite a lot of albums within the ’90s, a bustle that ended with 1995’s Dreaming of You. That document became as soon as launched after her demise and topped the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.

His restaurant, Papagayo’s, triggered financial struggles for the family.

After Abraham came upon himself rising disenchanted alongside with his job at Dow, a friend inspired him to delivery out a Mexican restaurant in Lake Jackson, Texas. “I constructed a runt stage and a dance ground within the heart with tables round it. I’d salvage up there and play with my teenagers, and other folks would come luxuriate in dinner and dance,” he suggested Texas Month-to-month.

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Then a recession hit in 1983, and preserving the industry delivery became as soon as no longer doubtless. “I couldn’t salvage a job anyplace, so I suggested Marcella that I became as soon as going back into the tune industry,” Abraham recalled to the outlet. “Music became as soon as the handiest thing I knew the technique to originate. The band became as soon as doubtlessly the most attention-grabbing thing we had going for us. All of us agreed to ascertain out and create a toddle of it.”

Abraham fired Chris Pérez after discovering his romance with Selena.

As Selena y Los Dinos rose to prominence within the Tejano tune world, the neighborhood welcomed guitarist Chris Pérez into the fold. He and Selena dated in secret, as she feared Abraham would fire Pérez if he came upon out about their relationship. “I didn’t perceive what became as soon as occurring till we have been coming house one time from McAllen and I seen them hugging,” Abraham explained to Texas Month-to-month. “I stopped the bus in Harlingen at two or three o’clock within the morning and exploded. I fired Chris on the state. I dropped him off in a Whataburger automotive car car parking zone and acknowledged, ‘You obtain your diagram house.'”

That is the final scene in season 1 of Selena: The Sequence, and one rooted in Abraham’s possess fears referring to the inter-band romance. “I seen him as a menace,” he suggested the outlet. “What if they bought married and he pulled her out of the band? Your entire work we did all those years would toddle down the tubes.” Alas, the pair did escape in 1992, prompting Abraham to embody their marriage and welcome Pérez back into the band. “After that, I accepted him as segment of the family. What else could well well presumably I originate?” Abraham recalled. “By then, I owned three homes on Bloomington Freeway. A.B. had the house on the left, Marcella and I lived within the heart house, and I let Selena and Chris dwell within the house on the exact without spending a dime. Every person had their possess lives, nonetheless we have been quiet a family.”

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He’s spoken referring to the impact of Selena’s demise on his lifestyles.

Selena became as soon as tragically murdered by Yolanda Saldívar, the founder of her fan club, in March 1995. (Saldívar is serving a lifestyles sentence in Texas with a possibility for parole in 2025.) “I wasn’t working Selena’s industry. I became as soon as so busy with the band that I didn’t perceive what a scenario Yolanda had change into till it became as soon as too boring,” Abraham suggested Texas Month-to-month of Saldívar’s involvement in Selena’s many apparel boutiques.

Better than 20 years after her demise, Abraham spoke referring to the depth of his effort for his daughter. “We’re programmed emotionally and spiritually to accept that the older other folks toddle first, nonetheless when your child goes first, it’s a particular more or much less distress,” he suggested Entertainment Tonight. “In my thoughts, she’s quiet alive, on epic of you salvage alive to with all her issues and doing issues for her every day that most often I put out of your mind that she’s now not right here with us anymore. So in a form of diagram, it’s laborious to gift, in my thoughts, she’s alive.”

Marcella and Abraham in 2005.

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He became as soon as a producer on both the 1997 Selena biopic and the 2020 Netflix series.

In the months after Selena’s tragic cancel, Abraham reportedly sought out an felony ample to arrangement an “estate properties settlement” that will state him responsible of Selena’s “title, articulate, signature, photograph, and likeness” in perpetuity. The settlement effectively itsy-bitsy any involvement Pérez, Selena’s widower, can have in her posthumous ventures, as reported by Billboard.

That granted Abraham the ability to operate an govt producer on 1997’s Selena biopic, starring Jennifer Lopez. Per Entertainment Tonight, he retained “ingenious take a watch on over every aspect, from script to casting” of the movie. “I needed the enviornment to grab about my teenagers, and my daughter,” he suggested the outlet.

When asked why he at the starting place asked that the scene the place Selena and Pérez escape be left out of the movie, Abraham acknowledged, “Selena has somewhat a few young girls as fans and I don’t need them to advise that that’s the exact thing to originate.” But he admitted to being too laborious on Chris at the starting of his relationship with Selena. “I in actuality feel harmful that I became as soon as over-strict, too strict, that I place her in that scenario the place [she felt she had to elope],” Abraham suggested ET.

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Abraham additionally serves as an govt producer on Selena: The Sequence, which has inspired a lawsuit from a producer on the 1997 Selena movie. Moctesuma Esparza, who labored with the Quintanillas on the venture 23 years within the past, filed a $1 million lawsuit in opposition to Abraham, Suzette (another producer), and Netflix in November. In it, he claims ownership of Selena’s lifestyles rights for the cowl, per E! News.

Abraham has some trip with litigation.

This is now not Abraham’s first trip with lawsuits in phrases of telling Selena’s tale. In 2016, the family filed a lawsuit ceasing production on a TV adaptation of Pérez’s To Selena, with Worship ebook. Per exact paperwork, thru Billboard, Pérez had “expressly agreed that he would now not exploit any of the Entertainment Properties in any formula or medium, at the side of, without limitation, by a ebook, tv series, movie, or every other movement image medium.”

In a later interview with The Houston Chronicle, Pérez acknowledged the lawsuit made it anxious to help Selena’s 2017 Hollywood Stroll of Fame ceremony. “Technically, I became as soon as invited thru email. But I didn’t in actuality feel very welcome, and her family didn’t create it straightforward,” he acknowledged. However, Pérez did reduction, telling the outlet, “I originate now not need other folks talking about her family. I could well well presumably in actuality feel a certain diagram about it, nonetheless what would Selena need? I’m now not the one searching for to battle.”

Chris Pérez and the Quintanilla family at Selena’s 2017 Hollywood Stroll of Fame important particular person ceremony.

David LivingstonGetty Photos

He’s writing a brand new ebook about Selena’s lifestyles.

As the brand new Netflix series is launched, Abraham is setting his sights on a brand new Selena-centered venture. Per a February 27 Facebook put up, he’s engaged on a ebook about his daughter with the Selena movie co-producer Nancy De Los Santos. Abraham wrote, “This day I in a roundabout diagram accomplished the final chapter of my ebook that I even have been writing for the old couple of months.” He went on to boom, “Since my daughter Selena died I been searching for to jot down a ebook. The public could well well honest now not be wide awake that there are about 21 unauthorized books written about Selena and never one amongst the writers ever interviewed Selena.”

Abraham called out the 1997 ebook, Selena’s Secret: The Revealing Story On the back of Her Tragic Loss of life, written by Telemundo journalist María Celeste Arrarás, as a title he had specific grievances with. “My family and I and Chris Pérez know precisely what took state, as l mentioned non[e] of the writers and even Maria Celeste ever interviewed Selena,” he concluded, at the side of that the ebook would be launched “later this yr.”

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    Editorial Fellow
    Savannah Walsh is an Editorial Fellow at ELLE.com.

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